It’s January 4, 2012.
January 1 was a Sunday – New Years Day – For most people, it was a day of doing NOTHING after a night of revelry ringing in the new year . . . and RECOVERY from the (probable) month-long antics that go with “The Holiday Season” (Parties, Shopping, Travelling, Family, etc)
During all of that time, the “Normal Flow” of life was likely non-existent . . . Somewhat like an uncontrolled tumble . . . from one thing to the next to the next to the next without much rhyme or reason . . . Chaotic by Nature and definitely not conducive to routine and anything resembling a work flow.
January 2 was a Monday and was declared the “National Holiday” for New Years Day . . . Most folks seemed to use that day as an extension of what happened on January 1 . . . but this time with a swelling lump of dread in the throat . . . OMG! The Party’s coming to an END, and I’m going to have to start acting like a responsible ADULT again.
For some, January 3 was the day for re-entry . . . except for many here in Middle TN who have children who do not start back to school until today.
Whether on the 3rd or 4th, re-entry is not always a smooth and pleasant experience for all people.
I drew an analogy that I think might help navigate folks back to “feet on the ground normalcy.”
This is worth paying attention to because there’s definitely the possibility of BURN-OUT if you dive in too quickly without being appropriately equipped/shielded.
Imagine that you’re a space ship and when the holiday season started (Thanksgiving time), you left the “Normal atmosphere” and entered space where all of the rules change . . . Less gravity and friction . . . less order . . . less ability to control/maneuver . . . and moving at an incredibly FAST rate of speed.
It’s time to re-enter . . . I found this wonderfully simple explanation of what you’re facing from the howstuffworks.com website: How Do Spacecraft Re-Enter the earth’s Atmosphere (Excerpts Quoted below)
“Spacecraft re-entry is tricky business for several reasons. When an object enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it experiences a few forces, including gravity and drag. Gravity will naturally pull an object back to earth. But gravity alone would cause the object to fall dangerously fast. Luckily, the Earth’s atmosphere contains particles of air. As the object falls, it hits and rubs against these particles, creating friction. This friction causes the object to experience drag, or air resistance, which slows the object down to a safer entry speed.
Pete Turner/Stone Collection/Getty Images
Objects that enter the Earth’s atmosphere face a rough trip.
This friction is a mixed blessing, however. Although it causes drag, it also causes intense heat. Specifically, shuttles face intense temperatures of about 3000 degrees Fahrenheit (about 1649 degrees Celsius) [source:Hammond]. Blunt-body design helps alleviate the heat problem. When an object — with blunt-shaped surface facing down — comes back to Earth, the blunt shape creates a shock wave in front of the vehicle. That shock wave keeps the heat at a distance from the object. At the same time, the blunt shape also slows the object’s fall [source:NASA]. The Apollo program, which moved several manned ships back and forth from space during the 1960s and 1970s, coated the command module with special ablative material that burned up upon re-entry, absorbing heat.
Unlike the Apollo vehicles, which were built for one-time use, space shuttles are reusable launch vehicles (RLVs). So instead of merely using ablative material, they must incorporate durable insulation.
Remember . . . You’re the Spaceship!
Your Re-entry is into the atmosphere from the “Outer Space” of the Holidays.
How will you prepare yourself to deal with:
- Air Resistance
- Intense Heat
- Blunt Body design
- Shock Wave
- Ablative Material
- Durable Insulation