(Mandatory) Analog Mission Week 1 – Quarantine Begins

My state officially got our "Stay at Home" order. In all honesty, I don't know how I feel... I have been basically obeying this for the last two weeks on my own. It feels worse now that it is forced upon me. But I do have to say I actually have been thriving the last two weeks. I have been feeling productive, energized, and excited again. I found this really odd... so I thought I would document this and treat it like an analog mission. Starting tomorrow, I will document it all! Guess I should look up what is usually documented on an analog mission...

Thursday March 26, 2020

Sleep: 7 hours 15 minutes (score: 91)

Weight: 99.7 lbs

Exercise: yes

Overall: positive

The first day has been just like every other day for the past two weeks. Worked from home, did a little bit of work on my side projects, had my master's class this evening. Love those guys! I feel like I have so much to say but I know I will have a lot of time to talk through everything so I will play it cool for now.

Basically, what I am doing here is pretending like I am on an analog mission (which is like pretending I am an astronaut) and documenting how this whole quarantine thing goes for me. I tried looking up what typical astronauts track... not much luck. And I don't feel like tracking food because I know my eating habits are... improvable. There wasn't too much direction (from my brief research)  so I've decided I am going to track what I am most interested in. Sleep, weight, exercise, and overall mood. I have been monitoring my sleep for a while now with my fitbit so I would like to continue that. My weight and exercise has been somewhat of a concern since my surgery and I would like to discuss that in a later post. Finally, I am a VERY emotional person (as I am sure you will learn here) in the sense that I feel things very intensely and I am curious to see how that changes with time alone.

Okay let's see here... notable things today... In general I have really enjoyed this time to get to know myself and just... chill from the rest of the world. I also like not feeling obligated to have weekend plans or see people. Not a typical response, I know. I am working to maintain a schedule and keep my work and personal life separate. I am trying to maintain virtual relationships without letting social media take over my life. My dad had to drop something off for me today and I waited outside for him. It made me realize how important the sunlight was. I might try to go out on my patio in the morning when the sun is coming in.

I think the most intriguing thought for the day happened while I was waiting for him outside. The wind blew very softly. I have always loved that. It made me ask myself... do astronauts miss the feeling of wind? It would seem it isn't something they could even really simulate. I wonder if it is something they don't realize they miss until they come back down and feel it.

I will be sure to write more soon. I never know when I write too much or when I get too ramble-y... I guess people like what I have to say so I just have to trust that! I will say I am a bit afraid (terrified) of being so vulnerable through a blog of my journey of isolation... That is a lot to show the world.

Oh well! Here goes nothing!

Friday March 27, 2020

Sleep: 7 hours 05 minutes (score: 86)

Weight: 99.6 lbs

Exercise: yes

Overall: positive

Today was pretty good too! I felt productive at work which is always nice. I wasn't as productive tonight though. I sometimes get lazy after a long day and don't work on any of my side projects. Instead I just kind of watch TV, work on a few things here and there... I guess I cleaned a lot which was good. Still just felt like a waste of an evening.

I think I have to be less hard on myself though! I can have a chill night and still be a productive person! I think the only real thing I wanted to get done that I didn't was homework... and I mean... let's be real. Homework? Friday night? Come on. I think tomorrow will be a homework day and some work for PoSSUM 13.

I wanted to take some time to talk about sleep today. Why I am tracking it and why I think it matters. When I was younger I really didn't care about sleep. I would stay up  significantly  past midnight and still be up before 7 AM for school... I wonder if that is why I am so short... Anyways, in my wise old age I have begun to learn how much sleep matters. I started getting more sleep in college and I really began to feel when I got enough sleep and when I didn't. I got a fitbit about a year ago and have been watching my sleep. About six months ago I got really into my sleep schedule. Recently that has only been increasing. I have been looking into sleep hygiene and working to make sure I get a minimum of 6 hours a sleep per night. Some nights I still don't get that, but I average between 6.5 and 7.5 hours a night which is really good for me.

The sleep score I am monitoring is from the fitbit app. I will have to look into what goes into that score... but I got a 91 my first day! Today is an 86... I average in the 80s lately. When I first started I was getting scores in the 60s and feeling good about myself. That was before I learned that was a fairly low score, and not great to be getting consistently. I think the highest I have ever gotten was a 93 or 94... So that should give you a feel for what that number means. I usually feel really good in the upper 80s.

