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About SkyGirl

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    Wielder of the Silver Bow


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  1. The Silver Archer: Solo Mission

    Just a quick update because I need to go to bed; but I tried the Pomodoro-style timer at work today and it seemed to help a lot! There were several times I started to get antsy, but I made myself wait until the timer went off before getting up and taking a break. I'm going to use it the rest of this week and see if it helps! The reason I say it "seemed" to help is because I wasn't exactly in top shape today - my sun poisoning was even worse today than it was yesterday, and I was weak, dizzy, nauseated, fatigued, and of course in terrible pain the whole day. Here is my lovely sunburn: Last night and this morning I even felt kind of mentally/emotionally strange, like I was thinking about weird things as I went to bed and random, small things were really irritating me. I felt "off" the whole day and am slowly getting better tonight. So, tomorrow I shall try the Pomodoro-style timer again, and see if it works when I'm feeling slightly healthier as well as when I feel like I might be dying. I also had the brilliant idea to bring my over-the-ear headphones, which cancel out much more noise than my earbuds and also send a clearer "don't bother me, I'm working" vibe. I probably won't use them for as long a time normally as I did today - I doubted my ability to string words together coherently today - but they definitely do work and people do leave me alone. Now to try to sleep ...
  2. The Silver Archer: Solo Mission

    That is ... really depressing, Puck!! So many years of no sunlight! ... anyway. Thank you so much for the tips and encouragement. I did try to get a little sunlight today and it did help, and I took a long walk with some other interns, too, which was really nice. I'll keep trying to sniff the outdoors and squint at the sun and keep my spirits bright!!
  3. The Silver Archer: Solo Mission

    One of the hardest parts of this, for me, is that not putting the lid of forced positivity over the bad feelings means that then I have to experience the bad feelings. I got really used to excusing people's behavior or explaining it away so I didn't have to deal with feeling angry or disgusted or annoyed. In this case, focusing on feeling grateful and happy about all I'm learning would mean that I didn't have to deal with the discomfort of feeling lonely and homesick and out of place. I know it isn't healthy to hide the bad feelings and pretend they don't exist, and I'll get more skilled at observing and releasing the bad feelings, instead of getting hung up on them. But that's the part that's taking the most practice. And thank you so much - that means a lot to me. Dad has been so much more effusive in his praise, encouragement, and affection since I came out here than he has ever been before, and I am drawing so much strength from that, too. People telling me they're proud of me is one of the most important ways I feel loved and supported.
  4. The Silver Archer: Solo Mission

    First and foremost, if you don't follow me on Instagram (as you should!!), here are a few of my favorite pics from our beautiful sunny beach day yesterday (hover over the image to see the arrows to see more): It was just the right temperature, in the low 80's; no clouds to speak of and a wonderful breeze; and the beach was full of happy families and couples who were so much fun to watch and be around. I don't know how to swim, so I stayed in the shallows and hunted seashells; and I wound up with a beautiful collection of clam and oyster shells, a piece of sea glass, and one crab shell that broke on the trip home (and broke my heart along with it, because it was a beautiful delicate carapace shell from a lady crab: It really did have those gorgeous leopard spots all over it and I'm crushed - pun slightly intended - that it didn't survive the trip. Today I'm resting at home with severe sunburn and some sun poisoning - catching up on laundry and messaging people, drinking tea and juice to get re-hydrated, and wishing I could be home with my dad for Father's Day. I've been really homesick the last few days - not acutely distressed, as I keep quickly reassuring people, just a low-level tiredness of being so far away from my family and my apartment and my town. Eight more weeks until I get to go home sounds like an awfully long time. And - I started to add my usual "but I know everything will be all right and I'm grateful for this opportunity" schtick, but out of respect for my counselor and how much hard work she put me through last semester, I won't. I am homesick and it's okay to feel that way. This week I'll be attending my first full Earth Science team meeting, which is exciting; I have some quick-turnaround stories to get out, which means more publications!!; and I'm going to tinker with some productivity strategies and see if I can make this week pass more pleasantly and productively. If either of my roommates goes back to the mall this week, I'm going to cough up as much money as it takes to buy a warm sweater. I can't do anything about my office being dark, but I can tackle the "cold" and "uncomfortable" parts!! Also going to post some more narrative soon! I've been thinking about it for a couple of days!
  5. The Silver Archer: Solo Mission

