Finding The Flow

by Anna Parsec
Updated: May 27, 2024
8 minute read
james getting ready to play football at MSSL

Thinking back about this week makes me wonder whether we’ve finally figured out our flow of life and found a way to make it work for us. We have so many aspects of life, that sometimes it does feel like an incredible and impossible challenge. However, this week proves that it is possible to do it all, feel satisfied, fulfilled and have time for rest from all that joy of life.

Nothing major happening this week, as in no particular drama or significant event apart from participating in such things like James playing football with MSSL stuff for the first time, Catherine from Planetary Group doing her viva (which is presenting her PhD thesis and becoming a doctor), my mum’s 60th birthday that we will properly celebrate when she comes next week.

Without any more bumbling about it all vaguely, let’s get into the week 21 of the year.

Monday 2o May 2024

Working from home and client negotiations

I stayed at home because we had to speak to the client about them wanting to pay only 50%. They changed their mind once we delivered the project despite being impressed with the quality and solution. I didn’t feel 100% right after the previous week (when I had a miscarriage!) but duty called. I am much better at talking to clients, staying firm and on track than James, so it should have been me who speaks to this client. I was waiting for this call all day but it was rescheduled to the next morning. Instead, we were working side by side: I mainly on the PhD stuff and business admin, James – on some key work projects.

Sunrise in warnham - red sun
Tuesday 21 May 2024

Successful negotiations, work & MSSL

Finally had that call with the client first thing in the morning and managed to provide such arguments which left the client no choice but to agree to a 100% payment. The rest of the day I spent at the MSSL focusing on science, research and code and James working at home.

Irises at MSSL
Wednesday 22 May 2024

Playing football again after 9 years (Coming out of retirement)

I am not sure who was more excited about football happening on Wednesday afternoon: me or James. I saw him playing with a football a little before. Now I was dying to see him play properly. My dream came true! James hesitated whether to join my colleagues but as soon as he was all dressed on the pitch, it was apparent how natural he was there. I’ve never heard him shout out as much as there: “Here if you need”, “Turn!”, “Switch!”, “Man on!”. Phrases I’ve never heard before but something that worked during that MSSL five a side.

MSSL team and James playing football
Thursday 23 May 2024

Researching a new desktop computer - it's like putting a space instrument together

James was busy finding the perfect combination for his new desktop computer. He said that it felt so similar to me creating and putting all the spacecraft together with power, thermal, data rate and stuff like that needing to work perfectly together without compromising each other’s capabilities but rather emphasising them.

At the same time I was focusing on my Python code for my data analysis and progressed incredibly. I was so excited to finish it that it was something I kept doing once I was back home. In the evening I got to the plot I was working towards. I gave a brief talk to James about my research. It was a very nice practice for my presentations in June.

Anna is proud of her Python code

Friday 24 May 2024

PhD viva and Mum's 60th Birthday

My mum’s 60th birthday. She celebrated it on that day in her own company and at work. She said she had a great time. Then she followed into the celebrations with my brother and his girlfriend (walk in the park, picnic and Indian restaurant in the evening where we all celebrated her 50th birthday) the next day. We are yet to celebrate it with her when she’s visiting us next week.

I was preoccupied that Friday though with organising viva celebrations which is the event when one of the PhD students presents their thesis to the examiners and becomes a Doctor. We blew lots of balloons, there was a Mars (sphere like) cake and lots of prosecco.

Saturday 25 May 2024

A day at home (FA Cup Final Day)

We spent this day at home doing all sorts around the house. I planted a rooted branch of gooseberry bush, mint and sunflower. I also tested a new pan for pancakes because my original one was too big for this electric stove we have now. It was a success! I also cross checked the recipe with my grandma beforehand and updated it here. James’ day was planned around Man United – Man City match where Man United won the FA Cup. He predicted 4:2 in favour of Man City. I was thinking something similar. What a surprise it was with 2:1!

Anna and James watching FA cup final
Sunday 26 May 2024

Home chores and a working bank holiday Sunday

Apart from house chores like cooking, cleaning and laundry and also apart from working and talking to clients, I was shaving James’ beard and creating the hair fade at the back. We watched a couple of videos to understand how the fade is done. I think I did quite a good job! I love cutting stuff: bushes, lawns, hair, beard. Cannot wait for the next time to do it all better.

Anna shaving James' beard

If you are curious, here are our living costs for this week 21 of the year (20-26 May 2024).

20 May – 26 May 2024
One week of rent of a one bedroom house in West Sussex but near Surrey Hills
Broadband, airtime and device bills
Unimaginable that we didn’t spend anything on transport this week
We started the competition of who can buy food for the whole week for less. We are going to purchase in store or online in turns. Whoever is in charge can decide on the recipes and put veto on naughty items. This week was Anna’s
New desktop computer for James, lots of Amazon purchases for the house and ahead of mum’s arrival (like new bed and mattress for guest bedroom)
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