(Mandatory) Analog Mission Week 3 – Gettin’ Tired…

Sunday April 5, 2020

Sleep: 8 hours 25 minutes (score: 84)

Weight: 99.4 lbs

Exercise: no

Overall: positive but growing stressed

Ohhh boy guys... I am getting tired... and this is just the beginning of the week! Today I spent a lot of time on homework and social media for POSSUM 13. I talked to my NASA friend for an outline and then did a group call with Katya and Jupiter for our own game plan. I have to say... I love doing that kind of stuff. It wasn't eve engineering or STEM related but I totally did my research, talked to some professionals, ,my YouTube tutorial help, came up with a game plan... the whole thing! Then I presented a general outline to my team and listened to their feedback. I also made sure everyone had something to do this week. I hope it will be a really great team.

I watched a little too much TV today. It is nice to relax to or clean to but I just get so sucked into shows. I need to watch that this week. I have a BIG week coming up. I have no idea how I am going to do it all.  I have tons of meetings scheduled and a lot of Zoom sessions. I hope to do some cool things with bigger PoSSUM coming up too. I love it all and I want to do it all. I just need about 4 more hours every day. That would be about perfect.

I went live on A Space Story today too. Wasn't as great as it usually is. Partially me and partially the crowd. I think A Space Story needs to be put on hold while I get all this other stuff under control. That's okay. Just a bummer. But I will ramp it up again.

I didn't have too many isolation or astronaut revelations today. The biggest one was how energized I am by working in a team. And more specifically filling a more team leader role. I hope that will help me in the whole astronaut thing. I think I can do it very well and plus it is when I feel super in the zone and lights up my heart.

Speaking of lighting up my heart... I think I am missing music from my life. I used to jam to and from work and at work but I haven't been driving to work or listening while I work at all lately. I think I need to bring it back because it really helps my moods. Hopefully we can have space radio...

Monday April 6, 2020

Sleep: 6 hours 33 minutes (score: 81)

Weight: 99.8 lbs

Exercise: yes

Overall: average and tired

Man... Mondays really do suck. Today was a rough one to get through. I don't know why... but I was really tired this morning and couldn't shake this headache. That is why I gave today an average. I was kind of worried about it being officially labelled an "average" day but... I mean... It was kind of average. I don't have to be happy and amazing all the time. Just me!

I also did my ground school again tonight. MAN that gets rough. I can usually do up until about two and a half hours... then it is just too painful. But it is very interesting. I wish I had more time to do it all.

I also talked with my dad and uncle a bit today on Zoom about goals. I think I did a good job setting up my goals here and tracking them every day. I think I need to double down on the sleep one because I have been so tired. I also want to add drinking enough water and probably some sort of healthy eating thing. But I suck at eating healthy... and it is hard to do right now with everything being bought up. Maybe I will do meals at regular times. Similar to having a sleep schedule. That way everything gets on track...

Tomorrow is my "down" day. Which real means it is my catch up day to do all my homework and cleaning since I am busy the rest of the week. Hopefully I am super productive!

Tuesday April 7, 2020

Sleep: 7 hours 46 minutes (score: 91)

Weight: 101.0 lbs

Exercise: yes

Overall: mildly positive

Okay we have a slight increase from yesterday! I feel very busy but I like that. It might be a smidge too busy but I think I can still handle it. I also got a 91 sleep score last night! I went to bed early and took some melatonin. That is a natural drug to help with relaxation for sleep and actually your body naturally produces it. I started taking it when I had a concussion 8 years ago... probably a great story for a different time... and now I only really take it when I need to. It is actually kind of dangerous to take consistently. Well not dangerous... just difficult for your body. There is a big difference when you are talking about drugs... But since your body naturally produces it, if your body thinks it is doing a great job it will stop producing it on its own. This means your whole melatonin level could get way out of sync and really mess up your sleep schedule after. I try to use it when I know I need a good nights sleep. Since I have been monitoring my sleep score. I also take it when I feel overly tired even if I am getting enough sleep. It tends to just kind of reset my sleep cycle. I take it for about 1-3 nights depending on how I feel but never more than 3 nights and then after that I am usually getting a good nights sleep and good sleep scores again. I took it this time because I was getting decent rest but still feeling exhausted.

