About the Episode

In this episode, join us for an out-of-this-world conversation as we sit down with retired NASA astronaut, Clay Anderson. With three decades of service at NASA under his belt, Clay shares his remarkable journey from the depths of space to the comfort of his hometown, where he now runs a museum.

Delve into the challenges of maintaining a work-life balance when your career takes you far from home for extended periods. From the cosmic highs of space exploration to the down-to-earth realities of transitioning careers, Clay offers invaluable insights on finding equilibrium and support both in the workplace and within your personal life. Tune in as we explore the cosmos of career transitions with one of NASA’s finest.

Clayton Anderson

NASA ASTRONAUT (Retired)
NASA U. S. ASTRONAUT (Retired)

Astronaut Clayton –“Astro Clay”– Anderson, Nebraska’s only Astronaut, spent 167 days in space and 38 hours and 28 minutes in executing 6 spacewalks. He applied 15 times before NASA selected him as an Astronaut in 1998, and he spent 30 years working for NASA; 15 as an engineer and then 15 as an Astronaut.

Succeeding in one of the most difficult and coveted jobs in the world through perseverance and a never-give-up mantra, Anderson employs NASA’s “Plan, Train and Fly (Execute)” philosophy to his speaking engagements and projects. Coupled with lessons learned in the areas of leadership, persistence, teamwork, and passion, he provides unique and “out of this world” insights for those seeking to achieve results through thoughtful, practical, and successful execution.

Clay’s AWARD-WINNING books, The Ordinary SpacemanTM: From Boyhood Dreams to Astronaut, and A is for Astronaut: Blasting Through the Alphabet, along with It’s a Question of Space: An Ordinary Astronaut’s Answers to Sometimes Extraordinary Questions, Letters from Space, and his newly released children’s book So You Want To Be An Astronaut are all available through www.astroclay.com and www.astronautclaytonanderson.com as well as a special “Astronaut Edition” Fisher Space Pen and other Astro Clay logo merchandise.

Clay is also the CEO and President of the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum in Ashland, NE.

Episode Transcript

Mark Williams and Clay Anderson:

Mark Williams 00:07
You’re listening to Balance, Not Burnout, a podcast helping leaders rethink the speed of their business. And I’m your host, Mark Williams. Join me as I explore the power of a more intentional, balanced approach to leadership. Thanks for listening.

Mark Williams 00:25
Hey, everybody, this is Balance, Not Burnout. I’m your host, Mark Williams, CEO of Brokers International. And today, I have a incredible pleasure of speaking to an astronaut. And not many people, I think, take that opportunity. So today we’re going to speak with Clay Anderson. So Clay currently is the CEO and President of the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum. Clay is a retired astronaut, he spent 30 years with NASA, 167 days in space, and completed six spacewalks, which is pretty amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation with an astronaut. So Clay, Welcome, and thanks for joining the show.

Clayton Anderson 01:06
Thank you, Mark. It’s my pleasure to be here. And I’m honored that you would consider me worthy.

Mark Williams 01:13
Sure. So I’m super, super, super interested in talking to someone who has spent so much time away from your family. Number one, how do you handle that? You know, for all of us work life balance is usually eight to five, maybe it’s maybe it’s a graveyard shift. And we have our families for you. It’s extended periods of time away from your family, which can be difficult. But before we get into that, why don’t you talk a little bit about how you got into astronaut like your life in general, which is so intriguing to me. How did you end up becoming an astronaut that sounds like a like a kid dream.

