I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
It was a pleasure to read Chris Hadfield’s memoir—it took me only 1 day. I was surprised at how many little “rules of living” that I share with an astronaut. For example, I always have Plan B and Plan C prepared, just in case Plan A doesn’t work. By and large, I find that I really don’t need Plan C, but it is useful to have anticipated disaster and to know “where do I go from here?” (But I also have a little saying: What Miss Wanda wants, Miss Wanda gets—I’m pretty used to getting my own way!)
Like Hadfield, I also believe in enjoying the small things. If we only are happy during the big positive events, we won’t be happy very often! I celebrate any small victory or beautiful everyday event so that there are things to enjoy on a regular basis. (As well as reading An Astronaut’s Guide, I also cleared, cleaned and reorganized my cookbook shelf in the kitchen yesterday—I’m spending far more time than I thought I would just admiring my handy work and celebrating cleanliness!!)
Of course, besides the philosophical themes, it was also fun to hear about the details of living in space. Hadfield answers most of my questions about living conditions aboard the ISS (although I’m still wondering how female astronauts/cosmonauts deal with the bathroom issue?) In addition to the danger factor, that alone would keep me from ever wanting to go to space! Besides, if there aren’t any birds there, why would a birding-obsessed gal such as myself ever want to go there?
I was also amused to find out that Hadfield’s children tease him—playing a game called The Colonel Says, where they yell out some of his favourite sayings and laugh hysterically at them! Still, they seem to be very supportive of his endeavours, with one son helping him with social media while he was commander of the ISS.
All in all, a person has to be very driven and competitive to become an astronaut, but despite this Hadfield comes across as a pretty decent guy that it would be very interesting to have a coffee with (presumably, Tim Horton’s coffee, the favourite on the ISS).