Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Little Bit of Stress...

***Warning: This is not appropriate viewing material for parents of freshmen, or prospective, robotics club members.***


Never wanting to create a false impression, I cannot help but keep it real.

I LOVE robotics. I love math and science, gears, making things, industry, design, creativity, and creative expression. I love FIRST, and FIRST 2102 Team Paradox...

But. Oh. Man. I may be losing my head. Just a little bit.


Back in the Fall, when new team members and their families were being wooed to the team, we may have mentioned a "build season... six weeks of intense robotics hours, long nights, weekends, holidays."

Haha... hahahahahaaah... slaps knee, wipes tear from corner of her eye, laughs some more...


Except for the night of winter formal, our dining table has looked, more or less, like this since January 8th, FIRST Launch. And this is because for twelve weeks, and counting, our lives have been very much focused on designing robots, manufacturing parts, sewing parts, mentoring, even robotic themed amusements.


Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. That is, I wouldn't give up robotics, building, designing, supporting, nurturing, learning. It must be quite evident that I am a big fan.
But.
Today I am feeling overwhelmed.

My camera is dying.
So is my car. Does anyone know where I can get a new, or rebuilt, Honda Odyssey 2003 transmission, fuel pump, and side door... cheap?
I am supposed to be at least two other places today, and also here.
Laundry. One word that says so much.
The oven. Yes, that piece of c**p oven. It's broken. Again.
More... there's always more. Right?
I'm too scared to list any more, to think purposely on exactly all the ways I am behind, in over my head, failing... what and who I am neglecting.
Oh dear.


"Build Season" may last six weeks, or it may last twelve weeks, or... or it may last through Championships. One never knows. It helps to have a sense of humor. It helps to not care about looking like you live in a Pottery Barn catalog. It helps to disregard thoughts of anything other than "ssstttuuuubzzzz, magnets, drill bits, motors, button screws, cap machine screws, electrical tape, calipers, micrometers, aluminum chassis. It helps to not faint or cry when hearing: Mom, can you please feed us? No matter how many "us" there are.

We are all in it. Deep. And we love it.


It is a beautiful mess.
But... today I may lose my head.

8 comments:

  1. Ah, the joys of working out 'life' with a family that has hobbies. And friends. Go Robotics kids! (And build a robot for your Mom that does laundry, huh? Just sayin'...) ;)

    Cat

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  2. some deep breathing, a little balance & good to go!

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  3. Cat... or changes the kitty litter! You would appreciate that too, I think? Yesterday was such a big reminder that even the joys can be *too much!*

    Dewatoboy... I tried to balance, but I am not sure I found the right outlet. Ironically, I retreated to my room with a good book, which turns out to be about FIRST and the 2009 build season!! More deep breathing today, and I'll set the book aside for a few days...

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  4. Sorry about your "list". You might want to call some salvage yards for vehicle parts. Sometimes when vehicles are in accidents/rollovers the transmissions and other parts are still good. It's worth a shot! My sister has an Odyssey too and she loves it. Good luck!

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  5. I know of a great salvage yard in Cleveland, but it's a bit far for you.

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  6. I think what you need is a glass of wine at our place, we will be home after 5:30, see you there.

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  7. Hahaha, oh, the build "season." When it's not unheard-of to realize at nine o'clock at night that you've missed dinner because you were having a four-hour-long conversation about wheels. When you cover every. single. surface in those paper towels with the raised bumps because you are ALWAYS dropping very tiny things and if they ever bounce off the table, you will never see them again. When the spills on your good coffee table are SpinKote and vacuum grease, not tea.
    Sadly, I cannot offer much in the way of help. I know nothing about procuring vehicles or ovens or - well, if I were on your side of the country, you would have a willing laundry volunteer, but sadly that is not the case. However, if you do want to talk about cameras at any time (probably *after* the rest of the world has calmed down a little), I'd love to help with that if there's anything you need. (And what kind of camera it is that is dying - I may have something kicking around that could serve as a replacement.)
    (My knowledge base is limited to only a few things that are actually useful, but those few things are on offer!)

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  8. I didn't really know where to put this, so I put it on a robotics post. I was sent this today. Do you think it might be any use for the team?

    http://thinkgeek.com/blog/2011/03/take-these-broken-things.html?cpg=tw

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