Clayton Anderson 01:46
Somebody owed me a lot of money. And so that’s how I got in. But in seriousness, I come from Ashland, Nebraska, very small town, between Omaha and Lincoln. And as a kid, I was enamored with the space program I was probably tied in or pulled in with the Apollo eight mission when my mom and dad awakened my brother and sister and I and put us on the floor in front of a black and white TV. And we watched on Christmas Eve in 1968, as the Apollo eight guys went behind the moon for the first time, and then came outside or came out on the other side of the Moon, I was pretty much hooked. Then my mother would say I was hooked three years earlier, when I donned a costume that was created at home of aluminum foil and a hat box that I marched in the parade as a Mercury astronaut. So all of that was just being a kid, right? And then I realized that, well, in order to do this, I better go to school, I better get educated, I probably am going to need to have a job for a while. And then I’m gonna figure out how to apply right, it’s an application process, just like, I mean, I think the form was the SF 171 The government form the standard form 171 that we all had to fill out. And of course, you know, that was back in the typewriter wideout days. And I was just fortunate enough to get selected. It’s, it’s kind of a long process for me, I applied 15 times over 15 years and didn’t even get a sniff until you’re 13 When I got interviewed for the first time. And that was when I actually knew that I might be seriously considered. And so I didn’t really change my focus, I just continued to apply. I continued to try to do the best I could at work. And then eventually, in year 15, they graciously selected me as the first and currently only astronaut from the state of Nebraska.

Mark Williams 03:50
Awesome, fantastic. amazing to me, and talk a little bit about which maybe people don’t know, but the training to be an astronaut. I don’t even know what’s involved with that. But I’m assuming it’s a huge amount of training and the timeframe before you even get to space. What is that like?

Clayton Anderson 04:08
So as a baby astronaut, which is my hashtag phrase on Twitter. I think the training is general at first. So my analogy is to consider when you go into the military and you do basic training, right as the first two years as astronauts, we spent a lot of time getting to know each other. We spent time traveling to all of the NASA centers to figure out what exactly they do for NASA. He spent a lot of time in basic classes and lectures, which some of them were good, some of them sucked. But the idea was to give you general basic knowledge that would allow you to grow as an astronaut for example, we got media training, so if you’ve never talked to the media, then we they brought in a consultant and he trained us for a week on how to do press cetacean how to do an interview what happens if you get accosted by a nasty reporter with a mic in your face, right? All those kinds of things. And then we learned to fly in the T 38. That was probably one of the most exciting and fun things for me was to be able to get into a two engine jet that the Air Force uses to train their pilots. Those kinds of things were both exciting, but sometimes they were tedious, right? A lot of memorization, lotta reading a lot of studying a lot exams. We were one of the first groups of astronauts selected that had to do exams. And that was kind of silly, actually. But you know, they watched us with video because they they had had rumors of cheating and, you know, crap like that, that. Come on. We’re supposed to be the best of the best. Why would we cheat? Right? Yeah. I remember my first exam. We were all in the room. 32 of us. And it was a paper exam, right? And I went through the exam and like five minutes, and I was done. And I looked at it, I go, I screwed this up. I had to screwed up. I went through and I checked all my answers again. And I was done. I this, they’re all good. I can’t do anything. Right. I got up and I walked down the room as the first one out of the room with 31. superstars, right. And I just felt like I’d made some horrible mistake, but it would turn out I didn’t miss any questions on the test. So then that was when I first told myself I belonged. Yeah, I wasn’t quite sure I belonged at first. But when that happened, Yeah, I’m good.

Mark Williams 06:41
If you don’t mind, touch a little bit on your personal life. Balancing being away from home. You’re married. I don’t know if you have kids, but like describe the family life and how that it the support that you have, obviously, when you come home, but just coming back home after being gone for periods of time? How do you balance that spend time with the family and then knowing that you’re number one, you’re going to space, which has its own risks and concerns and safety and all of that. I’m just interested in how you balance that and keep focus at work, especially when you’re going to periods of time and how do you stay connected with your family.

Clayton Anderson 07:20
So first of all, I’m married to Susan. We’re in our 32nd year of

Mark Williams 07:26
marriage. Congratulations. Wonderful.

