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Changing from night shift to day work tough

December 03, 1998|By Meg H. Partington

Change is good.

While I'm a believer in that statement, I must mention that for the hyper-regimented of this world, change can be extremely difficult.

I have been going through some growing pains during my recent switch from working a night shift as an editor to a day shift as a Lifestyle writer.

[cont. from lifestyle]

I was used to not having to function in society for at least four hours after awakening. Now I have to guide a pen swiftly across a notepad at an hour when the only thing moving quickly used to be my feet as I tripped over my cat during a half-asleep quest for water.

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I must admit that I'm far too disciplined for my own good.

I easily get in a pattern of eating the same thing for lunch every day at the same time and going grocery shopping at the same time on the same day every week. The day I get an oil change on my car, I move ahead exactly three months on the calendar and make a note that I have to plan my next car appointment. I alphabetize my music tapes (yes, I still have tapes!) and stack my magazines in order by month.

It's a scary existence, but comfortable for me.

Just imagine what it was like to start living on a completely opposite schedule. It makes that first morning after the time jumps ahead an hour feel like Christmas.

Suddenly, I have to go to bed at a time when I used to be in the heat of deadline, and I have to wake up when I used to be in the heat of heavy sleep.

I get up far too early in the morning to feed my exercise fix, without which I would become a nasty troll who no one would want to be around. Of course, I could wait until my workday is over, but then that would break my lifelong habit of working out first thing in the day.

But there are several positives here, the least of which is not having to travel the interstate at the wee hours with only big rigs to keep me company. Now I can look on either side of me and see other compact cars just like mine humming along, so I no longer feel like a little bug waiting to be squished.

I can actually communicate with my husband face-to-face after about a year-and-a-half of mostly writing notes or talking on the telephone. It almost feels like we're going through our first year of marriage again, getting to know each other's quirks and living habits.

I forgot how humorous it is to watch this tall man walk our shrimpy little dog with the bouffy tail down the street and how he transforms into an awestruck little boy every time one of his Atlanta Braves really smacks a ball (oh wait, that season's over, isn't it?).

I know I will get used to functioning in a world that most of my neighbors and friends have successfully lived in for years. I know that spending more than two days a week with my husband will be a good thing. I know that I will once again become the "morning person" that I always have said my natural tendencies lean toward.

Yes, I believe I will look back on this transition and be reminded that change is good.




Meg H. Partington is a staff writer for Lifestyle.

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