Thursday, March 19, 2015

Table Space

"I feel so adult," he said as he sat across the table from me, typing away on his work laptop.

"Here we are talking about our finances and planning out America's next spacecraft. You know, just normal, adult conversations." I had to chuckle.

Even though Chris works a lot, and I am heading into a future that includes overnight shift work, there is nothing we would rather do. Contributing to America's space program is in our blood. And just those few words, a few nods to our reality, made me realize how incredibly lucky we are.

I sometimes joke about "living in a zoo" at work. Space Center Houston tours bring trams full of tourists onto the Johnson Space Center everyday, and I feel a little exposed walking through hallways near Mission Control or even walking to my car in the parking lot. I'm sure I'm the photo-bomb in many a tourist picture as they click away hoping to catch a glimpse of an honest-to-goodness astronaut.

But being here, at NASA, sort of brings it full circle for me. I was once those eager eyes on the outside, clinging to the words of the recorded tram messages, yearning to take lots of pictures to somehow relive the feeling of being at Mission Control. I proudly displayed my rocket and rocket engine pictures on the front of my Junior High binder (wow, do kids even have those anymore?!), and I always included "being an astronaut" in any and all "about me" projects. When I landed an internship at Boeing during high school I felt like a rock star, and while other kids were lucky to work a job at Target, I was driving 10 miles to the Boeing plant to work on multi-million dollar helicopters. Even in college I had to pinch myself every time I added a dream internship to my resume...NASA Space Grant, Orbital Sciences, Marshall Spaceflight Center. It felt like the universe could read my heart and put opportunities out there to meet it's desires.

And here I am. Midway through my planned trajectory - so far, mission success. I'm lucky to have a husband who challenges me intellectually and works so hard to support not only our little family, but our nation's space goals as well.

I can think of worse things than personal finances and America's next spacecraft two people could talk about over dinner ;-)