(Mandatory) Analog Mission Week 2 – Still Doing Well!

I have to be honest... I never know if a new week begins on Sunday or Monday. It bugs me so much. All the calendars are lined up to where Sunday is the start of the new week. But it really feels like Monday is the true beginning. Does it not? Anyways I went with the calendar method and new weeks will begin on Sunday. Because I say so. So ha.

Sunday March 29, 2020

Sleep: 6 hours 54 minutes (score: 69)

Weight: 98.8 lbs

Exercise: no

Overall: average to positive

Oh... ouch. How about that sleep score guys? That was a rough one. I woke up a lot and in general did not get the sleep I usually do. I also went to bed later than normal. Not a fan. I will have to fix that.

I would say today was a fairly average day. My overall vibe was still positive but I hit a bit of a wall in the middle of the day and my motivation went down. I mean... I also have done a TON this weekend so of course I would get a little burnt out. I had a lot of homework and I have been working on the PoSSUM 13 social media. I am working on my media presence and goals as well and in general it seems like little things kept popping up. I did get all my homework turned in before midnight! But just barely... which means another not so great night of sleep and another crappy sleep score is coming your way tomorrow... Well that is why I am tracking! To monitor!

I wanted to talk about the exercise thing but I will do that tomorrow. Seeing as I am already very late for bed. I did go outside for a few hours today and I did go live on my Instagram today! Just like I wanted! Ron asked me to help him do some testing with his Zoom live after so I ended up talking about space to strangers online for a LONG time today. Probably close to 2 hours by the end of it all... and naturally that is why I am running late with homework.

I also OFFICIALLY submitted my NASA application today. It was... honestly not as magical of a feeling as I wanted. The whole time I felt wildly underqualified and was second guessing myself the whole time. I know I have something special to offer and in time I will be a great candidate... but this time around was just a little shaky. I have a long ways to go. I did have to do three assessments though. I was worried they would be technical but they were mostly like how you work as a team vs individually and stuff like that. They felt kind of like a Myers Briggs test if you have ever done that. (I am an ENFP in case anyone was curious... another good thing to talk about later! I am so glad I actually did it though. It feels good not have to worry about it. Although I came a little close to the deadline...

Anyways! I must go to bed because tomorrow is MONDAY. Which means WORK. Ugh. Actually I am a little excited to get back to work. I hope I have a busy day tomorrow! I love feeling productive!

Monday March 30, 2020

Sleep: 6 hours 4 minutes (score: 79)

Weight: 98.8 lbs

Exercise: yes

Overall: positive

Weird... I got like an hour less sleep than the night before but my sleep score went up. Guess I got a better nights sleep. I also was wildly productive at work today so that is why I gave myself a positive. I felt good about me. Also... guys... I did a thing... again... I can't believe I keep doing this to myself.

I keep doing this thing where I take on these huge challenges in times when I can't go out and do stuff. It is how I started this blog (as you learned) and my amazing, crazy adventure. But this time, during isolation... I already have a LOT to do and I was feeling like I could finally get it all done and then... opportunity came knockin'.

There is a company called CheckRide-Prep that is offering free ground school training for pilots all online through this COVID-19 thing. So let me walk you through this. One thing that can help qualifications to be an astronaut is to have your pilots license. But weirdly enough that is SUPER expensive to do. I have heard estimates from $7k to $16k and that is just to get the license. You have to maintain flying abilities after that. Guys. I do not have that much money laying around. I want to do it so bad. Ever since I flew that plane with PoSSUM I immediately  knew I had to get back into the air. Anyways it was my goal to start working on that after I graduated with my Master's when I had more time and money.

Then these guys had to graciously out of the goodness of their hearts give me a free jump start to do that. The nerve, am I right? Now understand ground school is just to teach you everything so you can go take the test to start flight school. But its a start! And the first class started today. There are twelve sessions, each three hours (yeah I know, rough). And worse of all they are cramming it into four weeks so basically my Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights are totally shot until May. Oh well it will be worth it for sure. If I am being honest I am actually terrified. I am scared of the money thing and of being a bad pilot or getting half way there and having to back out or something. I am definitely scared of crashing a plane... I don't know why but I might as well make the jump I guess. I always get kind of anxious for things but when I am in the moment, I have this calm, bad ass, I got this wave of coolness wash over me. So hopefully that happens in the air too!

I wanted to talk about exercise today but I also wanted to keep my daily posts fairly short so this will be a quick rundown. A lot of it has to do with the weight thing I discussed earlier. I am hoping to put some muscle on. So part of my "exercise" is P.T. for my foot. It is what reminded me that I like body weight work outs. Then my dad got this crazy idea when the CrossFit gym he goes to shut down for the coronavirus. I wanted to share it because I think it is kind of cool. My mom and dad get on a video chat on Zoom with me and my sister. So we are all under three different roofs and then we workout together. Oh and did I mention this is ay 6:30 in the oh my god morning. I hate it. But I also love it because it gets me up at a decent time and gets my blood pumping to start the day. I have really enjoyed it (don't tell my dad) and I think it has brought us four a little closer together. We only do it on the week days so that is why you saw I didn't work out over the weekend. Maybe I will try to do my own weekend workouts... but maybe not. My dad has some intense ones.