Clayton Anderson 07:28
Thank you. I have two children. Cole. He’s 27 and Sutton will be 23 in a couple of weeks. Cole lives and works with his wife, Mary Kate two is a doctor. They live in Omaha and then our daughter, Sutton. She’s modeling and working in Arlington, Texas. Oh, what I would tell people is, you know, the key to this is my wife. She’s pretty much amazing. She’s intelligent, she’s independent. She’s strong willed. She’s extremely gorgeous. And she’s just, she’s what I needed, right? There’s no way I could have done this without her. And as then as the kids grew up them as my family and my support structure. You know, when you become an astronaut, I was used to be a NASA engineer, and going into work at eight and coming home at five typically, yeah, I might have to take a trip sometimes. Or I might have to work late or I might have to work on a weekend or something. But not very often. Right. So life was pretty good in suburbia. The kids were doing their thing, Little League and dance and ice skating and all those kinds of things. And Susan, and I basically split the duties of the household. And but we were good partners. As parents, I think, in that we always talk things out, right? It wasn’t gonna tell your dad or go ask your dad or go ask your mom, it was alright, we need to come to a consensus as mom and dad and deal with that going forward. So so that was pretty normal, I think for most people. But then when I became an astronaut, it changed dramatically. I was traveling a lot I was stressed.

Mark Williams 09:16
And you might be asking what at what age were your kids when you became an astronaut? When you really started having extended periods away? How

Clayton Anderson 09:22
old were your kids at that point? Cole was six and Sutton was two. Oh, so

Mark Williams 09:26
they were little so that. So a lot of the a lot of the day to day. Responsibilities really define your wife?

Clayton Anderson 09:33
Yes. And so it just a quick timeline. When I became an astronaut. They were six and two. And that’s roughly when I started to train and go into Russia. Then when I first flew, they were 10 and six. When I flew the second time they were 14 and 10. So you get a kind of a timeline of you know, most of their young lives. I was an astronaut traveling and doing stuff Which meant that the responsibilities of the household of transportation of yard work of maintenance of hospitalization, all that stuff fell on Sue. So much so that Sue a 40 hour employee with a stellar career at NASA Johnson Space Center, and moving up the ladder, had to pull back and go to a 30 hour a week work schedule, such that she could take care of the kids. So that was the first indication of what a wonderful human she was, or is because she gave up her career and sacrificed her goal goals so that I could chase mine. And most most people don’t understand that right? A lot of the military spouses of their astronauts, that’s what they did. Anyway, they took care of the family. The dude flew jets where we flew or was on an aircraft carrier deployed to Afghanistan, whatever it was, the spouse, the female typically took care of the family. Well, for us, that was a new, a nuance for us a different lifestyle change. And she handled it beautifully. I’m not sure I handled it as well, because I was constantly under stress. And so when I would come home, I couldn’t leave work at the office. Right? Yeah, it became difficult. And so my hot buttons were much more sensitive with the kids. And I wish I could have all that back. Right. I wish I could go back and do this, again, understanding that what happened to me and make it right, make it better. But of course, you can.

Mark Williams 11:38
So describe for me, that’s a great segue. And I really appreciate your frankness, I do quite a bit of traveling as well. It’s slowed down a little bit. But I used to spend 45/48 weeks out of the year on the road, Monday through Friday, definitely takes a toll on the family for sure. And every time I come home, I feel like I’m reconnecting and reestablishing. But I’m curious in your situation. For you personally. How did you how did you manage the the lows? And I’ll call that a burnout in its own way. Sometimes it’s just you haven’t seen the family? You haven’t seen the kids at work? It obviously is a heavy load. How do you How did you mentally and maybe even physically take the breaks or keep yourself, keep your mind? Right?

Clayton Anderson 12:21
Two things. One will be a story of, you know, exercise was important to me. And, you know, the way I dealt with depression or absenteeism from the family is I worked out all the time, I was in way better shape back in those days than I am now. And it’s disappointing to me in certain aspect, because I simply the time constraint is different now. But the other thing, I’ll tell you a story, it didn’t become hugely difficult until I was assigned to fly on the International Space Station. Well, as soon as that was directed, that meant I had to travel internationally, and mostly to Russia. And, and so I remember very clearly, my first trip to Russia, was in the winter, January, February. And when I arrived in Moscow, we got in a van, I came to the strength of the airport, right? I walk out, I have no idea what the hell is going on where I am, I find this guy who’s got my name on a sign his name is a theme. He speaks no English, but he is my driver to get me in the van to take me to a grocery store, where I’m supposed to buy my own food, because we’re going to Star City where they train cosmonauts. And I’m going to live in an American built cottage built by the Russian Air Force. And I’m going to have to live on my own right. So I get there. And as we drive in this van, at in the dark in the wintertime, we stopped at an intersection because there was a dead body lathe. Oh my gosh, with a military guy holding a machine gun standing over this body and I’m thinking, holy crap, what have

Unknown Speaker 14:12
I done? Welcome to Russia.

