I submit the photo the left.
The last 14 or 15 months have probably been the toughest of my career. I had a major engineering effort to get ready for several months of deployments in unforgiving conditions and then had to go with the instrument on the deployments and do all the field repairs, maintenance and then some project management on top of that.
This picture isn't spectacular. But I have actually learned something from this picture and it is symbolic of a newer and more mature aspect on life for me.
On the day this picture was taken. I had been spending every waking hour for several days worrying, working and freezing my ass off out inside the airplane trying to fix a glitch in my instrument. I was sick as a dog and at one point had to resort to notes and hand signals to communicate with people since I lost my voice. My diet had gone to hell, excercise was a distant memory and I was FIERCELY missing my wife and son.
But you know what I see in that picture? Yes, I see a puffy face. Yes I see my beard is getting out of hand. Yes I see exhaustion in my eyes. But what really strikes me is that I am smiling. Smiling. That's it? Yes. Smiling.