Don’t Let The Stars Get in Your Eyes

It should be obvious by now that I’m fascinated by outer space, a place I’ve seen on TV but will probably never visit. If I did get a chance to leave the atmosphere, I would want a window seat and would spend most of my time looking back at the place I’d just come from.

From what I’ve seen on the printed page and the flat screen, all views of Earth from orbit are enthralling. Even the ones that don’t allow me to say “Hey, there’s my house!”

I don’t know how long it would take for the scenery to become ordinary or (heavens forbid!), boring. Maybe that’s not possible, but there’s a chance we’re going to find out now that a couple of guys have been sent to the International Space Station to stay for a year.

Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko will help answer a boatload of questions during their odyssey.

The one that caught my eye (literally) is this one – quoted from the BBC article linked above:

“However, there are other problems that doctors still need to study and understand. They have poor data on the effects on immune function, for example, and there is considerable concern about the damage spaceflight causes to the eyes. This is a newly recognised phenomenon, and appears to be related to the way fluid is redistributed in a weightless body.

Pressure is seen to build in the skull and on the optic nerve, and a large number of astronauts return to Earth complaining that their vision is not as good as when they went up.”

So in other words, space is beautiful, but the longer you stay, the less you’re going to see.  If diminished vision is part of the deal you have to cut to experience the stunning visuals of long-term space flight, is it worth the price?

When have you agonized over a trade-off?

41 thoughts on “Don’t Let The Stars Get in Your Eyes”

  1. back in the day i used to party pretty hard. i would occasionally wake int he morning with a feeling of remorse and a wish i could turn back the clock. i had one friend and commrad in arms who would say “killed a few brain cells last night” “yeah\” i would reply being fresh out of witty comebacks and feeling the regrets of youth, “but the weak ones die first” was his close to his own proclaimation. that always gave me some solace. im afraid today even some of those weak ones would have a place on my dance card. i enjoyed the days of reckless abandon but they did not come without a price. and now my eyeballs are starting to go too. i will probably have to pass on my one year trip to live in space when the opportunity is offered but we wil see. maybe i can get it done if i have good internet up there.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good morning. I doubt that I will ever have the opportunity to decide on the trade off between going out in space and taking a risk on damage to my eyes, RecentlyI had to make a decision on which of two top choices of cars to buy. This was a hard thing to decide. There were several pluses and minuses for both cars. In the end we just went the dealer that seemed to have the best choice and took that deal without being sure that it was the best one.



    I discovered a new trade off last week while we vacationed in warm places (and gleefully watched the weather reporting 7 ” of snow here!). Recently we purchased a bed that is so comfortable that I never want to leave home again.

    So now I am faced with the dilemma/trade off of bed comfort: The delights of travel which I love vs. my super comfortable bed at home that seems to have solved the hip pain issue. AaAaHh.

    Leave home to travel and increase Ibuprofen consumption.


    1. I hear you, Jacque. My right shoulder has been painful since trying to sleep for 3 nights on the train. My 2 nights in Portland were good for sleeping, but the bed in PA Inn was hard and lumpy; I’m hoping the bed here in Seattle will be better. I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed soon.


  4. The sun shining through my new windows sends a message that I can no longer use bad windows as an excuse to not wash windows. I have made that excuse for several years. Why wash windows when you can’t see through them very well even when they are clean? Windows will now be washed, probably in May, as April is a very busy month for us. I can’t say I am agonizing over this trade off, but wow, those windows really need a good wash!


  5. “Agonized” – can’t think of a thing. I realized a long time ago that I am a quick decision maker (some day I’ll tell the story of my exes and the stereo and the table saw). And since I have a healthy dose of “just deal with it” from my mom, I can’t see any disasters in my past due to my decision-making paradigm (they might be there, but I just don’t recognize them).

    That being said, there are so many reasons I don’t want to go to space. But even if I didn’t have all those other reasons, I am pretty sure that faced with the possibility of losing my sight for the trip, I would pass.