Anyways I think I am going to try this "bed time" thing. Definitely a weird and unexpected day... but I am feeling good. Not in an "I got this" way but in a "I'm on a good path" way.

Tuesday March 31, 2020

Sleep: 7 hours 11 minutes (score: 83)

Weight: 98.6 lbs

Exercise: yes

Overall: positive

Feelin' good today! Worked out and had physical therapy for my foot so that is double the working out!  And my physical therapist wants to talk about later this week being my last session! WOOHOO! Do you know how much time and money I am going to get back??? But there goes one of my main excuses for leaving the house...

Oh well! I have worked really hard (stretches every night without fail) to get my foot to where it is now. I should just take the win. Work was hard to focus today, I am not going to lie. I think part of it is I need to feel productive and needed and today I had a million other things pulling me in different directions. I do have to say I am part of a top secret initiative at work (no not really, just a really cool group) involving some of the most bad ass, enthusiastic, intelligent, and supportive women I would have ever dreamed of meeting. And today I was really appreciative of them.

Speaking of bad ass, enthusiastic, intelligent, and supportive women... let me tell you about PoSSUM 13. I would hold these women at work to the same level as the other 12 role models I have in that program. I am trying to revamp the social media (huh imagine that) for PoSSUM 13 and I had my first big post today. I created two flyers, put the post together, found the hashtags, and then posted them across.. so many different platforms. And it is working. So many people shared it and I am just... so happy it went well. *Heavy happy sigh*

And in personal social media, I posted my NASA application video today! It was my first IGTV post. And don't ask me what that means because I am still learning. But I am getting so much support for that too. I have always said I may not be the most popular one on social media but the people who follow me are the literal best. They are supportive and friendly and funny and just... so amazing. On another social media note... my space page (@aspacestory) has been extremely neglected... probably should work on that... in all my free time.

I wanted to take this last little chunk to talk about my overall attitude and why it is so important for me to track. The first thing is I know I can't be positive all the time and because of that I take my down days in stride, as hard as that is. I also know I kind of go through mini cycles and I wanted to actually monitor that and see if I can find a pattern. You know, because I am an engineer. Actually if I was really an engineer I would already have a spreadsheet made up for that, but this is a good start. As you have noticed most of my days have been pretty amazing. I think part of that is because I am staying busy. The other reason I am tracking my overall attitude is because I think taking a moment to think about my day forces me to be more cognizant of the good and more appreciative as a whole. Some of my days at work have been ROUGH but when I have to look at my over all day so many good things happened, it makes my work seem not as bad and really changes my perspective on things.

I know having tons of positive days in a row isn't what you guys want to read about. I mean after all we are supposed to be talking about the hardships of isolation... I just don't feel any yet.

Wednesday April 1, 2020

Sleep: 6 hours 4 minutes (score: 82)

Weight: 98.8 lbs

Exercise: yes

Overall: average

I will say, my weight fluttered over 100 lbs for a brief moment this morning... maybe this working out and regular eating is doing good for me! I also need to get more sleep... even though my sleep score is still solid. But it was a really stressful day so I think I will sleep just fine.

Work was just stressful in general today. I hate when people just act like everything is your fault. Ya know what I mean?  But I am reading up on a new program and I went AT it today. Like highlighter and annotations on one of the most boring documents you have ever seen! That was nice. Made me feel like I was learning. I like that feeling.

Except I hate that feeling of learning in my ground school today. It was going so fast. I am so in over my head. Why did I agree to do this? Other than the fact it totally advances my life goal and it would be amazing to fly a plane way high in the air and that I love to learn. Oh yeah of course. It just goes so fast... and the program is glitchy because there are like 1,500 people trying to use it. And at the end of a long day 3.5 hours is ROUGH to sit through. I don't know how this one will turn out.

I think that is why today was an average day. It was really draining on me. The good news is I had enough good mojo from the last week to keep it as an average day and not a negative day. I think I need to reset for sure. On the plus side Alan Stern retweeted my NASA tweet... soooooo… that is a huge win for the day. If you don't know who Alan Stern is, look him up. Other than that I am going to go to sleep now and try again tomorrow. I have my night class tomorrow but I think I will spend some time to just focus on me. Probably plan out my schedule for the next little bit with the craziness with ground school cramping my style.

Good night all! Just remember, Alan Stern retweeted me today.

Thursday April 2, 2020

Sleep: 7 hours 4 minutes (score: 83)

Weight: 100.4 lbs

Exercise: yes

Overall: average - mildly positive

DID YOU GUYS SEE??? I hit 100+ lbs today! And that is how you achieve goals *finger guns* you're welcome. I was really excited to see this. Now the trick is maintaining it... Weight tends to fluctuate. In other news I had another average day today. I am really tired and still feeling a little burnt out.