Clayton Anderson 14:16
And then we get to the place and I go through, you know, my first I don’t even know if it was my first week or first couple of weeks. But you you were typically overseas for four to five weeks. Wow. And in those four to five weeks, typically in America, it would have been packed with training. But the Russians don’t have as many simulators. They don’t have as much or as good at turnaround time. And so there’s a lot of dead time in that four to five weeks, bro. That’s when you think about your family. Right You bet. This was pre cell phone. This was in order to have a teleconference with your family. You had to go out and you had to go to it store like Best Buy, and you had to buy a camera that was gonna sit on the top your laptop, and you had to load all this crappy software, and then you’re in Russia, so you had to hope it would work with the internet, right? That was still shaky because we were plugged into the ethernet cables on the wall, not Wi Fi anywhere. And so to get all that to work and to be able to see the kids and not have their views, pixelated, and you know, and frozen in the middle of them talking to you, it was very difficult. So let me go to the story real quick. So I’m feeling pretty, pretty low. I’m pretty depressed. I’m, it’s freezing cold, it’s dark all the time. And I’m thinking, What the hell have I done? Well, one of the astronauts said, Hey, we’re going to the club at the caf art gallery in Moscow this weekend on Saturday, would you like to go? And I’m thinking, Well, do I really want to go to an art gallery? No. But do I want to get out of this place? Yeah. So I went. And I’m a man of faith, I have a very strong belief in God. And it turns out in this museum, I bought a book, a guide book. And we’ve kind of separated off and did our thing and said, we’ll meet back at whatever time I walked through a door into a room. And I turned around and I saw this massive painting on the wall. It was framed in a big, fat, thick gold ornate frame, right? It had to be my memory says 10 feet tall, this picture probably wasn’t that big. But as I looked at it, it’s Christ. And he’s sitting on a stone in the middle of the wilderness. And the name of the painting is Christos, napus, Taenia. And that means Christ in the desert, right? So this is when Christ did his 40 days, 40 nights of penance in the desert, right. And it was painted by Ivan cram school, a Russian artist, and it was amazing. And I stared at it for 30 minutes. I just stood there and stared at it. Any you know, as I as I looked at the painting, and I looked at Christ face, which was long and thin, and drawn and pale, and sad, and his fingernails were long and his hand was in his ears, chin was in his hand, and he was sitting on this rock, with just a sheet or a cloth around his body. All I could think of was, hey, if you can do that, for me, I can do this for you. And that was a turning point for me, mentally, so much so that I tried to chase down a print of this painting, which I couldn’t find anywhere, I may have to go look again, now that I think about it, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. And I wanted to give it to my pastor from my church in Webster, Texas, because when I left to go on my training trip, he was my pastor. But then in the middle of my trip, he left, he was gone, he went to a new church. And I never said goodbye. And that was hugely important to me, it was more important to my wife, she was pretty angry, cuz she knew our relationship was pretty tight. Excuse me. And so I commissioned someone to Paint me a copy of that painting, such that I could take it to him in Lexington, Kentucky, where he ended up at the University of Kentucky at the collegiate Methodist Church, I found a way to get to Kentucky to speak to a group such that I could attend church on that Sunday and present it to him in front of the congregation and tell them the story. So

Mark Williams 18:47
that really, you really found your inspiration in that which is awesome. Congratulations for that. Let’s transition a little bit so you have this incredible career only astronaut from Nebraska, you you have six spacewalks. Incredible, then you leave, leave, I don’t leave the astronaut and business I guess you’d call it and now you’re running a museum. Talk about a total 180. From what you’ve been used to talk a little bit about that transition. How did you end up at the museum and maybe some challenges that are that maybe some of our listeners, obviously, we don’t have a lot of astronaut listeners, probably so many more in business. It’s interesting to go from such an interesting career to something different, a little more business ish, I’ll call it um, talk to us a little bit about that the transition and maybe some of the challenges that you had at the beginning, truly becoming a I’ll call it a running a business as opposed to being an astronaut.

