Wow. I can’t believe October is almost over.
The pace of this month was most definitely set by the new people arriving on station. There were times when I had to deal with winter-brain frustration, which I’m sure did not give some people the best first impression of me. Granted the evil day star has been over the horizon for quite a while now so in theory this whole fogginess that I’ve been dealing with should dissipate soon… It’s just frustrating. Sometimes, T-3 moments are amusing (like when I put toothpaste on my hairbrush last season), but it is kind of scary when I’m in the middle of giving an announcement over the radio, an announcement that I have probably made 100 times, and I blank out mid sentence. I’m so thankful that my supervisor was working with me that day and that she has wintered before, and was able to finish my sentence for me without blinking. And then she was able to explain to one of the new dispatchers that I wasn’t slow, that I had serious winter-brain. The previous days before this incident, my new co-worker just kept looking at me like I had no business working here.
If you’ve never experienced the winter to mainbody transition here at McMurdo, the best analogy I can give for the changing of the seasons is this: Imagine standing in a field or garden, somewhere that you are totally at peace, and then picture swarms of hummingbirds around you. Nothing that means you any harm, but they’re constantly flitting about… they’re looking at you funny, they’re trying to get where they need to go, and you can’t move. They’re speeding about, but you’re either standing still, or walking at a slow pace so you don’t draw their attention.
I’m starting to get back to my normal self though, which is good. I’ve gotten used to the stimulant overdose – freshies, new people, new sounds, new smells (one thing you really notice down here are new smells). I had a case of the crud that lasted about a week and a half.
The hardest part of the past month was my winter-over family leaving me. The ones from the firehouse. The people that I ate almost every meal with, spent almost every evening with… The people that saw me laugh, cry, sing and attempt to dance. That family. It was rough on me. The last three were the hardest to say goodbye to. The Thurmanns and I spent the past two winter seasons together, and the first summer I was here was also the first time Raymond spent a season here. Their last 6 days on continent, I spent almost every hour of my free time with the three of them since I won’t be able to winter next year since I’m staying for the summer season. Ah, Antarctica. Once she wraps her icy fingers around your ankles… yeah, it’s easy to find comfort and community here.
Another difficult adjustment over the past month was getting a roommate. She’s a sweet girl but after having my own room for 8 months, it was a bit of a shock to have someone else in there with me. We get along great and since we work the same hours, we basically have the same sleep schedule. Although this morning when we got home from work (every Sunday we work together), we spent an hour giggling from sleep deprivation and just being silly. It’s a good thing that we don’t have day sleeper neighbors, or we would probably have woken them up.
So that’s just a bit of what is going on. Hope everyone is well.