  6. The essence of living well is learning to make good decisions involving trade-offs. For most of my life I have resisted acknowledging that choosing more of a thing meant I would have to accept less of something else. The secret is striking the right balance, seeking that elusive sweet spot that is truly right for us.

    The best recent example was the decision to move from the place I loved so I could experience more of the people I loved. Not a day goes by in which I do not miss Minnesota, but I am equally convinced that I made the right call.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I’m sure you made the right call, Steve, and not just for you.

      Part of you is still here, i bought your cutting board and your blue Dansk pan at your estate sale. Think of you whenever I use either.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I tend not to agonize over decisions either, and by and large things have worked out alright. Here’s a Grook by Piet Hein that addresses the problem of decision-making.


    Whenever you’re called on to make up your mind,
    and you’re hampered by not having any,
    the best way to solve the dilemma, you’ll find,
    is simply by flipping a penny.
    No — not so that chance shall decide the affair
    while you’re passively standing there moping;
    but the moment the penny is up in the air,
    you suddenly know what you’re hoping.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. I think every Dane of my generation knows about Piet Hein, VS. We grew up reading his Grooks in the daily newspaper. He was really something of a renaissance man. Very well known also as a designer, a scientist, and an inventor.


        1. I discovered grooks when I was 10. I was at my great great aunt and uncle’s cabin in Wisconsin and was bored out of my gourd. I found three of the grook books tucked away on a bookshelf and read them all that afternoon. And then again the next day. And again the next day. I have no idea why my Scottish great great aunt had these books, but I am SO glad she did.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Graduate school. I had been accepted to a program in Illinois, had scoped out a place that I could afford to live (and that would let me keep my dog with me), and was doing the mental planning of how to live on very little money for the next three years…and then what I would do once I had survived that. Found myself up one night at midnight sobbing. I didn’t want to go – it had been my dream to get my MFA in scenic design, and now I wasn’t sure anymore. Should I follow that unsure path or admit that maybe the passion for that dream had faded? I had been moving along a path that lead to graduate school and a (hopefully) a career in academia for almost a decade – now what would I do? I did what every sane person does when they are single and sobbing at midnight: call Mommy. Once we got her past that I was not dying nor was anyone else, she was able to talk me down and reassured me that it was okay to change my dream, to change my path. And if it was the right dream, I wouldn’t have to live in a doublewide mobile home in central Illinois to pursue it. Phew. Called the school, deferred my acceptance…and then found a different graduate program altogether. No career in college theater departments for me. I loved that idea, but not enough to make the sacrifices to make it happen.

    And then there was the “stay with the person I want to grow old with or leave and find someone new who wants to be a parent” decision…that wound up being a moot point after Darling Husband came around to sharing my belief that he wouldn’t suck at parenting and maybe if we had just one he would be okay. Phew. One it is. And she is a delight. And Husband does not suck at parenting.

    Liked by 7 people

      1. It was a double wide with, as I recall, six sharing the bedrooms (2 per room I think). I would have been one of two non-smokers. Oh, and my hound would have been one of two or three other pooches. Not minuscule, no – but still kinda tight quarters.


  9. This is so timely! I’ve just spent 1.5 hours on the phone to Ebay and PayPal in an effort to purchase a $5 hand held fan. I reentered my debit card info 12 times so far, and talked to five different reps in both Ebay and PayPal. I’m on hold as I write and am being passed to another rep. This will make six reps. Now, she tells me that she can’t figure out what the problem is! So, she suggests setting up a new PayPal account, but the info I input won’t allow me to even set one up. I was tenaciously determined to get to the bottom of this and now I’m late for a dental appointment. I give up. I told the last lady that I will NEVER order from Ebay or join PayPal in my life and hung up. All of this for just a $5 fan.

    This reminds me of my brother spending 3 hours on the phone trying to get Comcast’s help.