I will go into other things I am monitoring throughout the week. I did get to go outside today because I had physical therapy for my foot. It feels good to go out for a bit every day. I think tomorrow I am going to try to sit on my porch while the sun is in the east in the morning. Hold me to it! I have to say I have been feeling so... frustrated and beaten down about social media lately. Today was okay but I feel like I need to figure out my direction again. Make sure I am on a path so I am not just doing things for attention.

Refocus... Reset... that is what I am using this time for after all!

Saturday March 28, 2020

Sleep: 7 hours 37 minutes (score: 87)

Weight: 98.6 lbs

Exercise: no

Overall: very positive

Continuing with my upward swing apparently! I haven't had a bad day in a while! Sweet! And for everyone asking, I DID go out on my patio for like 3 hours today. The sunlight helps. Today was good because I got a LOT done. Mostly homework, cleaning, and laundry but I will take the win. I am actually quite proud of my homework assignment.

I had to write a market report for a space resource... and it turned out fairly well. I'm not a great technical writer by any stretch of the imagination so the language and flow wasn't top notch. But I think I might post it on here like I did that Space Resources 101 essay I had to write. Might get people to open their minds a little bit to the possibilities out there. Mine was on using lunar regolith (moon dust) as a construction material and what the market would look like if I had a company that focused on mining that material.

I thought I would take today to talk about why I am tracking my weight. This one is a bit more sensitive for me. Obviously I don't weigh a whole lot... Every day since I started tracking I have been under 100 lbs. Keep in mind I feel like my cheap scale might be a little off and I am a bit over 100 but it still puts me on edge when I consider my weight. And the reason this is hard to talk about is because whenever I do I get a lot of "you are so lucky" and "I wish I had your metabolism" and general awkward comments about other people's weight. So I never know how to approach this situation.

I remember being teased for my weight growing up. And of course I know it was out of jealousy or just finding something to pick on but it doesn't make it less hard. Girls always asked me if I was anorexic in condescending tones or would say I was too skinny and pick away at that little insecurity. (Side note: I know how serious anorexia is and I have never had an eating disorder but my heart goes out to anyone suffering and I hate they used such a serious issue to make me feel bad.) As a result I tried really hard to be muscular, not just skinny but toned. Naturally nobody necessarily made fun of me for such a weird thing in college so a lot of those insecurities went away, but I enjoyed light workouts still. I think the most I ever weighed was about 112 lbs (freshmen year of college, what are you gonna do?) but that didn't feel healthy either. After a lot of weight watching I determined I felt my best at around 105-107 lbs while working out and having muscle.

After my surgery this time last year, I lost a LOT of weight. Most of it was the muscle I had worked so hard to maintain. It has been  really frustrating and not something I can openly talk about because so many people are trying so hard to lose weight, I feel weird complaining about it. I got up to about 103 lbs again during the summer but it wasn't muscle like it was so it still felt unhealthy. After my most recent surgery in November, I got down to about 93 lbs at my lowest. I hated it. I have been dancing at around 100 lbs the last month or so. My ultimate goal is get back to my 105 lbs fit feeling but damn I would just love to be permanently over 100 lbs.

It is definitely weird to be on this side of the weight game. Trying to figure out what is healthy for me  and not just what the typical trend is. Pushing those "you're too skinny" thoughts out of my head. But hey, that is part of my story! And I appreciate you taking the time to hear me out on what is probably a fairly unique side of a universal insecurity. On a happier note, today marks my first announcement of A Space Story! Some of you know this whole website began when I had foot surgery on February 25 last year and I COULD NOT sit still for the life of me. I felt useless. So I did the soul searching I needed to do and discovered I wanted to be an astronaut and a leader in the space industry. And that is how all this began! So it is definitely a celebration day and a good time to reflect. I think I put it best in my post on Instagram/facebook… I think the craziest thing about this whole journey is that it worked. That blows my mind that I actually did it and am currently doing it.

So yeah, today was a freaking great day. I feel so proud of who I have become!