Today was... once again... boring. I feel like a not so cool Mark Watney. I haven't even taken apart my stove to fix the TV yet or grown any potatoes. I'll never survive Mars! (That is just some Martian humor for you all... don't worry I will leave my stove alone). I did go to the Explore Mars Virtual Happy Hour. I enjoy the people there because they are awkward and excited about space, just like me. Plus those guys really know their alcohol. That conference was rescheduled for an August 31st time frame so I guess I will be going to DC when all this blows over!

I think today was an imposter syndrome day. I kept saying things to people or agreeing to things that I really just don't feel like I should be doing. I mean... obviously it didn't stop me and that is the first step of overcoming imposter syndrome. But it still was there in the back of my mind all day. That is why I gave it a mildly positive review. For those of you who don't know (and as I am finding out that is actually quite a few) imposter syndrome is kind of a new concept that is going around, especially in the women in STEM conversations. It is kind of like an inferiority complex, but not so... aggressive? Basically it is when you feel like you are sitting in a room and you are afraid everyone is going to see you as a fraud and you're totally not qualified to be there. I think this is why it is more openly discussed in women in STEM groups because we feel that all the time. And hey, maybe we don't necessarily feel like "I don't belong here" but we definitely don't sit in a room and feel like we own the room. There is a lot of second guessing and some of it comes from external forces but most of it comes from internal doubts. And when I say women in STEM, this is just how I heard of it. I know men feel the same way. and I know STEM is only one of hundreds of areas where people don't feel like they belong or their abilities meet the bare minimum to have a seat at the table.

I guess this comes with the territory of fake it 'til you make it? It is definitely an interesting area and I would love to explore it more. In a future post. I gotta get that sleep score tonight! On a happier note, did y'all see the full moon tonight? Closest full moon we will have all year! It is so beautiful!

Wednesday April 8, 2020

Sleep: 7 hours 32 minutes (score: 82)

Weight: 101.0 lbs

Exercise: yes

Overall: mildly negative

Well guys. It happened. I had a bad day. *Daniel Powter starts playing in the background* And to be fair even my bad day had some positives to it. But guys... I even cried today. I know. I can't believe it.

But the good thing about bad days is it starts up my self reflection engine and I have a LOT of thoughts. I don't think I want to dive down into each of them just because I do want to go to sleep soon... Speaking of sleep, did you see my sleep score? I got like 10 points less but similar sleep. The weird thing is I didn't wake up at all. I wonder if stress is causing these bad sleeps.

So I cried from an overwhelming amount of emotions today. I had to go through some stuff from my past college self (S/O to my cousin for helping my unpack that... Love you Em) and I had some strain at work today with professional relationships. I am just so frustrated with people walking all over me. That is one I will probably unpack in a later post... if at all. It is still super personal to me and I don't want to get people involved. After all, its my website so it is all about me right??? I think the work thing is really gnawing at me because I have no clue how to handle it. And can I just say that if I hear "____ is just jealous" one more time... that is a really bad excuse for being a crappy person.

I also cried. I mentioned that. For those of you who don't know... Hi I am Bailey and I am a crybaby. I cry at everything. I cry when I am happy, I cry when I am frustrated, I cry when I am scared, I cry when someone else is crying. And the hardest part is I really don't have control over it sometimes. Seriously like I will think I am fine and liquid will literally just start coming out of my eyes. No warning! Anyways so I have made it a point in my life to learn how to get that under control. For a while there I went on a kick about how this is how I show my emotions and if guys are allowed to get mad and punch things and yell, I should be allowed to have a little bit of water on my face. Honestly, I still agree with that. I see so much emotion in every day life... but for some reason the minute someone cries everyone freaks out. I guess I don't understand why... to me crying is very natural and lets you and others know what you are feeling. I think it should be encouraged. But I understand the world I live in is very different. So I want to be in control. I want to be able to cry but I want to choose when I cry. I actually have been doing a really good job lately. I will still let myself cry out of happiness because those are the best tears lets be real. But when people frustrate me or embarrass me in front of others, I have been working on not letting those emotions show. I had been doing well. Last time I cried really caught me by surprise though and that is what I am trying to avoid. Being caught off guard by extreme negative emotions. Today I think I could have controlled it but I was at home so why should I? Plus it has been a while since I have cried and honestly... it felt so good to cry. It wasn't long and it wasn't hard but it made me feel so much better for the rest of my day.