Clayton Anderson 19:41
So I retired from NASA in 2013, and was basically retired for until 2022, playing some golf, writing some books and being pretty much a slug. I think my wife noticed more than anything. But I will say running a museum is way harder than being an astronaut. And the other buzz phrase I use is that, you know, if people look at me and say, Well, you don’t know anything about running in a museum, my response to them is, well, I didn’t know a whole lot about being an astronaut. And that turned out pretty well. Good answer. And I believe I’m not a genius, but I’m slightly above average and intelligence. So I’m a good learner, a quick learner. And I have a lot of good help, right. And so my goal, and I was recruited to come do this job. It wasn’t like I put in an application, I was on the board of directors at the museum. My goal was to basically try to bring NASA artifacts to the museum to, you know, enhance the displays. It wasn’t until people started to whisper in my ear that we’d like you to consider running this place that I thought, well, this is kind of strange. Why would you be wanting me to, to do this. And so it would turn out that the previous leader here, resigned, and went back to the East Coast. And they needed a new leader, and some entrepreneurs in Omaha. 12 of them actually flew down to Houston to court, my wife and I, for a couple of days and convinced me to come back home and take this job, which I did. But when I got here in May, there was a lot of, Wow, did I do the right thing? Sure. We prayed a lot about it. We talked a lot about it. We talked to our children about the opportunity, I talked to two of my closest and dearest friends in the world in Houston. And it was a God thing for me that I’m working in a museum built on a hill that I used to crawl on when I was a youngster. The museum opened its doors in May of 1998, one month before NASA called and asked me to become the first Nebraska astronaut, the museum is built in my hometown. Because my brother here, my son’s working here, my uncle’s the mayor of the town, and museums in my sister just down the road, you know, everything came full circle. Sure. And coming home seemed to be the right thing to do. Now, one year and nine months or so into this endeavor. I believe with all my heart, I’m supposed to be here doing this. And that. This is where I’m going to finish my career.

Mark Williams 22:35
First, let me applaud you on. You read a lot about people at older ages, changing careers, obviously, you’ve done that successfully. So congratulations. And you’ve done it in to talk about totally different environments, from being an astronaut, which again, I mean, you and I could talk for hours about just the training and your your walks and all of that. And then you go into this business. In my experience, one of the toughest parts about running a business is finding good people. And you alluded to that, right? It’s finding a good team. I don’t even want to call it a support system. It’s literally finding a good team. And unfortunately, I think for me, my experience has been most people can do a job, right? So if you apply for a job and you have a basic skill set, I believe that most people can can learn and do and do most jobs. What I have found is usually when someone doesn’t work out, it’s a culture fit. It’s a culture issue, not necessarily that they couldn’t perform the job. It’s not that personality didn’t fit the flavor of the organization. For whatever reason, right sometimes it’s it’s I made a bad hire. I just didn’t didn’t do my homework. Sometimes it’s maybe it’s a mismatch of personalities within teams. That doesn’t, that doesn’t seem to jive. I’m curious in your world, comparing the astronaut business where you’re spending these huge amounts of time with people that were strangers that have become I’m assuming closer, but you don’t get to choose those people, right? Those are people that you’re in a class with. They were they were selected in different personalities. And now you’re in a business where you’re selecting your support team, describe me a little bit of the differences there. Because in one, you’re kind of forced to work with those that are with you. And here you get to make the decisions. And if you make the wrong one, it’s on you. And that’s a little bit different mindset. But

