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Taking pause before going forward

May 11, 2007 -- The past several months have been extremely busy. The wing successfully launched a Delta II and Atlas V. We hosted several distinguished visitors including a Congressman, the Secretary of the Air Force and Air Force Space Command Commander. We also baselined several wing processes in support of AFSO-21. Last but not least, we prepped hard, and "nailed" the ORI. We've performed the mission, accomplished a lot and we should all be proud. 

Looking ahead, the rest of the year promises to be just as hectic. There are no less than seven launches on Delta II/IV and Atlas V. Soon we'll be preparing in earnest for the upcoming hurricane season. We will also take our next steps in wing AFSO-21 lean initiatives. And we'll have the typical influx of new senior leaders arriving this summer. 

As one looks back at the past few months and what's on the horizon, one thought comes to mind: the importance of maintaining balance in life. We've all heard the saying, "Work to live. Don't live to work." Our overall happiness and success requires us to balance our professional career with our "personal career." We all need time with friends, family and community to keep us physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. At times, focusing on our jobs at the expense of other parts of our lives may be necessary, but it's not a recipe for long term personal success. 

Because of the recent high ops tempo I know many of us haven't had the chance to take much leave and potentially accrued a significant backlog of "use or lose." If you haven't done so lately, consider taking some leave now. Spend some quality time with your family, get back to the gym, and/or pursue some new outside interest. Taking time away from work recharges our batteries, allowing us to return to the office with new energy, positive attitude and fresh perspective to address those more challenging issues. To ensure we can all take that time, I highly encourage everyone to have a plan for using leave throughout the year and not wait until the last minute with everyone else. 

Bottom line: Work to live. As a wing, we've excelled over the past months. Now, post-ORI it's an opportune time for many of us to take leave. Never fear, the mission will still be there, and you'll be recharged and ready to jump back in with both feet when you return.