2 Sep

Labor Dave Weekend + BRANDI CARLILE post coming soon.  I have to finish my homework, do some studying, go to the writing center, read the YMCA employee handbook, and edit the pics.  But then-THEN expect an epic post!  For now, here’s one I wrote last week:

coffee owl

I’m having to transition from an extreme morning person to a night owl.  And it’s not in my nature.  Nobody likes switching from their natural body inclinations to a forced schedule, and most people must go in the opposite direction.   Still, I had to work up to it.  It’s all about manipulating the bed-time, because you’re going to wake up how (and when) your body wants to–there’s little controlling that.

I started last week when I found out I got the swing shift job:  Stay awake til 9:30PM.  This was hard!  I had to keep moving, exercise, drink water, and try so much.  I stuck with 9:30 about 4 days.  Then, I went to 10PM for 2-3 days, then it got slightly easier and I was a little used to it.  This wasn’t AS difficult, but still really trying.  I still had to exercise around 8PM when I felt exhausted.  I have been going to bed between 10:30 and 11PM.  It’s still gonna hurt when I have to work until midnight, but not as much as when the latest I EVER went to sleep was 8:30PM.

At this same time, my body was still primed to wake up around 5AM.  And I was still cleaning the vet hospital at 3AM.  This threw everything off and I was tired all the time.  I finally had to go to work at night.  Which I used to hate, but now works better with my new sleep schedule.  This morning was a milestone.  My body didn’t wake up until 6:48AM–which is probably some kind of record.

Another shift that had to be made (two shifts, actually) was the sleeping and feeding schedule of the cats.  They were primed to eat at 7PM and again at 4-ish AM.  And they work up at 4AM (and woke us up) daily, and that didn’t help my sleep situation at all.  I was really tired all the time for a full week and a half.  I shifted them to eat at 8PM.  Actually, once they were awake later with me, the rest kind of took care of itself.  They also seemed really tired all the time.  The slept in, and were too tired to beg for food.  Now they eat at 8:30 (tiny snack just to keep them from being frantic and 10:30PM right before I get in bed.  Then they want to sleep in later in the morning.  And we made a policy they don’t get food until 8AM exactly–for when/if my body every DOES sleep in.

I also had to shift from summer to school.  I worked diligently on my application all summer.  And on working ahead for school.  But it’s not the same as having to attend class, keep up the rigors of projects, and studying for tests.  Having to leave the house every day, wasn’t cool.  Keeping a schedule, when you’ve made your own, was also a challenge.  Re-training my brain to study instead of goofing off is still in progress.  It’s not the productivity that’s different, but the pressure.  In the summer if I wanted a break, wanted to stop and do something fun, or wanted to skip an assignment even–I had the privilege of doing so.  Or at least knowing I could.  Now–I have to press harder.  I’m still working on lengthening my study sessions.  Next week I’ll be ready to hit it hard.

And the last shifting that has to be done is back to employment.  I’m sad to give up MY time, and scared about fitting everything in, and about the potential/inevitable tiredness.  But I’m sure I’ll get right back into it once I start.  After 2 weeks I’ll probably be settled into all my routines:  Sleep (as a night person now), cats, school, study, and work.  I just have 1 more semester HERE, and then I get one more to work, plan, and pack.  It won’t be so bad.  I’m on the down slope of the hill.  It’s been a long, long time since I could say that!

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