Coffee Over Wine
I know, hold on, now--I know what you're thinking, but let me paint a picture for you:
If you've read almost anything else on this website, you're well aware of the fact I work nightshift. Yes, this is going to be another reflection upon that nightshift life. Seeing as how the original post I wrote got completely wiped clean, prior to hitting "Publish" (rookie mistake, I know), let's see if I can convey the same cheery tone, all of the way through. Here goes round two.
Coming off an approximately 90-hr working streak, I took yesterday and today off. Trying to get my sleep flopped back around, yesterday morning started fairly early. My body popped out of bed at about 04:30, and by 05:30, I had conceded to waking up. I headed to the kitchen to microwave a cup of toasted tar, while booting up my laptop. That, my friends, is the start of this story.
Like most adults coming home from work, I enjoy a glass of some beverage, while doing some trivial task to unwind. For me, it's become a habit of working on this site. But ask any stranger on the street what kind of person drinks wine at 7 o'clock in the morning, and they're likely to respond "an alcoholic".
So, here I am, in a position I've found myself in for a few weeks now; sitting at my kitchen table, typing away with a glass of something within reach, listening to screaming schoolkids trying to catch the bus. But, instead of working to wind down, my day is just beginning. That hot cup of coffee, mixed with the first chirps of the morning birds, hit me somewhere deep within. I don't remember the last time I heard the birds wake, and even doing so, it didn't send me panicked to my bedroom, praying to immediately fall asleep.
It was morning, and for once, I was joining the 98.7% of my American counterparts, and was just starting off my day.
The part that hit me the most, was for the rest of the world, it was a regular working day. I went to the post office, the grocery store, the pharmacy, and for a run. All tasks, as history has shown, I rarely do given my current work/sleep cycle. Heading out to meet a friend for dinner, I got caught in the dreaded rush-hour traffic. The difference, though, is that all of these tasks seemed...lighter. Waiting for over an hour at the post office was no problem, at all. I was elated I was simply at the post office! Getting caught in the rain on the trail--it was still warm from the day! Rush-hour traffic? You mean other people live in this city, too?!
Much of this goes back to a positive mindset. Daily inconveniences always seem better when placed in the right light. For me, however, it has shown me so much more. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to go to a straight work shift. It should (theoretically) open up my life for more out-of-work activities, and that's the optimism I will cling to, for now.
But, the reality of it is, it can only be temporary. Going back to my general attitude, I'd like to consider myself, naturally, a fairly positive person. I love the peace and comfort of the night, and given the right mental state, I accomplish my best work when the rest of the world is sleeping. What I've come to learn, though, is that this must be a choice. I must choose the quiet. If it's forced, I can sit for hours upon hours, and barely scrape up a paragraph of useful work. I'll tell you right now, I'll also be very salty about it, too.
I met a friend last night for tacos and sangria. We talked. We talked about work, about life, about life after work, and how neither of us have one. We joked with the bartender about how much it would take to have his job. He brushed it off as friendly banter, but deep down, a part of me was actually quite curious, and my friend, she knew this.
I guess, to wrap it all up, it's a self-revelation. It feels like a "Duh, you should have already known this." moment, but seeing things in the light of day, it puts my personal preferences in clear view. As I've come to learn, more often than not, I choose coffee, over wine.