Life lessons from the Hubble #2

okay, so these posts about the Hubble have coincided with my privilege of going to Asthma Camp (yes, asthma camp, the biggest oxymoron ever). i was only there for three of the days, but one of the nights, they had a "star party," and i think i'm officially going to become a star nerd. i learned about asterisms, constellations, how to find the north star (i knew how to find the big and little dipper, who knew it was right before me the whole time??), about how some constellations came to be, and that much like there are 88 keys on a piano, there are 88 constellations total. we got to see venus, the moon, and saturn with its rings, along with the boyscout stars, and a nebula!!

nerdy? probably. awesome? yes. my next purchase may or may not be "the stars" by h. a. rey (he also wrote curious george so it's legit) and i might have gotten a "star party" schedule. star groupie? yes, please. maybe i'll even make a t-shirt.

so i'm sure you're all dying to know why there is a picture of a screw at the top of this post? i'll bet the anticipation is just killing you and you don't even know what to do with yourself. well, here's the story behind that.

the latest NASA Hubble repair mission (it was just a few months ago!) involved fixing a bunch of things so that it can be in orbit for just a few more years. they fixed lenses and replaced parts that had been there since they launched it in the 80's. this, of course, caused some great problems because they had been in negative a zillion degree outer space weather for about 20 plus years, and had not been moved once since they had been launched. one of the tasks involved taking out 32 very small (and i mean really really small) screws from a part, to replace it with a newer 2010 version. all of this had to be done while floating in freezing cold space, going a few hundred miles per hour, and being held on only by a clip on the astronaut's space boot while trying not to puncture himself with the screwdriver because if he did he's die of space air.

they had a semi-difficult time finding the screws, but even harder time releasing them from their lock, and even getting the screwdriver into the little holes on top to take them out. it took him no less than a few hours to take out the 32 screws (the sun rises and sets every 45 minutes or something like that in space, so that was also difficult), but what he said about the experience was what struck me as life lesson #2:

"i knew that i could do it because we had practiced so many times at home (they have a life-sized replica, and practice it in a giant pool to get the similar zero-gravity effect). i just took a zen approach, and focused on taking out one screw at a time."

wow! that hit me like a ton of bricks.

a) he knew he could do it because he had practiced so many times. here's what i think. i think that we need to give ourselves more credit. we can do SO many things that we don't think we are capable of! i feel like so many of our life's experiences are what give us "practice" and we need not sweat it. we can do it!

on the flip side, the more we practice doing things, the better we become at them. i have recently realized that traits that i so desire (to be more loving of everyone, more patient, be in better shape) come easier when i practice them. soon, they will become second nature.

b) he just focused on one screw at a time until he finished all 32. this kind of goes back to the last post, but man, do i need to just take one thing at a time. focus on the here and now. take a "zen approach" to life, and work one undoing one screw at a time.

hope that was helpful to you!


Jen R. said...

love these posts. and I'm really nerdy too.

Viviana said...

Hey Brookie, you are just on a roll... this makes me think that we "believe in progression, and progression is by design difficult" (like the space mission you just described) Of course none of us want to stay just like we are and so we have to practice to make accurate changes. Unfortunately at times we are under life's pressure and we forget the "zen approach". Thanks for the reminder - I love it!

Lalis said...

Loved the last two posts Brook! :)

David's Holla Atchya! Blog said...

Indeed it was helpful for me. I am learning a lot about the zen approach here in Asia. Thanks for sharing these life lessons.
P.S. There is a funny clip from Flight of the Conchords about naming a star. I don't know where you can find it, but if you do, watch it.