So there ya go. Didn't expect to spend so my time talking about crying... but it is something I am still trying to digest and unpack in myself. It is something I am not ashamed of but the world has decided I should be. Well I did warn you things get deep and weird when I have an off day. It usually results in me doing so much self reflecting that seriously nobody is safe. Positives for today: food, friends, family, ground school. Had to make sure you knew they were there. I am honestly curious to see how tomorrow goes. Should be a big day! (You'll find out why tomorrow)

Thursday April 9, 2020

Sleep: 6 hours 46 minutes (score: 79)

Weight: 101.0 lbs

Exercise: yes

Overall: very positive

Alright I had a very very good day today. My big news was that I got to sit on a panel today for PoSSUM! There is a Space Medicine Webinar focused on dealing with isolation through analog missions. It is called Astronaut Mentality! It has been really good and it continuously reminds me the incredibly talented people I get to associate with on the daily. Today was about applying to be a NASA astronaut. Since I had only applied this time around I was most definitely the most under qualified person on the panel. But I was there! It was really fun. Looking back I really hate my answers. Maybe I am just being too critical of myself. But the panel was full of insanely cool people and it just energized me the rest of the day. Tomorrow I am moderating the next panel on analog missions. If you want to check it out the info is here.

I also had a weird opportunity at work today... basically long story short a group needed to figure out how host a virtual networking event for a huge Cyber Security conference. Someone who I had just met pulled me in as a social media influencer type and now I am going to be hosting... the... event...? Yeah I don't know anything about cyber security. I have no idea how this is going to go... Literally the definition of fake it 'til you make it. That and just genuinely want to help people.

I think my biggest take away from today is I need to get back in touch with myself. I have been taking on all these things, partially because doing fun things and helping others is a huge part of my identity, and it has cut into all this self reflection I could be doing during this quiet time. I think I have been kind of doing that analysis on myself through all this blogging at night. But throughout the day I am just go go go. Literally I had 14 minutes to myself today and I used it to call my mom. (Because I love her.) I don't entirely know what that inner reflection will look like. As cheesy as it sounds it might be meditation. We'll see.

The other take away I had was listening to Astronaut Scott Kelly talk today at Explore Mars. He has spent almost a year in space and has a lot of insight on isolation. Now I know he has given his speech like a hundred times already so he has it mastered... but dang it was really good. One of the things he talked about keeping a schedule and not tracking how many days you have to go or how many days you've been in isolation. The schedule thing really spoke to me. I am trying really hard to do that and I think I am doing a good job. I know a lot of my friends who are working from home wake up later and might work for a while, then take a break and watch TV and eat dinner... then get back on before bed. I have been keeping my work hours separate and making sure when I work I work. I also make sure I still to a fairly regular bed time and wake up time (even though my sleep score is everywhere...ugh stupid thing). The areas I can improve on is my meal times (those kind of just happen whenever I feel hungry) and my personal time. Scott Kelly said to give yourself a day to just relax and watch TV or learn something knew and just not worry about things. I haven't done that at all during my three weeks in quarantine. Probably should take some time to not feel the pressure to get everything done.

A lot of interesting thoughts today. Specifically about isolation. Between the panel and the talk from Scott Kelly (and the 35 seconds I had to myself to think), it was definitely a reflection day.

I did go live tonight on my personal instagram. It was great. I talked for literally an hour... my fans are amazing. I ranted about Anne McClain and her crazy ex (don't even get me started) and about the new Space Resources policy and how people are being dumb and making space political when (and I will say it slowly and in bold) space is for everyone. Stop making it an issue that will be divided as this crazy world. This is our new start to do this together as one. Ugh you guys got me ranting again. Someone brought up the interesting perspective of "it is better if more people don't know about it" and keep it in the dark. Of course that goes against every fiber of my being and the whole point as to why I started A Space Story... but you know I am really seeing their point.

Anyways I am really shooting for an 85+ tonight for sleep. Wish me luck guys!