    1. it the same old stuff cb
      if you wont do the technology they wont let you play
      get a paypal account and the doors open wide. you cant do ebay without it.
      youre late for your dentl appointment . i am haveing the same kind of trouble with my dentist. the guy i had for 40 years retired and sent me to a bad choice, now i have one i thought was ok but it turnes out they just saw dollar signs in my mouth, the rest of my family get the bums rush so i am looking for a service based dentist who gets it. lifes a challenge


  10. anna is good at decision, vs doesnt even know what the heck she may have decided wrong. steve knows his is right… am i the only one here who knows they make the wrong decisions all the time? the trick is to get on with it. remember the guy in dances with wolves who is taking kevin costner to the fort and he is eating the bacon and burning his mouth every next step of the bite. he is eating food thats burning his mouth saying ouch ouch every bite and sucking it in one little bite further and burning himself a little more because its still too damn hot? well thats how i feel about life regularly. you never see the guys walking on coals wondering as they start down the path of caols if they made the right decision and decide to turn around and go back. one foot in front of the other and figure out how to get through this variation on a theme,
    if the secret to life is making the right decisions, i fail. if it is figuring out how to craft the path as the bridge is falling down behind you and the road in front of you shows promise if you can get to the part where the ruts arent making it a 50/50 shot as to if your tires will make it or not then i can keep plugging away with the best of them.
    ollie ollie oxen free


    1. Oh, no, tim, you’re not the only one who’s made bad decisions. I have – so many times. But you’re ahead of me if you can figure out how to craft your path while the bridge is falling down behind you.


      1. Wait a minute! I’m torn here between a sermon and a rant. Vs most certainly alluded to the fact that some of her choices hadn’t exactly panned out. Not for a second do I believe that because your decision making process doesn’t involve anguish that you always make the right choice. You merely have enough confidence that if it’s a mistake, it’s usually not the end of the world. You learn your lesson and move on.


    2. I don’t know that I’m good at the decisions themselves so much as I am with living with the decisions I have made. When they’ve been less good, well, I just put on the Big Girl pants and move on.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. They say of me, and so they should,
      It’s doubtful if I come to good,
      I see acquaintances and friends
      Accumulating dividends,
      And making enviable names
      In science, art, and parlor games.
      But I, despite expert advice,
      Keep doing things I think are nice,
      And though to good I never come –
      Inseparable my nose and thumb!

      – Dorothy Parker

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I used to think the way to work out the trade-offs was to do research on the choice. That doesn’t seem so important to me now. These days I steer a course through life’s slalom course of trade-offs by studying myself–my habits, motivations, weaknesses and so forth.

    Dating from my teen years, I have been thrilled by sporty cars. I used to subscribe to Road and Track and similar magazines. But I have never even sat in the seat of a sports car. I just haven’t had the money, and my utilitarian needs have ruled out fantasies of sports cars. Then, when my “Dad’s taxi” minivan wore out about the time I turned 60,

    I had a chance to get the car of my dreams. I did a test drive of a Subaru WRX, a wolf in sheep’s clothing with taut handling and a moster supercharger. When I stomped on the accelerator I was thrust back into the seat like an astronaut blasting off. The WRX appealed to that whole side of me that values fun, thrills and the physical delight of driving a car designed to be used hard. And it was obvious that this was my last chance to own a snorting, lightning-quick car.

    I was sad–but not too sad–when I instead bought my Subaru Outback. It was far more sensible and appropriate for an outdoorsy guy. The quiet interior was good for someone who enjoyed good radio. The high stance of the Outback was better for an older gentleman driver. But I didn’t make the trade-off choice based on the cars so much as I got serious about who I was and how I live. The WRX would have given me a stack of speeding citations, if not actual accidents. In this case, my fantasies of driving a high performance car were better left as fantasies. I didn’t work out the trade-offs by thinking about the cars but by being realistic about who I am, for better or worse.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I ofyen appear to make snap decisions, but what most people don’t realize is that I often have been chewing on an idea for months or even years, so am ready to leap as soon as the opportunity comes along.

    Bad choices? I’m not so sure on those. Mostly the not-so-good paths are a result of coasting.

    One of my favorite Broadway moments is the song Move On with Bernadette Peters and Mandy Patenkin, particularly the lyric she sings, “my choices may have been wrong, but choosing was not”.

    Dithering is it’s own way of choosing, but not a very good one. And you still have to live with the consequences.

    Liked by 1 person

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