The Early Morning Shift

I woke up with a start. The alarm was not on. I must have turned it off. Exhausted in a way i had never known by my very physical new job, my actions couldn’t be trusted. I couldn’t for sure say that i hadn’t hit the snooze button all 13 times and slept many extra hours. My shift was supposed to start at 5 am which meant i would have set an alarm to wake me at 11:45 pm to get up and do the chores around the homestead, get the animals fed and tend to the chicken coop, cook breakfast and pack a lunch, and wrangle myself into a cold shower in an ace bandage. Then i would have some time left to wrap and brace my foot, get dressed, pin my hair in place, and apply makeup. Finally i would spend some time praying before checking to see that the stove was off, setting the a/c unit, crating the dogs, and loading the car. When i sat up abruptly i looked at my phone. It read in big digital numbers “6:00”. 6:00? My shift started at 5! I was already an hour late! I could see the sky lightening outside of the windows. Oh how had this happened?! I would have to call my supervisor right away and apologize and swear i was on my way! How would i manage to get ready in no time with a bum foot!? It was the whole reason i woke up 4 hours before it was time to set out…to have enough time to get everything done without having to worry about rushing. I grabbed my phone, hopped over to the bathroom to get things ready for the shower, and suddenly realized the dogs weren’t in the house. Where had i left the dogs? What on earth was going on? Oh gosh, i had missed my 3 o clock supplements and enzymes. I had better go ahead and take those! I frantically clamored about the kitchen, grabbing all the supplements off the shelf and whipping plates and cups around, trying to get an oatmeal started on the stove. How had this happened?! It was about this time that i noticed the sky outside was getting darker rather than lighter. It was not 6:00 am. It was 6:00 pm. The dogs were outside, where i had left them when i had returned from my 5 am to 1:30 pm shift and decided to go to bed until my 8 pm meds and the duty of adding the door to the chicken coop for the night. I guessed it would get dark around 6 so i guess i had set my alarm for 5:55 pm so i could get the braces and wraps and a shoe on in time to go out and put the door on at 6. I had turned the alarm off at 5:55 pm and then woken out of guilt 5 minutes later with a terrible sense of dread that i had somehow missed my shift at work, when in fact, it was still the previous day. I breathed a sigh of relief and stopped trying to boil an oatmeal on the stove. I put the pot in the fridge to be used the following morning. I sat down and put my chin in my hands. Good thing i didn’t yet call the supervisor at work. She would have been very confused as to what on earth i was talking about.

Darkness fell as i collected the eggs, fed the chickens, and put the door on the coop. I had to water the aloe vera plants, rosemary, and fruit trees by lantern light while the dogs ate their supper inside but i was not very bothered by the darkness. I was relieved that it was dark and not light. It meant it was not 6 am and i had not missed my 5 am shift the following morning. Folks, sometimes going to bed at 2 pm can have unintended consequences. That being said, the 5 am to 1:30 pm shift is absolutely my favorite, hands down. There are less people in the store so its easier to move about and a faster process all around. Also, its peaceful and i get to say hello to the night crew in the break room. 🙂

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