I’m a bit of a night owl.
I always have been. I don’t know why, but I dig sleeping in and staying up late.It’s not that I don’t like being up during the day, but the evening is a great time to get some things — such as a job hunt, writing or whatever.
That all started back several years ago when I worked for a local weekly paper.I did most of my work at night and several of us used to hang out late into the night, chatting, chilling or doing whatever else.
When I went back to college, I was a bit of a night owl, too. That being said, I purposely made sure I had 8 a.m. classes. In fact, most of the time, I was done by noon. Then I’d usually do whatever work needed to be done, take a power nap and be ready for whatever shenanigans the night had in store for me.
In graduate school, all my classes were after 5 p.m. The night owl continued.
Finally, my last stop, at a daily paper required later hours. The standard shift was 4 p.m.-midnight — or later. Coming home from work, most people don’t go right to bed. That’s no different when you work silly hours. So a 3 a.m. bedtime was never strange for me.
When I lost that job because of my position being cut, I kept those hours. I found writing cover letters, researching jobs and going through the application process worked better at night. Why? It was quiet. No kids, animals or any other noises from the neighborhood to alter my attention.
Then I got a summer gig.
This job, which is a photography job at a local camp that attracts people from around the country and beyond, is a 13-week deal. It’s not bad and there are some really good people there. I’ve enjoyed it so far and expect that to continue.
But holy cow are the hours something to get used to.
See, the job runs, for the most part, from 8 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. In theory, that’s excellent. It gives you normal hours and with the summer as it is, you still have plenty of daylight to do whatever — such as geocaching, or disc golf, or whatever.
And softball, which is something I’m quite happy about.
But that also means my recent bedtime of, oh, 2 a.m. or so is out the door. I have to get up at about 6 a.m., which allows time for a shower, breakfast and travel time to get there on time. It’s about 45 minutes from me, so I have to plan accordingly.
I’ve noticed so far that those hours have wiped me. After work, I’m more likely to fall asleep than go on a hike to find some geocaches.
Part of it I blame on my body not being used to the early wake-up call, which I’m sure will eventually adjust. My sleep pattern is something I’ve had for years, so it’s not easy to change it right away. As the summer wears on, I have a feeling I’ll be OK. And, hopefully, it will help me prepare for something beyond the summer — something I keep working on in hopes of finding the career gig.
The other is the weather. When you are out all day in the elements (so far, hot) and carrying around a camera with a massive zoom, it catches up to you. For the eight or so hours I’m working, I’d guess I’m on my feet for 7-7.5 of them. That works the body over.
In the first two days of outside work (the first day was studio work), I’ve logged 4.6 miles on the pedometer.
Eventually, I expect my body to catch up with things soon, too. And that is something I’ll be quite happy about. Then I can start taking advantage of being done with work with several hours of daylight remaining.
In the end, I’ll take the all the results of having this new job. Sleep, a sore body and whatever else. Being back in the workforce — if even just for 13 weeks — is a good thing.
But those sleep patterns… they aren’t easy to change!
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