Tag Archives: JPL/NASA

For Love or Money?

Some days I am so focused on work, I push myself to exhaustion. I had several of those days in the last week or so. In my own way, I’m having fun because I enjoy my job. But sometimes I’m not sure I’m making the right choices.

John’s job on Happy Feet 2 in Sydney, Australia, ended in October last year. We thought for sure he had another job lined up so we didn’t even think about packing. Then suddenly that job fell through and we had three weeks to leave the country (due to visa restrictions). Yikes! That would’ve been fine and dandy but I’d just self-published Little Miss Lovesick and I had a ton of work to do.

But I couldn’t do much of it because we had to move halfway around the world. Then we were living in our awesome friend’s guest room while we waited for John to find another job. Which took a while because it was Thanksgiving and then Christmas and then the first of January. Slowly but surely, companies started to look for people for new projects.

Yay!

But it wasn’t just me sitting around doing my writing thing in Doug’s computer room while John surfed the Net for job openings. John and I talked about what places to apply to, where didn’t we want to live, and I proofread his email applications. We drove 200+ miles roundtrip to Los Angeles several times for meetings, lunches, and seminars related to his work.

That was the stuff I don’t feel at all guilty about, time-consuming as it was.

Then there was the fact that John had time off for the first time in over two years. We were back in America for the first time in over two years. We surfed Doug’s satellite TV and found the TV shows we’d missed in Sydney. We went to the outlet mall and remembered what prices are like in the U.S. We stayed up late, slept in, ate way too much, started exercising again, and – when Doug wasn’t around – caught up on a little husband and wife time. <wink, wink>

If I’d been writing all the time that we’ve watched TV in the last two months, I’d have my short story finished and polished and submitted, and my next novel would be closing in on a second draft. These things really need to be done! Not to mention the vast amounts of work I need to do on my web site, my Facebook author page, and the fact that Little Miss Lovesick still isn’t in print!

That kills me!

The fact is, there will always be more work than time. And John will soon be back to work for 8-10 hours a day. He might even transition from 8-10 hours a day to 12-14 hours a day like happens in his business. And then I won’t see him much at all. I’ll have lots of extra time to do my own work.

So I wonder what’s more important, love or money? Quality family time or my career?

I suppose that’s a lie. I don’t wonder. My actions speak louder than words, don’t they? I’ve chosen time with John.  :)   And I’m pretty darn sure I won’t regret it. But as soon as he gets a job and we find an apartment (another time-consuming but necessary project), I’ll be back to working my butt off on my career – and feeling guilty that I’m not making enough time for John.

Since I’ve now decided not to feel too guilty about the play time we’ve had, let me show you some cool pictures we took last week. Our friend Eric works at JPL on the Mars Science Laboratory Project editing the footage from the rovers on Mars! Mars, the planet!! Isn’t that the coolest thing? And he gave us a tour!! (Yes, more time that I could’ve been writing – but it was NASA, people!)

Here are some of the photos I took:

Me and John in front of a replica of "Curiosity" that's on its way to MARS!!

Ooo! Will we see a spacecraft being assembled?

Walking toward the Flight Projects Center - sounds exciting!

The actual command center! We could see data streaming in from several rovers and other space "stuff".

A moon rock!

Awesome Eric in the museum

If you’re going to play hooky from work, at least make sure you do something amazing! Thanks, Eric, for the awesome morning!

As a new fun feature, I decide to add the following to my blog every week. What are you reading? What have you seen lately?

Books I’m Reading This Week: The Miracle Girls, Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer, Accused

Movies I Saw Last Week: Joyful Noise, also the first 3 episodes of Alcatraz – I love Queen Latifah and JJ Abrams! And I just have to get the Joyful Noise soundtrack!