Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Extreme Night Owl

"Night owl is a term used to describe a person who tends to stay up until late at night. The term is derived from the primarily nocturnal habits of the owl.

Usually, people who are night owls keep awake past midnight and extreme night owls may stay awake until 5:00 AM or later.

Some night owls have a preference or habit for staying up late, or stay up to work the night shift." - Wikipedia

I have been at my job for just over 9 1/2 years, most of that time has been spent working the overnight shift. Overnights started as 12 hour shifts, working 7pm-7am 3 days a week, but we have now migrated to a combination schedule to better accommodate the company's business needs. Unfortunately these schedules aren't very to a "normal" family life. Actually, shift work just generally isn't.

When F was much younger, 2nd shift worked out great. I didn't have to worry about missing time with him because he had no obligations (no school yet). Since he has been in school, I have worked these dreaded overnight shifts and it has been a very unskilled juggling act.

While working the 12 hour shifts, my health (and sanity) declined. I was barely functional, and I ended up being diagnosed with Narcolepsy and Shift Worker Sleep Disorder (yes, it is a real disorder). I would fall asleep at work, while driving, and while hanging out with family and friends. It was a miserable existence. The toughest part was not being home in the evenings to "wind down" with the family. Even tougher was F begging me to switch jobs. He didn't care if I worked at 7-Eleven and made significantly less money, he wanted his Mom home in the evenings and wanted me to not be so tired all the time.

When I gave birth to my daughter, J, I took a 3 1/2 month maternity leave. Those of you that have children probably know all to well that people without children are clueless about how needy a newborn really is. I sneered at my co-workers when they commented about my long vacation. What the hell did they know? Sadly, it was the most refreshing period I have had in the last 8.5 years. Even with a newborn demanding the boob every couple of hours, I was more relaxed and less tired than when working. J is now 2 1/2 and I am starting to feel the wave of exhaustion again. I am becoming more forgetful and have even caught myself starting to nod off at work again. Before I blamed it on the longer shifts, but now I have to conclude that my body is just not designed to be an extreme night owl.


Night Owl (Person). (2009). Retrieved March 31, 2009, from Wikipedia

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hi, I'm new here.

I've wanted to start one of these blog-things for about a year now. What has been holding me back? The dang blog name. Yup, that's right! I couldn't start my blog because I didn't know what to call it.

I had the same problem when I had my daughter. Poor child was nameless until she was 2 days old.

So what is "Living in Disproportion"? Sanity for those that I know in real life (I hope) and it's far cheaper than therapy for me.

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