Daily Archives November 10, 2011

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An ode to second shift

By M Davies   /     Nov 10, 2011  /     Into the Void  /     0 Comment

My last day of second shift was on Friday November, 4th.  I had only started this shift a few months prior, on August 29th.  I have to give myself credit.  I hung in longer than I thought possible.  I left went part time with the second shift now first shift job after accepting a job at a non-profit for considerably less money, but in the end…the better hours were way more valuable than the difference in pay.  I've missed out on so much over the last 3 months.

In the end, my body could not handle the lack of sleep any longer.  I was getting 4-5 hours per night during the week.  If you think about this equation:

(4 hours of sleep) * (5 day work week) = 20 hours of sleep

It should be:

(8 hours of sleep) * (5 day work week) = 40 hours of sleep

I was getting about half of the sleep that normal people get.  I guess I am partially to blame for this.  I overloaded my plate with stuff I thought I could handle, but it ended up frustrating and exhausting me.  Part of this had to do with the 7 credits I am taking this semester.  I thought that I could handle 2 hours of classes during the day twice a week (plus an online class).  This was a bad idea.  Maybe taking a smaller amount of credits or having a class later in the day would have helped the situation, but I can't be sure.  I knew that if I didn't take these specific classes in the fall semester, I would have to wait another year before they were offered again.  I guess that's how I rationalized signing up for these courses.

I figured that a certain someone who lives in the same house as me would be able to get up and get the kids ready for school when I was dead tired.  It turns out, I didn't have that option.  Most days this certain someone has the luxury of sleeping until 8am or sometimes 9am.  So there I was, getting home at close to midnight, falling asleep at 1ish and then getting back up at 5:30.  Speaking of the kids, homework wasn't getting done, baths were randomly being given, dinner being made at all hours of the night.  It was complete and total anarchy for the last 3 months in my home when I was at work.  The party is over kids.  I'm back and the whip will be cracked.  With parent-teacher conferences tomorrow at both schools I'll have a better idea of where both kids are at academically and behaviorally.  If need be, luxuries will start to disappear as a form of punishment. I've already taken Gabby's TV away, and I'm not afraid to suspend other priviledges as well to get her back on track.

I did a 1pm-10pm shift for many years at epix Internet Services when I worked there.  I was young, unmarried and no children.  I had no major responsibilities.  Things were different.  I didn't need to worry about everyone relying on me to do every little thing in their lives for them.  I don't know how those of you who have been working second shift for several years, and have kids or responsibilities are doing it.  My hats off to you.  You are a stronger person than I.

Is this the right decision?  I'll never know, but I'm not looking in the rear-view.  I've got to keep moving forward.

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