The Harsh Reality

The harsh reality is that my adult coping mechanisms do not engage until noon.  I have given this 4 in the morning crap my best shot and I am not winning the battle.  I might be able to fake my way through a 6AM wake up call a few days a week and manage it but roll-call comes much earlier than that.  I can wake up on Island time and enjoy the day but intricate elements of my survival plan include umbrella drinks and beach-side siestas – and management refuses to sign off on either.  So…  I am left with the facts.  I will never thrive on day shift and oh – how I ever enjoy thriving!

My life is about smiling from the inside out.  It’s about happy, goofy dogs playing in the sun.  It’s about truly “being present” for the moment.  It’s about sharing that energy with friends and family.  It’s about resolving any possible problems before they happen.  I like having a plan.  I like to eliminate worries before they hit the horizon.  As my nephew Grady told his mom one morning, “Mom, it’s Auntie A.  She takes care of everything.  There are NO worries…”

I can’t do that at 4AM.  At that hour, I am grumpy.  I obsess about coffee.  I am resentful of my husband, still asleep in our nice, warm bed.  And I worry.  I worry about my patients.  I worry about my skills.  I worry about my charting.  I do things two, three, four different times because I don’t remember actually doing it.  My brain is asleep, people.  I can’t wake it up.  I don’t enjoy chatter.  I am not present.  I am in survival mode.  Non-critical chit-chat pisses me off — don’t those people have more important things to do?  And where the hell is the coffee?!  There is no smiling on the inside, there is merely gritting my teeth on the outside.  I can’t troubleshoot, I can’t problem-solve and I certainly can not formulate a plan.  These are higher level thinking skills and non-existent in the brain that is simply fighting to survive.

And daylight savings time? It simply put me over the edge. This morning crap is crazy and to do it all one hour earlier than the week before – that’s just plumb freaking nuts!

So I have begged my bosses to help me find a way back to night shift.  It’s where I belong.  It’s where “my people” thrive.  It’s where all of the “told-you-so” friends are sitting back with a big ear to ear and all-too-knowing smile.

I am again smiling from the inside and happy to know that someday I will be back to my normal self.  Until then, just a suggestion; approach me cautiously before noon and perhaps even arm yourself with an extra cup of coffee – just in case.

The “make it all better” coffee mug.