Friday April 10, 2020

Sleep: 6 hours 39 minutes (score: 88)

Weight: 99.8 lbs

Exercise: yes

Overall: positive

And another good day! I did another panel webinar for Project PoSSUM this morning. I was the moderator this time... and if I do say so myself, I freaking crushed it. I mostly say that because tons of people said I freaking crushed it. I was a little worried I was too push or rushed... it is hard to stay in the time limit. But I know I also put my Bailey spin on it and that seemed to be what people liked! This webinar was on analog missions (I have never done one, hence why I was the moderator and not a panelist) and how it relates to what we are all going through. Since I have called this blog series an analog mission... I think you guys know the two are related. I really enjoyed the panelists talking about their time in isolation. They gave some good tips such as keep a schedule and know yourself before you go into a simulation. They also spent a lot of time talking about the team dynamics in the habitat. We talked about conflict and how to manage it (mostly with transparency and calm/cool/collective voices) but I wanted to highlight how much they all loved their team. I bet at the time some of the teams were strained but at the end of the day, they all came out stronger. I thought that was really cool. And something I think I am missing in my isolation period. I don't have a team to bond with. It made me kind of jealous of family units. I bet if I were with my family we would play games some of the nights like Sorry or Catan or cards (remind me to tell you guys about Bambu!) and just bond a little bit. I like seeing all these videos of families doing dumb trends and getting the parents involved. So yeah, I think that is an area I am missing out on. I mean don't get me wrong, my cat is great... but she is kind of needy and really doesn't understand how Sorry works.

I have been able to get all my random activities and side projects under control because of the lack of family unit. So it isn't all bad. Just would have led to a different isolation experience. Makes me excited for when I do fine my real life analog mission team down the road.

The other thing of note today was I got a bunch of phone cases in the mail! RhinoShield reached out to me because they just released their Cosmo collection of cases and dude... they are dope. I chose five (NASA meatball, NASA worm, Apollo lander trajectory, shuttle, and... my favorite thin blue line with the moon in the background) but then they also sent me one with my name on it. Honestly I really like the cases, the company, and the way they interacted with me! And fun fact, if you go online and use my code you get 10% off your entire purchase! Go check them out here! So I mean if you need a new phone case or three... or an Easter present... or you know Mother's Day or Christmas... use ninjaneergirl at check out! And there is my sales pitch for the day. Bet you didn't know there was going to be advertising in this post did ya? And you can't even skip this ad after 5 seconds so ha.

I had a rough ending tonight. I am going to bed WAY later than I wanted and I accidentally ruined something in the wash. Honestly I feel like an idiot. I am trying to make myself qualified for space but I can't even do laundry right. What is wrong with me?  Anyways I am really beating myself up over that one and I don't know why.

I must try to salvage my sleep score tonight. I hope everyone had a great intro into the weekend. And don't forget... tomorrow is Yuri's night!

Saturday April 11, 2020

Sleep: 7 hours 47 minutes (score: 87)

Weight: 101.8 lbs

Exercise: no

Overall: positive

*In tune to the music inside my head* I was extremely productive today and I feel amazing about it. Do do dooooo. I got two big pieces of homework done and worked on some PoSSUM stuff, spent time on social media, and got a plan together for the rest of my week. I feel really proud of staying focused today. I even decided my next thing.

*Drum roll* (once again just the one inside my head) I want to work on publishing a paper. Like a real technical paper. I think one of my biggest things is I don't feel like people take me seriously from a technical point of view. Heck I don't even feel like a real engineer sometimes and I don't feel like "I got this" when people talk about their successes in a professional aspects. I feel like people like me and want the best for me and are really supportive and are impressed by my people skills and outreach and my willingness to help or to learn... but nobody comes to me for truly technical things. And I am worried even I couldn't handle it. So I would like to put the research into understanding something well enough to write a published paper on it. And after giving a lot of thought to what gets me super excited, I know its big picture space stuff on how we are actually going to do this thing. It is space infrastructure. Annnnnd that is about as far as I got. My view point on what our space infrastructure should look like. Guess we'll see what happens.

We also had Yuri's Night tonight! It was epic! So many AMAZING people joined in to talk about such amazing topics. I was floored by so many of the astronauts talking... but as we got later into the night... I started recognizing more and more people. Some of the people I work with or stay in contact with or even just met in person a few times were on there talking about space things. It was INCREDIBLE to see so many friendly faces. It also made me feel like maybe I could be on the right track to go cool things and be a face for space...

I don't know. Many mixed emotions today. Even in these three paragraphs. "I got this! Doing all the things and freaking killin' it" to "Oh god I am a fraud when it comes to technical" to "maybe I can do this thing!" Welcome to the life of Bailey.

Tomorrow is going to be interesting. I have a lot to cram into my day and I am worried I won't have any energy to do it... Should have gone to bed earlier... oh well.

Also Chris Hadfield liked my tweet today. Callin' it a win.