Head’s of state, whether noble or tyrant, all have 24 hours to do their good and evil! No one has more than others… so why did I feel cheated out of half my day?
Yes, I'm a hopeless night owl, what can I say? I can pull all night study sessions and hospital night shifts without a problem!
I loved to a run up the hospital stairs in blue med scrubs with a Starbucks Venti Mocha in hand as everyone else was going home. As I'd walk in to the unit to get the day shift report I'd look out the window to the helipad above the Trauma room, and if there was more than one helicopter hovering I knew I'd be in for it… "is that a peds trauma coming in?", “yes it is! And it’s all yours!”. I’d take one deep breath, five sips of that Starbucks Venti Mocha then ten fingers would motion "bring it on, baby!".
Somehow, I managed to pull three 12 hour night shifts at pediatric intensive care unit, followed by three 12 hour day shifts at the newborn intensive care unit. Considering traffic, I did nothing but work as much as needed and sleep when I could, shifting back and forth between day and night shifts.
Now that I work as a freelance medical translator the day is mine, and I just have to roll through a ten second commute to my desk next door. For months, and months I've been trying to be an early bird to no avail!
The alarm would squeal through the room at 5 and I would stare at it wondering "are you kidding me?" (now where's a baseball bat when you need one?!!).
Yes, I’d wake up anyway, determined to adjust to a schedule I'd set for myself, but I’d end up sitting on my desk like a zombie staring point blank at the wall, and the rest of the morning I was by no means a functioning human being. A few hours later I’d give a guilty glance to my humble un-checked to-do list and spend the rest of the day playing the catch-up game!
I kept at this tortuous ritual for months and months, and today something surprisingly clicked!
I woke up refreshed at the ridiculous hour of too-early, and by 4:30 I was done cleaning my room, had finished my eggs and coffee breakfast, listened to a little music and read my emails.
Finally, at 5AM I began to take calls from emergency rooms! By lunch time I had done a full shift and by evening snack my to-do list was all checked off with plenty of free time to spare, and I found myself humming a tune while I warmed the cinnamon roll! :)
If I must be any kind of bird, I'd like for this night owl to morph into a graceful early bird, a swan preferably!
In life we must conquer our little monsters one by one. I found out the hard way that we cannot will ourselves into anything! We are creatures of habit who tend to fall back into our old routines. Breaking a bad routine has been tortuous! The graceful nature of doing what you love and having time for those you love feels good! The satisfaction of today's accomplishment is addictive, and I will use it to steam forward my current momentum in order to manage tomorrow's challenges of full time work and demanding grad school :)
Of course, I must admit I learned from this article: How To Be An Early Riser - a big GRAZIE! :)