I wake up in an empty apartment. I have not slept long--just three hours. But I have slept the kind of sleep when you drool, and I wake up barely knowing where I am. It is noon.
I have gotten better about sleeping when I'm on the overnight shift.
Used to be, I couldn't string together more than an hour or two at a
time during the day. Now, whether from learning or from simple
self-preservation, my body has learned to take what is offered. So, when
I sleep, I sleep deeply enough to drool, and when I have already slept,
I can still sleep again.
I get dressed, pack snacks, make sure things are as "figured out" on the home front as possible, and I head to work. It is 11pm.
I have gotten better about walking out the door at night, at navigating
the dark, at making sure I have a safe ride and enough choices in my
lunch bag. My brain has figured out how to go through the steps, whether
consciously or not, and I arrive on time and prepared for the night.
There are people who have been on the overnight for years, and there are
some who say your body never truly gets used to it. And while I have to
say I believe them, my body and brain and I are trying. After all,
wasn't there a time when we couldn't imagine being many of the things we
are now? Aren't there days, no matter where we are, when we wonder how
we got there? We bend, and we adapt. And we learn how to manage what is
offered and make it work in our own way. And then, when things change
again, we bend, and we adapt. Because life isn't just about "getting
used to." It's about making sure the bends don't make us break.