2022.01.11 Night Shift

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One of the odd rhythms of life now is interfacing with Amy working night shift. It means some long overlaps of time together, but also a chance for some intervening solitude. It has also provided for some reflection.

I've worked night shift before, myself. Not just the gruelling all-nighters that were too common during engineering school, but shifts labouring in the pulp mill at my home town while I was saving up for school. All of which completely failed to help me be empathic about the struggles of shifting sleeping schedules, because it mostly happened in a period of my life when sleep seemed largely optional anyway.

More tellingly is how I have found myself smothering the kids when they're here, to keep them from disturbing Amy while she (might be) sleeping. Discussing my overenthusiastic guarding of Amy's sleep sanctorum, I unearthed the memory of my dad working shift work while I was a kid. He worked hard, and it definitely resonated with me as a sensitive little kid to be worried about my dad's wellbeing.

Ironically, this cascaded to a memory of a time when I did accidentally waken my dad while he was trying to sleep between night shifts. I had stumbled into the door of home in Castlegar after school, desperate to look at my wristwatch. A wristwatch that I had not on my wrist, but in my pocket, because that's where I stuffed it after picking it up off the street. Which is where I had to retrieve it from hurriedly, lest the kids that were chasing me managed to catch me. And it had only flown off my wrist because I had swung my arm to break free from one of the kids grabbing at my backpack. So when I finally managed to get home, and discovered that my wristwatch that was a gift from my dad, was broken in a way I couldn't fix, I let out a scream of frustration. This woke my dad, but instead of being angry with me for disturbing him he was worried about me. And even then, I could bring myself to tell him that I was being systematically bullied at school - for fear that he would be disappointed in me for not being tougher.

One of the things I have found myself doing at night, though, is write. So, here we are.