Keep Your Balance

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Astronomy is the Queen of the Sciences. What she offers is both aesthetic and intellectual beauty. Unfortunately for many amateurs this giver of beauty is a source of friction with family members, especially non-astronomer spouses. What do you do if a husband or wife simply can't understand why you want to spend "all that money" on telescopes and accessories only to stand out in the middle of the dark yard alone all night? The advice usually given to people in these circumstances is to keep things balanced. Don't neglect your family to pursue your observing program. That is good advice.

What do you do about a husband or wife who becomes upset even though you don't neglect your family? When all you want to do is observe for a few hours once every week or two? Make it clear that astronomy is what you do and who you are, and that it is very important to you. Sometimes showing is better than telling, though. Involve your significant other. Instead of packing up the scope, jumping in the car, and leaving husband or wife in the dust, why not invite him or her along once in a while? Pack a couple of lawn chairs. Maybe even a bottle of wine. Set up the scope as normal, but also spend some time with your companion looking at the constellations and telling their stories. Put some particularly attractive and interesting objects in the field of the CAT. As dawn breaks, open the wine and toast the stars and your love. In this way, the telescope may become the spouse's friend instead of a rival.

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