Thursday, March 12, 2009

SeaSpray Confession

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Hi, my name is SeaSpray and I'm a nightowlaholic with Bohemian tendencies.

I want to become... a *sigh*...these words are so hard to say.... D-A-Y.. P-E-R-S-O-N.

I feel like I am fighting against a tsunami of accrued years of bad habits... and I've become quite the nocturnal creature. If it weren't for makeup..I am pretty sure I'd be invisible by day.

When I was a young girl (preadolescent), I woke the birds up. But somewhere along the way...I lost my morning mojo, trading it in for a lady of the evening and then some, lifestyle.

Lady of the evening you say?

Yes... from high school on...most of my jobs have been the on evening shift... 3-11... hence lady of the evening. I have worked day jobs...even opened a ski area office at 6 a.m. - that was my earliest. I've worked in business offices, banking and was a waitress starting at 7am right after high school.

But...when I lived alone with mom, she didn't get off work until 2 am and I got used to staying up late..because I could. And at 14...when I moved in with my aunt and uncle...my aunt was a night owl. So some of it was environmentally induced.

In H.S., I worked mostly 3-11s at the ski area and in my senior year... 3-11 pumping gas. Oh and there was a clothing store job 3-9.

I worked at SCARC 3-11 for 9 mos before switching to days..although I chose the hours 11 a.m.-7 p.m in the SCARC office. That year I also worked days in a gift store and while I had those jobs, I began at the hospital..3-11 evening shift during the week and 7-3 on alternate weekends.

But it was the 3-11 shift at the hospital for 20 years that was like nature's call of the wild to my Bohemian spirit. :) And on top of that... the last 5, years..I worked at another job where I could choose my hours..unless something specific was scheduled. It was usually only 5 hours a day and most people would've done 9-2 or 10-3 pm. Not me. I usually gravitated to 11:30 to 4:30 and I came alive after 3pm...when true day people are beginning to fade.

I LOVED the 3-11 shift at the hospital! It was perfect for when the boys were little. I was almost always there for them. They never had to go into day care. And if they were ill...they never had to leave the house.

I was also fortunate that I had a good support system of loving family and trusted friends to help for those times when I had to be at work. but mostly, my husband and I were like 2 ships passing in the night. His schedule was such that he could usually take over when I had to leave.

As they got older..I thought about switching to days... but never did and wondered if I could ever really make the break. One of my coworkers was also a mom with a family who found the 3-11 suited her family needs as well. She loved 3-11 and said she used to go to bed with Jay Leno..who was on TV..of course.

But then she left to work at a doctor's office and became a complete day person. She told me that you come home exhausted and are ready for bed and your body acclimates to the new schedule. It makes sense... but is just hard for me to imagine... being one of those days only creatures. Foreign concept.

On 3-11, I can get so much done or swim or whatever and then go to work with plenty of energy.

On day jobs... I come home tired and do not get the same things done.

But... I actually LOVE early mornings, seeing the sun come up, getting on the road early, smelling the coffee at work and experiencing the bustling of a new day. If I am home...I get so much more done than if I sleep late.

I want to switch to day working hours. Or day/early evening..like doctor office hours. I don't want to come home 11 at night anymore.

I just want to add about 3-11, by the time I would be home at 11:30 (if I got out on time)...I would be bright eyed and bushy tailed and hungry by the time I walked in the door. So, I'd eat and easily be up until 1 or 2 am. It became a lifestyle.

But since I haven't worked...this last year...and I think partially because of blogging...I find myself up until 3-4:30 am...fairly consistently. And yes...my husband and I have time together because of his schedule. We actually see each other more now than when I worked.

Actually...the ridiculously late bedtime hours began in November 07 because I had an awful upper respiratory infection and simply could not lie down and sleep without coughing to the point of feeling like I couldn't breathe. So I would sit up and sip on hot tea, with lemon and honey and blog and only took naps whenever I could for about 3 weeks. And it seems from that point on...I acclimated to those wee hours of the morning... and I guess also..because I could.

So...for 16 months...this horrible bedtime habit has become ingrained into my lifestyle and I hate it. And you know...even though I sleep later... I am more tired and I think that is because it is just NOT the same as when you go to bed at a decent hour. I don't know if there is science to back this up, but I heard a medical doctor discuss how she over came breast cancer with a holistic diet/lifestyle (I am not saying others should do this) and she also said she was in bed every night by 10pm. She said something about that the earlier you are sleeping prior to 2 a.m. ..the better your body is protected from getting cancer. (Again-I don't know if that is true.) If I am in bed by midnight, I think it is early!

I have considered some day positions at some hospitals that would begin at 7 a.m. and involve more commuting then I am used to. I don't mind the commute... but it was the factoring in what time I would have to get up... to get ready... to leave... to be at work 15 minutes early... allowing for traffic...and I got panicky. (But it IS what I really DO want to do) Oh sure..8-4:30, 9-5:30, or even until 9pm would be okay... but I do want to become a day creature.

Then recently, I inquired about a full time 3-11 position (although then you never see your day people in your life), and I admit... I felt relief at the idea of not going in until 3 p.m. But it is NOT what I really want to do. That is taking the easy way out.

Last night...ahem..this morning...I was a pretty good SeaSpray in that I went to bed at 2 a.m., but I didn't actually go to sleep until around 3:15 a.m., at least that is when I last looked at the clock.

I was tossing and turning.... and then even had to get up to tinkle. If I got two solid hours of sleep... that was a lot. I definitely did not get rem sleep. I heard my husband's 4:30 alarm go off too. Finally by 07:15, I couldn't stand it and just got up and I have been up ever since and it is 12:11 p.m. right now as I type this.

Now...I also know that hormones can cause this in menopausal women. Btw... I am still PERI-menopausal, as the cotton pony..well she still comes ridin into town. Right or wrong...some of you know of my sensitivities about the cotton pony fading off into the sunset. LOL! Of all people ...my urologist-(TRUE story) does. I shocked myself with that one! :)

So... a pot of coffee later (I never drink that much coffee in such a short time and usually not in a day), I have gotten a gazillion things done and had time to read and blog. I really am so much more efficient at home in the morning! And I got all these things done while exhausted.... washed and dried clothes, emptied dishwasher, tonight's dinner is mostly made, straightened up, phone calls in, wiped down the bathroom, cleaned some clutter and here I am. And it feels so good because I love efficiency!

I am going in to take a shower and then to see mom and maybe grocery shop if I still have the stamina.

No matter what...I-AM-NOT-GOING-TO-TAKE-A-NAP! As soon as these baby blues begin to close and I feel like Dorothy going down in the poppy fields... I am going to BED. If for some Bizzarro reason..I wake up to soon or can't sleep...then I will knock myself out with 50mg of Benadryl.

So, I am confessing...owning up to being a nightowlaholic with the hopes of setting a marker in time...today..March 12, 2009... that I will choose to once and for all make a healthy lifestyle choice and get into bed...at least by midnight...preferably earlier.

And if someday..I choose to do 3-11s it should because I really want to do them..not because I am taking the easy way out. Of course...all that being said...it also might just be that I will prefer being a lady of the evening in the end. Although...that being said... everyone I have worked with at the hospital who worked 3-11s in the past...once they switched to days...they ALL have said they'd never want to go back to it.

In 12 step programs, they say one of the 1st things a person has to do to overcome an addiction is to own up to it and admit they have the addiction.

So there you go..I SeaSpray have confessed to being a nightowlaholic, which at this time in my life is a bad habit I choose to recover from.

And that is all I have to say about that.

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