On Life, Space and Priorities

I saw a piece yesterday about a guy in space who's wife delivered a baby while he was in orbit. Here is the story from this site:
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Astronaut Randolph Bresnik jubilantly welcomed his new daughter Sunday as he floated 220 miles above Earth.

Abigail Mae Bresnik was born as her father circled just hours after his first spacewalk.

"At 11:04 last night, Abigail Mae Bresnik joined the NASA family," Bresnik announced Sunday by radio from the linked space shuttle Atlantis and International Space Station.
I think that this is a rather extreme example of how we often miss those things in life that we want so much not to miss. Abigail was born prematurely.. her dad said that he planned to be at her birth and was sorry that he could not be there. But I wonder how often the rest of us miss important life events because of work or other seemingly important things.

I can relate to misplaced priorities.. I used to sanctimoniously rationalize my behavior saying that "I wanted to be where God wanted me to be".. not understanding that it was just religious speak for doing what I really wanted to do. In my early years I spent way too much time listening to sermons instead of playing with my kids.. in later years when life got rough with my teenagers I became a workaholic.

I guess what I am trying to say is that some of the time our behaviors really reflect our selfish priorities.. even if they are misplaced and misdirected. I think that it is really to be hard to be honest with ourselves in this area.. it is so easy to rationalize and make excuses.. but alas.. perhaps this sort of introspection is only done in retrospect by old guys like me

And before you tell me to move on and stop whining about what might have been.. no wait.. maybe that is good advice.. anywho.. I was wondering if you had any advice for folks with misplaced priorities? Ever been in orbit when you should have had your feet on the ground?


  1. I would have missed some great family moments and vacations if I chose to immerse myself in work. But it bothers me everyday

  2. For much of my career I was out of town about 100 days each year. I was home every night but when I was home it was family time. I gave all the baths when they were young, which were accompanied by repeated choruses of Take Me Out To The Ball Game and Row, Row, Row Your Boat.

    I didn't know their doctors or their dentist but I knew their teachers, coaches and scout leaders.

    You can't work and be available for everything that happens at home. We have to be satisfied with what time we have and make the most of it.

  3. As a doctor's wife, I've always been aware of the tension here. I was a full-time stay at home mum, and I always had to struggle about the difference between when my husband was genuinely needed by someone else and when it was just busyness. My rule of thumb was that when someone was in pain, acutely ill, they were the priority, when it was just routine, or admin stuff, I'd call him on it if it was something important to the kids. But therewere alsways grey areas, and the struggle to know whether I wasthe one who was being selfish.


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