The Martian

No matter who you are, there’s something that’s felt impossible for you to get through. Maybe it was postpartum anxiety/depression, the loss of someone dear, or some defining moment when your life would never be the same. Even if it wasn’t something monumental or seemingly insurmountable, we all face internal conflicts that can keep us spinning in circles or send us off into a ditch for extended periods.

For anyone who has ever been through such a time, I want you to see (or read) The Martian, one of the greatest metaphors for how to solve major crises I have seen in a long time. I saw the film and now am attempting to read the book (because I often do things backwards).

The martian is essentially each of us…..but let me back up.

The story reminds us how anything can be solved with logic and a gargantuan amount of patience, humor, and savvy. It’s a testament to the human spirit, to being non-reactionary, to keeping one foot in front of the other, and most directly, to solving one thing at a time.

The lessons in this film harken back to an earlier post of mine entitled “The Secrets of the Universe,” written last October. In that post, I described how Eric and I had met a bed and breakfast owner who had spent two entire years of full-time work renovating an old farm house until it shined with modern-chicness inside, a modernity punctuated from room to room with antiques. The owner, Selena, was a bit of a hero to me during the afterglow of our stay there. I couldn’t imagine spending two entire years dedicated to such an endeavor. I marveled at the tenacity and commitment involved.

This is a woman without children, mind you, but I still want what she’s got, that martian quality. The voice that keeps you grounded and plowing forward one day at a time, toward something larger than you can imagine, toward something that seems totally unlikely or even insane.

I know that in some ways I already am her. That I already am the martian, and so are you. And I think that’s worth knowing. It’s worth knowing that that spirit and persistence lives beneath our surface, that at the core of our planetary bodies lies a vibrant fire. Where will yours take you?




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It took me a long while to consider the title for this blog. I wanted something that defined me both as a person and a writer. A name that would also perhaps speak to a particular audience. Why “The Astronaut Wife?” Since my early days of blogging, I have leaned toward more of a confessional style of writing, to some degree. I write as much truth as I can muster at each phase of life. In addition, I also come from a conservative Southern family, and I have grown very far from those roots. You could say I have rocketed to the moon in terms of my upbringing. I have rocketed away from debilitating family dynamics, from worldviews that held me beneath a rock. In my thirties, and now my early to mid-forties, I have learned to live more comfortably with both sides of the moon and write just as much about the raw, dark places as the light ones. Don’t quote me on that, though. It’s quite likely I will lean more heavily toward one or the other depending on which way the wind is blowing. Then, we get to the wife part, and quite frankly, this is where the feminist in me bucked and brayed. Identifying myself as “wife” has felt simply stymieing, particularly since becoming a mother six and a half years ago. But if the truth is going to be told, being a wife to my particular husband has altered my entire shape and has given voice to much of the inner deep. So in fact, becoming a wife was the singular most life-changing moment for me in my journey to the moon and back. Fellow travelers, you can feel safe and comfortable here. What matters more than what you might “get” about me is what you might take for yourself.

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