Clayton Anderson 24:30
it’s totally correct. Right. As an astronaut, and this has been a tough struggle for me, as an astronaut I work with highly trained, highly capable, highly educated, highly motivated, typically people now they weren’t all that way. I mean, you know, you have your few, I mean, it is a government installation after all nouns. And so you have those dudes that stand by the pond and throw bread in the pond all day and you know, and they’re getting paid a great government salary. We had those people But for the most part, the mentality there is different. It’s a complex team made up of very highly educated and highly motivated folks whose goal is a mission, right? The mission could be designed in a spacesuit, it could be, you know, sending a shuttle to the space station, it could be building the space station are doing a spacewalk. But all of those things have consequences and have typically have human life on the end of the spear. And so that focus is what drives people to succeed. Now, you may not go to party with those folks afterwards, or spend time with them on the weekends. But when when the poop hits the fan, those are the people you count on. And yeah, they weren’t given to you, you weren’t allowed to select them. And selecting astronaut cruisers is black magic to me. But typically, that motivational factor allows you to get through what you need to get through and solve the problem. So now go to where I am today. And you’re right, it’s totally different, as as a leader of this museum, and trying to build a business mindset and manager mindset. It’s one of those things where I’ve heard the term the right person on the right seat on the right bus, right. I think everybody that’s read management books, has heard that it doesn’t work that way. It does if you’re a very wealthy organization. So if you find that right person, for the right seat on your bus, you can steal them, you can say, hey, I want you to come work for me, I’ll give you a double the salary and three times a vacation, and they come. But in my situation, I’m looking for a good person in a seat on our bus. Yeah, that’s what I need. I need a good person, I need somebody I can coach and I can mentor because like you said, people can do the job. I mean, good God run a museum and Ain’t Rocket Science, right. And so if I find that good person who’s willing to grow and has passion for what we do, and sees the vision for where we want to go, I just need loyalty for two or three or four years right to stay with me for a little while. So I can build some momentum. And so now we’re we’re working to build a strong, dedicated, loyal, loyal is a big word to me, your team that will hang with me for a while and help me see this through. If I have to keep hiring people all the time, and all we do is interview and hire and then get rid of and then hire again. That’s gonna make it really rough down the road. Yeah, for sure.

Mark Williams 27:37
An amazing, amazing career. When you look back on the things that you’ve done, including what you’re doing now running, running a museum, which is dear, obviously dear to your heart, what the museum stands for? What would you say you’re most proud of you have an incredible career. When you look back, and you say, Wow, this is this? I did this. What do you beat your chest done?

Clayton Anderson 28:02
Oh, that’s a good question. It’s a tough question. I guess if you forced me to say one thing. I would say that there is no one, no single human that’s more proud than me, to be Nebraska’s astronaut to be from Nebraska to be home in Nebraska giving back to the state and the people and the communities that made me the person I am today. I’ve always tried to help others. And I’m trying to give back now and I don’t have a bazillion dollars, I would love to be able to donate a Brazilian to something right and build a building or a dorm or put my name on a scholarship or whatever it would be. I can’t do that. I’m a government employee. But I can give back. And what I’m choosing to do is to come home and give back to that community that raised me. You know, I tell the story a lot about the first time I was on the space station. I was looking forward to flying over Nebraska and taking a bunch of photos of my hometown and I looked at the computer that said our trajectory was going to take us right between Omaha and Lincoln, which would be absolutely perfect. And so I planned I set a timer I put cameras all around the window and velcroed it and I had fresh batteries and I had digital cards image cards because I was going to take a bazillion photos right. And as I leaned down in the window and you kind of get a perspective with this hurricane behind me on the podcast is you have to lay down kind of in look to the right or left to see where you are and see where you’re traveling over the earth. And so it took me a while to get my bearings as we came in over the Northwest United States. And I had to find the Missouri River and some of the dammed lakes on the river to make sure I was looking in the right place. Follow it down to the to the Missouri that squiggles between Iowa and Nebraska and then find Omaha you The biggest landmark I wouldn’t know. Right? Sure. And Lincoln, well, they’re just big gray blobs on the earth with your naked eye. They don’t, you know, they don’t stand out with big Omaha, Omaha. Lincoln doesn’t have a star where the capital is right. And the Platte River doesn’t have the italicized Platte River written on it that we remember from Maps as a kid. So as we flew down, and I was starting to see and figure out that we were coming down the Missouri River, and then I could finally see that big gray blob called OMA ha, well, the South Bend of the Platte River is right where I grew up. And so as I looked and found that, I thought I was gonna take a ton of pictures. Well, I didn’t take a single picture, I just cried. I was 230 miles above my home with all those people, that meant so much to me. Sure. Below me, and I just couldn’t do it. And I just floated there and watched and of course, it moves by really quickly, five miles every second. So, you know, within a minute or two, they were it was gone is gone. And it wouldn’t be until the next time I had that opportunity that that I was emotionally stable enough to be able to actually take the photos. So yeah, that was a very emotional time for me. Sure.

