April 21, 2006

The Term "Day Owl" Is Just Lacking Something, Right??

I have never denied being a night owl. There wasn’t ever a reason to. It started when I was old enough to figure out how to stuff towels under the door so that my mom couldn’t tell that I still had a light on to read by. And it was firmly cemented into my body clock in college, when procrastination and deadlines helped me to produce some of my finest work after midnight.

I thought it was going to play into this new overnight working schedule so nicely…imagine someone actually paying me to stay up and work after 11 PM?! It’s too perfect.

But what I am slowly realizing is that while I am an undeniable night owl, what I didn’t take into consideration is that when you swap your days and nights around, being a so-called “night owl” doesn’t change. I’m still staying up too late…it’s just too late in the afternoon now instead of the wee hours of the morning.

I’m going to have to invest in some serious blackout curtains for my apartment soon. It may have been cloudy all last week here in the Flathead Valley, but I swear it is impossible to go to bed when the sun is saying one thing and my body is saying another. I wake up so confused and disoriented.

However, other than my struggle to change my sleeping patterns, things are going well. I’ve been off training for 2 nights now, and thus far, nothing has blown up in my face. I’m still trying to get a feel for things, in the sense that I don’t totally understand the way things operate around here. I’m getting the basics covered, but I’m just doing my thing and watching people, trying to figure out people and the working environment I have stepped into.

I come on shift at 11 each night, and it takes me about an hour to get the laundry started and finish my paperwork. I then have about 5 hours before I need to do anything else. I sit behind this desk and listen to the girls toss and turn, talk in their sleep, and breathe loudly. Some of these girls put my college roommate to shame with their sleep talking. I mean, full on sentences, and paragraphs, even, from some of them. And who knew that people breathed so loudly when they slept?
Anyway, needless to say, I get a lot of reading accomplished between midnight and 5 AM. Not much different from my “night-owl” escapades of old; except now I have to put the book down, get 18 girls up and motivated to start a new day, and resist the urge to fall asleep for another 7 hours or so. And the days when I have staff meetings after I get off shift…oh man, is it hard to not yawn all the way through them! I mean, not that would change a lot even if I had just woken from a restful 8 hours of sleep…but it certainly increases the level of difficulty.

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