Recently I started venturing back into the world of night shift life and it has been interesting. While I am typically a night owl I also like the independence of going to bed at a decent hour or whenever I like. But this new go-around of night shift has been eye-opening. It’s been about 4 yeas since I worked nights consistently and I was harshly reminded of the brain fog that comes along with being sleep deprived. But the upside is that I get to wear relatively comfy clothes and attempt to navigate various crisis’ in an environment with limited resources. It’s a great fit for someone who hates to be bored and likes a lot of variety. I have to say though that I am missing sleeping at night more than I thought I would. As much as I like the hustle and bustle of a fast paced job, a quiet night at home is becoming more of my style. However, variety is the spice of life and it feels nice to sharpen some skills that have dulled.
I have to admit that I tend to be an all or nothing type of person. While I try my best to be flexible, I’m happier when things go my way. Traveling has become a pretty big hobby for me now but I find that it’s difficult to switch between vacation mode and work mode. Weekend trips are great but they tend to end too soon and it’s hard to not think about work when you have 48 hours before you have to go back. It’s easier for me to work hard for a period of time and then go exploring than to switch back and forth. I like longer vacations because I think that it actually gives you time to unwind and relax. As much as a regular job with minimal time off can be exhausting, it’s important to have something to look forward to as motivation. When I’m in work mode I’m a homebody. I’m focused and I’m counting down the days to vacation. I’m not looking for new places to explore because I’m focused on doing what I need to do in order to take a much needed break.
I have to say that living out a suitcase makes you really think about your life in detail. Moving to a new place is something that everyone should experience at some point. It’s absolutely exhilarating, exhausting, and downright scary to move across the country, get a new place and start a job within 72 hours. Living out a suitcase really makes you think about the value that a lot of people put in material things. While I miss cable, feeling somewhat stable, and coming home to my dog every day, I’m glad that I’m doing something different. I have a job that I can quit in 12 weeks without any hard feelings and an opportunity to do it again as much as I’d want to. I don’t miss paying rent and it’s cool driving around exploring. Despite a horrific new schedule and the uncertainty about where I’ll live next, I’m ok.
I ran across this intriguing article the other day. The first thing that caught my eye was the fact that the author mentions a group of people called creatives, and while I haven’t heard that term used a lot in relation to a specific category of people, I think it’s similar to people we often call “free-spirits.” You can read the article here. The basic assertion is that creative people hate the traditional 9-5 job and I can definitely relate. While I am an individual who appreciates structure and routine at times, my aversion to feeling confined puts me in the category of people who strongly dislike traditional work hours in traditional settings. The article references the fact that creatives hate to restrict motivation to certain hours during the day. I’ve never been much of a morning person–preferring instead to wake up at my own pace and start my day on my own terms. That’s just not possible in most jobs where you have to be at work between the hours of 7 and 9am Monday through Friday. That’s way too much structure for my taste. I love the idea of taking random breaks during the day to run errands and shop and then return to work. Sounds idealistic I know. Working at my own pace without being micromanaged is also important to me because I think I’m quite capable of getting work accomplished in a reasonable period of time without multiple interruptions from those who have the need to reassure themselves that I am indeed doing my job. It’s funny how much of the work world in the States revolves around this type of schedule. Working 5 days and then only having 2 days off to recuperate. I tried a job with traditional hours and lasted a little bit over three months because it was way too much structure for my tastes. While I don’t think I would categorize myself as a “creative,” after reading the article I can relate to every single one of the annoyances of having a traditional work schedule. I guess that’s why I work nights. For now at least.
I’ve always been somewhat of a night owl. I remember being forced to go to bed in the summer when it was still light outside and reading until I could no longer see the words on the page. Looking back, that’s probably why I started wearing glasses at an early age. In college, sleep became a priority that I held in high importance. Yet, I remember an ENTIRE semester where I went to bed at midnight or later every night with 22 credit hours and two jobs. It wasn’t the best schedule for my health but I stayed relatively healthy without any major mishaps. The silver lining to that semester was that i finished with a 3.9 GPA. I recently transitioned to working nights and it’s been a huge adjustment. When I worked nights before I flip flopped between days and nights and came closer than I wanted to losing my mind with the lack of sleep. My new schedule is still fairly brutal but it provided the escape that I needed from a 9-5 schedule which I really strongly dislike. Through this process I have had a renewed appreciation for sleep. I know that I don’t want to do nights for the rest of my life because I don’t want chronic insomnia. For now, sleep is once again a priority and I’ll have to get creative so that I have enough to function.