Work was average. Nothing new. Tomorrow will be a big work day though. (No spoilers) I did my night class tonight and it was fairly average. Its a basic review of economics and I have a minor in that so its been probably my easiest class. But as a result I can let my mind wander and think about economics a bit more deeply rather than trying to understand basic concepts. I have enjoyed that. I had another cool thing happen but I don't want to talk about it until it is official. And yes, I know. That is another thing I signed up for and I really don't know why I do this to myself.

I was thinking about isolation today. That is what this whole blog is about. I honestly haven't felt that isolated. I think I would do okay on an analog mission because I have spent a lot of time learning to be okay with being with myself. I think this is because I love to day dream. Lately I have been day dreaming a lot about space. I know, crazy with the whole NASA application thing... Weirdly enough I have been dreaming about what it would be like to go to Johnson Space Center for the interview and physical tests and stuff. How dorky is that? Not the going to space thing but the experience of an interview with NASA. I shock even myself sometimes...

I also think this isolation thing is going so well for me because I have so much to do to stay busy. And I interact virtually with people a lot. I wonder if that would be different in space. I mean I would have to talk to Houston a lot right? And astronauts do STEM outreach things... I don't know, I think I would feel isolated if I was missing a genuine connection. It doesn't have to be in person or every day, but I place a great deal of value on deep meaningful conversations and people. I feel like Mars would be hard because of the time delay, but even then you can get that in letters or pre-recorded videos. I mean, people go to books for connection all the time so maybe I don't even need humans.

Anyways... still wasn't on my normal positive high. I wonder if that means I need to go down a little bit before I can get back up or if its just a little thing and I am still riding the high. I will say I feel the stress rising. It isn't like stress I am used to though. Like school and finals and omg I have too much on my plate. Its more of a physical exhaustion. Mentally I just feel tired but not drained or anxious or anything like that. Wonder what that means.

Friday April 3, 2020

Sleep: 7 hours 30 minutes (score: 80)

Weight: 99.8 lbs

Exercise: yes

Overall: midly positive

I seriously can't believe I have been working from home for three weeks. It feels so natural to my life style already. The big news for today is my company (Raytheon) officially merged with United Technologies to become Raytheon Technologies!

I mean how original can you get with names. Hope they don't have to come up with any couple names in the future because yawn... Okay but for real I am really excited about this merger and to see what it does do the DoD and aerospace industry. I think at the very least it could shake up the major players and the power hold on certain aspects of the indistry. I am a little scared because I have carved out a nice little place in the Raytheon world. I know I will have to do that all over again. But at least this time I am not starting from ground zero. I have tons of amazing friends and mentors in Raytheon now.

My other big news is that I got discharged from Physical Therapy! Woohoo! I did my exercises every night and the morning corssfit helped get a lot of muscle back. I honestly enjoyed going and thought I would be more sad. But this morning as I was going through the exercises for the final time... I didn't have rose colored glasses. I was like "yeah I am good to never do these again..." So I guess that is that! Plus that is a nice portion of my budget back in my pocket every week. Came home and went to work. Feeling like a real engineer the last two days so that has kept my spirits up in the career area. I then relaxed for a few hours. And by relaxed I mean I did all the things I have been neglecting with social media and emails and stuff but I did it with the TV on. See? Relaxing! I started watching that show Community. I had never seen it but oh my goodness I love that show now. And the cast is great!

Then I had my third night of ground school. It lasted almost four hours tonight. I just get so brain dead by the end of it. The goodness was I felt way more engaged and was totally getting it. When it clicks... I just feel great. That is what I live for. We did a lot more about charts and how to read the different air spaces and stuff. BRAND new topic and I was digging it. Just too long.

I think I need to set some short term goals. All my goals are at least a year out (some are a decade out) and as a result I feel like my day to day is... unrewarded. I am meeting a lot of goals for my health (side note did you see my weight fell asgain? Told you it fluctuates! Just looking for consistency) but I need something more. I think I will have to wrestle with that one for a bit.

And on that note I need a good nights sleep to get started on the weekend. Weird fact... I secretly dislike the weekends. Last weekend was really good but for a while there I would feel trapped and unmotivated on the weekends. And I would hate myself for sitting around (even though let's be real my sitting around is still super busy). So much so that I would look forward to Mondays. I guess I should unpack that one too... huh?

Saturday April 4, 2020

Sleep: 7 hours 6 minutes (score: 85)

Weight: 99.6 lbs

Exercise: no

Overall: positive

Pretty productive day today! I sat outside for a bit during some "light" econ reading and got a lot of homework and cleaning done.

Kind of a low key day, not going to lie. I felt pretty productive and relaxed which was a good change of pace. So honestly not much to report today. I have been doing a lot of thinking about my near term future. I realized that was really hard to do and plan for when nobody knows what the near term future is going to look like.. And that is when I started realizing the panic that half the country is going into. I don't feel the anxiety about it but I can definitely relate to that frustration of not knowing. And being in a place where that lack of control could potential derail your living situation... yeah. Anxiety. I get it.

On a happier note... I did go over to my parent's house tonight!  Amazing dinner (thanks mom!) and a movie. My favorite part is always the weird conversations we get into during dinner. It makes sense why I don't like just holding casual conversation... because my parents are just as weird and meaningful conversationalists as me!