Mark Williams 31:16
Well, clay, I asked every guest this question. It’s a Saturday or a Sunday morning, you have no responsibilities, you can do what you’d like and be with whom you’d like, describe for me your perfect Saturday morning or Sunday morning.

Clayton Anderson 31:33
You know, one thing I miss that I don’t do enough, and I want to try to do more is I don’t read as much as I used to. It would be really cool. If I could wake up have a nice steaming cup of coffee, and maybe just sit for an hour and read. I like to learn but I typically read fun books like Jack Clancy and Jack Ryan, you know, the and I love John Grisham. And I love Nevada bar. I don’t know if people know who she is. But she writes murder mysteries. And she’s a dear friend of mine. And I love to read her books. And then there’s a guy named Tom Abrams down in Houston, who’s an ABC TV anchor. But he also is a great author. He writes really fun, fast. books that I just love to read. My problem is I get into a few few pages and I’m falling asleep. You me both. So if I could sleep lay, and then have a nice steaming cup of coffee and maybe sit outside and good weather and read a book for an hour. I think that would be pretty nice. And I’m going to work to try to do that. The other thing would be just spending time with my wife and kids and but they like to. They like to be on the go. And sometimes dad just wants to kind of chill.

Mark Williams 32:53
I get it. Congratulations. Me too. Good cup of coffee. Nice book and relaxation. Sounds wonderful. Well, I can’t thank you enough Clay Anderson astronaut. over 30 years spent with NASA, thank you very much for being a guest. I want to again, give a shout out to the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum. Clay is the CEO and president of that organization. So if you have any interest in space and NASA and all of the things that revolve around that world, please seek out Clay Anderson and the museum in is it Ashland, Nebraska?

Clayton Anderson 33:29
Yeah, Ashland, Nebraska. And I would give you a couple of websites if the museum is sac SAIC museum.org. It’s pretty easy to find. And then my website is ASTRO clay.com. And if you just Google Astro clay on the Google search bar of your choice, while Wait, I just kind of advertising for Google on the search bar search engine of your choice, Astro play.com. You can pretty much find everything that goes with me. And yeah, we would welcome anyone to learn about us to come visit us. If you go to the visitors desk, you might say, Hey, is the astronaut here today and because if I am, I’ll come out and say hi, and we’re one of the few museums in the entire world that you can meet an astronaut. Fantastic.

Mark Williams 34:16
So my takeaways for clay specifically, if you want to switch careers, after you’ve had one, definitely doable. And Clay is a testament to that. Also, so, so far, right? A man that lived his boyhood dream, which I think is just an amazing story in itself. You dress up as an astronaut and you become an astronaut. That’s pretty amazing. And finally, what I think the most important lesson here is a support system. Clay has chosen several careers that really require good support people, not only personally but professionally as well. I wish you the best of luck. Clay. Thank you very much for being a guest on the show. And for all of our listeners. Thanks again for listening into Balance, Not Burnout and hopefully we’ve got Got a couple of tips to make lives a little bit easier. Take care everybody. Thanks for listening. If you think balance is as important as I do, at work and all throughout your life, help the show out by leaving me a five star review following me on social media, or sharing the podcast with someone you think would appreciate it. If you have comments or questions, I’d love for you to join the conversation with me on LinkedIn. I want to thank OBI Creative for producing the podcast and Swells Beats for getting the music for me. Thanks for sharing your time with me today. And until next time, this is Mark signing off.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

More From Balance, Not Burnout.