Time Traveling

My office hours are 10 am to 6 pm. This works out really well for me, as I am not so much a morning person.

Strike that. Let me clarify a bit….  I actually really love mornings… when I’m up to witness them. I love the daylight through the blinds waking me up sans alarm, I love being awake when no one else is, and I love getting out and doing just one thing — picking up milk, meeting a friend for coffee, walking around the block –before 9 am, and noticing how light and productive I feel the whole rest of the day.

Betcha didn’t know any of that, didja?

The thing is, I just also happen to love the night time, the smells, the different sounds, the bad TV, being the last out of a restaurant, midnight grocery shopping, or just looking up from an armchair and a book with that particular brand of satisfaction that can only follow two missed meals and 5 hours passed in total literary infatuation.

I have, in fact, found myself almost worried at times that, should the day extend beyond my waking hours, I might miss something good… see the problem?

All the things — the sensory images and actions I just listed about both bookends of the day — are completely born out of my upbringing.

My dad is also not a morning person. “Morning” has always been something of an elastic term for him… workdays used to be a 9:00 am rise, but now “morning” seems to really refer to “that part of the day before Dad gets up”… the day actually starting at 12:30 or 1:15 pm.

Now, my mother is a rare creature who just doesn’t seem to sleep in the usual time frame allotted for rest. Mom is regularly up at 5:30 or 6  am, shuffling papers in the office, clacking poetry out on the computer, getting dew-drippey from morning raspberries, always reading, and usually with a cup of cocoa or tea in her hand. I have a sneaking suspicion there may a late morning nap some days, but I’ve yet to prove it.

But night? Night time, all the downstairs lights were always on at our house, well into the wee ones. Weeknights, I used to wait for Dad to get home from a late shift at the paper and sneak out past my sleeping older sister for a piece of bread and butter and a couple episodes of Dragnet. Or I’d slip unobtrusively into the corner and read or make clothes for my Barbie, quietly gleeful that no one seemed to know how late it was, and why wasn’t that child in bed? And even after I was sent off to bed again, I feel asleep most nights to Dad’s late-late night westerns and mom’s nighttime clacking, puttering, and shuffling, always reading, always sipping her five-times reheated tea.

Also growing up, our up-the-street neighbors were also night people. You knew it was finally summer when they’d call at 8:30 or 9, invite us for tea, and we’d spend the rest of the night talking, nibbling grapes and cookies, and walking each other home three times, up and down the street, pausing for another 20, 30, or 40 minutes at the streetlight, the porch, the front gate.

Mornings are so peaceful… but night time is where it’s at.

*********

So. 10 am to 6 pm.

Many friends would — and have– pointed out multiple times: 1) how lucky I am to have finagled a job where this is a possible, acceptable work schedule; and 2) how perfect it is for me.

All of this is true. With the exception of crazy busy times at work (there are a lot of those) and crazy busy times during shows (lots of those too), my schedule of choice has worked out pretty darn well. 

Until now.

Based on new contracts, and an intended, intentional shift in our company culture from Research and Development to Product Marketing and Retail…. well, I grieve to say that the whole “flexible hours” perk of this job (and I am certainly not the only one in appreciation!) may not be long for this little overly-air conditioned world of mine.

Ready for it? Steal yourselves. It’s pretty brutal.

I may have to adjust my work schedule to work regularly at 9. In the morning. Until 5. They may even make me take a regular lunch break…. so make that 5:30. Just like the rest of the regular working world (or so they tell me).

Next thing you know, I’ll be be flicking that light switch before 1 am.

What is the world coming too?

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