Ann of Two Thousand Days
As I go about my daily tasks–editing, running, cooking, what have you–I find myself increasingly obsessed with going to Mars. This has been going on for more than a month, ever since I got the Round 2 notification from Mars One in late December–a fact which played havoc with my carefully thought-out New Year’s resolutions. I had to revise them, and that did not make me happy. Contrariwise, it did add happiness and excitement and many wasted hours of dreaming to my day-to-day life.
Along about New Year’s, I also read an insightful post (contact me if you want details, as I’m simply too lazy to look them up right now) that in brief stated, “Don’t make a weighing-you-down list of things to do, like chores; instead, make a list of how you want to be, and tailor the list to achieving those “to be” goals. To be, instead of to do. I want to be a Martian. (Incidentally, I also want to be athletic, confident, and uncluttered–but when I think about it, Martian covers it all.)
So, I want to be a Martian. I passed my physical in January. The next step (it’s now early February) is an interview, probably sometime after April. I can’t wait that long. I have to wait that long. Grrrrrrr. The longer the wait, the more I do the “negative talking thing” to myself. I see a list of “Five People I Want to Go to Mars With” and I’m not on it. What do they know that I don’t know? Others get interviews; I send out feelers and get nothing. (I admit, self-promotion is not one of my fortés.) Other applicants are rocket scientists, physicists, mechanics, astrobiologists. I’m a … and here I draw a blank. I tell myself to start learning basic mechanics–that seems like a necessary skill. But when my outside weather display stops giving me outdoor temperatures on a really cold day and needs more than a change of batteries, I hand it to my husband, the mechanical genius. I should learn from him, I really should. Instead, I walk out to the front porch and feel the temperature. Yes, still too cold to run.
Should I be lucky (not skilled, not smart–remember what I said about self-promotion?) enough to go to Round 3, I’ll have to figure out why they want me, other than being an older person with limited life expectancy anyway. Having decent people skills and being a nice person seem like poor skills to list on a resume to be an astronaut. I can kind of garden in sandy soil, but that doesn’t seem much of a recommendation either, although it might have application to the dusty soil of Mars. I wish I’d paid more attention to tenth-grade chemistry class, the one that convinced me I wasn’t as smart as I thought I was.
And then Round 4, which consists of (roughly) two thousand days of training. That would be wonderful, magnificent, marvelous! I could train, I could learn anything they want to teach me. Astrophysics? No sweat. Microbiology? You got it. And then my New Year’s resolution hits: Why wait? Ack! How can I narrow it down? Maybe I should go fix my Aerogrow, the hydroponic garden that sits on my counter–or did, till it broke. You can fix it, Ann; it’s not rocket science. Yet.
(Elliott–if you’re reading this and you come home to a torn apart, nonfunctional, machine sitting on the kitchen counter and a despondent wife scratching her head, feel free to–gently, quietly–help put it back together.)