Now, there are a great many ramifications of working overnights. There is a necessary vigilance about sleep. There is snack management, so that small meals can punctuate the night without adversely affecting the blood sugar. There is learning to sleep at odd times and not sleep at others and making sure to time the drinking of coffee appropriately for the needed sleep cycle. And there is an acceptance of being just a little ghostlike at times when others are just getting a second wind.
I have gotten used to all of these effects--well, as much as anyone can get used to them. But not until it was mentioned to me did I really think about the pajama effect. For, you see, many people come home after a long day of work and trade in their work clothes for pajamas. It is a transition from formality to comfort, from the outside world to one's own space. And when I work many overnights in a row, it is a part of life that I miss completely.
I could spend my daytime in pajamas, I suppose, but it would be inefficient, as I have errands to run and kids to transport. And somehow, pajamas for just a few hours is just not the same as pajamas when you know you can keep them on all evening and night. So, I forgo the pajamas. Until I hit a night off.
You might think that the best thing about a day off is sleeping more. Or not having to take a bus or a train. Or accomplishing a few things that otherwise wouldn't happen. Or simply spending your hours the way YOU want. But today, it is the pajamas. Just the pajamas.