I've been lurking in the woodwork for a while, figured I'd pop back in and say hello.
Had my first drive on Mars on Jan 2nd which was super exciting. More on that in a post I'm working on & will link here when it's done. Bottom line - it was awesome. Drilling capability on the rover should be back soon!
Fiance's sister is getting married this weekend, which means we get to see family for the first time in over a year. It will only be a couple days, but his family has the most fun weddings and I really really miss them.
Training for marathon #6 is going well. Not too enthused that my running routes are all flat and the race is going to be hilly, so hopefully the stairs and inclined treadmill I've added into my training routine will help with that. Not sure what else to do besides drive myself into the mountains at 4am to get in hills before work. We'll see what happens.
I've started making art again!
Always trying to be creative with xmas gifts for friends and family, I decided this year to sketch everyone's pets onto plywood, use nails for a good border, and then fill in the colors with yarn. I'm pretty proud of how they turned out, and it's one low-tech thing I can do now that really does relax me. Which I need because...
I can't even begin to describe how burnt out I am right now. I can't remember even basic words when speaking (would call it aphasia but it goes away when I'm not long term loosing my mind; had it on and off in grad school), GAD is hardcore kicking in, and basically I feel like I'm trying to live on fumes with half a brain. It's so frustrating to not be able to articulate myself at work, and I'm sure it must be confusing to see someone who clearly knows what they're doing not be able to use words to talk about it, and someone who a few months ago was on top of everything and coming in before deadlines no longer be able to make an extended, extended deadline. I love the work I'm doing and don't want to complain, but at the same time I keep getting asked to work overtime on days off and can't get myself to say no. I was supposed to work overtime the day before NYE and ended up being so sick I couldn't leave my bed for 4 days. On day 5 I was back at 8am. At least in a sense it shows how much I love what I'm doing, because it's a dream job.
I know the answer is that I need a break, I just don't know how to get one, because I have no vacation days. Without trying to go into too much detail, I got hired into NASA not as a full employee but as a long term contractor (DC level people putting a stranglehold on JPL hiring is my understanding) which means while all my colleagues get 8+ weeks of vacation every year I max out at 5 days. I was told that the contractor->JPL transition would be quick, but 2 years later here I am, still with no ability to take a break, and still no timeline for the conversion. Going to Nepal feels like a mistake, and even half of that trip was unpaid leave. I didn't know this would keep going this long. With half our family on the other side of the country and the other half in Europe, I haven't seen family besides my sibling, who luckily lives nearby, in a year. It doesn't help that I hate living in a city setting, I don't like LA weather (would much prefer to be snowed in right now! I used to love it) and our rent just raised us out of being able to afford our apartment. So now we're hunting again, and most places ignore you when you mention you have a service animal. Guys, I'm exhausted.