    Thank you my friend!! I was pretty stoked! I've been working on it slowly! I do have a little fake plant in there, and I took over the whiteboard to post my ideas, to-do lists, and interesting goodies I've picked up on tours. Maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to move in some of the fake flowers and things I'm always worried about the cats knocking over ... Thanks also for your encouragement!! That means a lot to me! That's a good idea! My breaks have mostly been random up to this point, but I think taking them at set intervals would really help. Thankfully, my office is super flexible and I think as long as I get my tasks done and don't take breaks so frequent they think I'm not working, it's okay to implement some productivity hacks. One of the editors actually edits articles by downloading them onto his phone and walking in circles around the office while he edits. I see him get up and do that at least 4 or 5 times a day. So if anyone asks and I let them know it's a productivity hack, I think they'll be okay with it. And yes - tea is ALWAYS the answer, no matter what the question. (Unless it's a question of getting up in the morning; then the answer is coffee.) Hmm ... maybe something less obvious than squats. But the idea is good. I really wish I had one of these: ADD indeed. I'm getting more and more convinced I will be talking to my counselor about this in the fall and seeing if she thinks I should pursue treatment. I'll think about the sitting-on-the-floor idea, but getting a squishy chair pad (one of my coworkers has one) or something else fiddly is a good idea too. I'll do some shopping. And YESSS, phytoplankton rock!! Well, actually they swim. And only some of them swim. But whatever. The ocean was great, but you know? I actually do think I like mountains better. My sister and I had a conversation a few weeks ago about what type of landscape is our "happy place", and I said based on my personality it should be the ocean, but I thought it was mountains for me instead; and after going to the beach for the first time in 26 years yesterday, I can definitely confirm I love mountains more. That said, it was SO incredibly big and powerful and loud and full of colors, and I absolutely loved it. I loved burying my feet in the sand and letting the waves crash against me; I loved digging around for shells and smooth stones (and found one piece of sea glass!!); and I especially loved watching all the children splashing and swimming and having fun together. It was a great day.
  6. The Silver Archer: Solo Mission

    Thank you guys so much for your support, advice, and encouragement - I'm sorry I've been so bad about replying, but I promise I read and thought on each one of your responses this week. This week, the tours and fun things are over, and the real work has begun. I thought I was looking forward to this part; but frankly, most of my days are spent feeling frustrated because I feel miserable. I'm really, really having a hard time sitting in one place for eight hours a day, especially when that place is dark and cold and drafty and uncomfortable.The work is fascinating and I'm learning so much (I was finally published this week!!); but instead of being able to enjoy it, I'm constantly consumed by a boredom, discomfort, and need to move that are almost physically painful. Because my beloved job under my editor was much the same way, despite the more relaxed environment, I don't have much hope that this will improve. So far, the only two things that alleviate the discomfort are walking, which I can't do too much of, and - of course - snacking. I haven't had a real lunch in four days because I couldn't keep out of my Goldfish crackers before lunch, and ended up eating them all right before lunchtime and calling that lunch. *headdesk* I'm going to look for some lower-calorie snacks at the store next time, and I'll also take some tea bags and a mug to my cube so I can drink tea instead of eat. I wish I would just not be fidgety instead ... but since that's not likely to happen, rice cakes and tea it is. The work is still amazing and the people are great, don't get me wrong - I still love this job and I'm glad I'm here. I just wish I could do my awesome writing about satellites and phytoplankton and permafrost ... outside. Or on my couch. Or even sitting on the floor would be better. In other news, the neighborhood is still ... very different than home. My roommates were teasing me the other day because I said I didn't know what marijuana smelled like; and as if by magic, we came home yesterday evening and our entire apartment building was filled with reeking clouds of weed smell. *gag* Thankfully that was the first time that has happened, and today the smell is gone - but I'm really hoping that doesn't happen again. They smoked most of the night and it eventually filled our apartment too. Tomorrow some of us are going to drive to the ocean! I"m going to be stuck in the car with the very chatty extroverts, and I'm dreading that; but once we get there I know it will be lovely. I haven't seen the ocean in 24 years!
  7. The Silver Archer: Solo Mission

    THE SILVER ARCHER: BOOK II Chapter 5: Solo Mission The theme of this month's challenge is really about self-care. I feel like I've been doing a lot of that lately and I'm more than ready to get back to butt-kicking, but as the sun rises on Week One, I will be in a van driving ten hours away from the only hometown I've ever known, preparing to spend three months working an incredibly high-stakes internship, living with two strangers (and their cats!), learning the rhythm of a metropolitan region, and basically upending every imaginable portion of my currently quiet, happy, predictable Midwestern life. Recipe for freaking out. So this month, I will be laying out goals to help myself stay centered and not withdraw into a melty puddle of panic during the move and subsequent transition. Week Zero will be move-related goals; the main challenge will help me check in with my morning and evening routines, make sure I'm eating well, and try to work in some physical activity to release stress and keep me feeling good. This will also be a fluid challenge, as I don't know yet what my daily routine at my internship is going to look like (other than the fact that it begins way earlier in the morning than the night-owl schedule I've been keeping) and what is going to be feasible and realistic. I may create small sets of goals at the beginning or end of each week instead of one big set at the beginning of the month. Tomorrow I'm going to create a plan to help me finish packing and getting all the utilities turned on properly (everything is in progress, just not getting accomplished as quickly as I'd like), and this will guide me in the second half of Week Zero. Yoga and physical therapy exercises must happen too, and eating reasonably despite stress and sharks. And lastly, Sky's narrative may or may not appear in this challenge, just to be realistic. But whether or not I find time to write it down, I am very aware of what she is doing currently, and she and all the wisdom she has gathered over the last few months are close with me while I pack and prepare for my own "solo mission", as she prepares to set out into the forests of Middle Earth and uncover the Dark Elf's latest evil scheme.