Story of the Year


Where were you a year ago? Were you better off? Worse off? In a different city, a different country? Not yet in a relationship, about to be a parent, learning you had to say goodbye to someone who is now gone? Just setting out on a journey, or just returning?

The Commander and Chief Science Officer on EVA. October 2015.

Change happens daily, hourly, yet the magnitude of it lies in wait like a song slowly rising to a crescendo. Then, as the year ends, it hits a high note, and you think, “Where did THAT come from?” I look back over the last ~364.25 days at and see so many differences from the year before it’s hard to pick out the individual changes. Like the notes in a song, they all blur together. Some phrases do stand out, however: new themes, transitions, sudden changes in rhythm and tempo, and, of course, the surprise endings.

Surprise! Someone I’ve known since she was a tiny baby went to college – on a full scholarship, no less – with a self-described mission is to end human trafficking. Way to go Clare! 18 years ago, when you were born, I was the age you are today, and not nearly as directed. You’ll make the world a better place, I know. Speaking of born, three fresh-baked humans joined my fold this year. This is a big deal for anyone, but particularly in a group like mine, which doesn’t make new people all that often. You three are the children of doctors and engineers. We’ll see to it that you have the best of everything. The world is already a better place because you are in it.

Our 100-day photo.

18 years ago, where was I? Funny enough, working on Mars Suit design at UC —> Read More