Thursday, August 01, 2013

Advantages of Night

We're shifting our schedules forward again, much to my dismay. I tried everything I could for a month to shift back to a normal time, and it didn't work. But school is starting, and we have a trip to Utah coming up, and we want to be daytime people for those.

I hate hate hate shifting the schedule forward, though. It's so disorienting. We have nobody sleeping at the same times, and nobody knows what day it is, let alone which meal we're supposed to be eating or when.

Plus it doesn't work any more. Last time we shifted forward, within a week we were back going to bed at 4:00 am. Even with trying to stick to a normal schedule, if one little thing comes up that lasts more than 2 nights keeping me awake past bedtime, the schedule is shot. (Last time, the kids got sick.) I think it's all part of fibro--I MUST have enough sleep in order to function with fibro, so if I go to bed late, I have to just keep sleeping until I've slept enough. I can't just go without like most women do for a day or two and then catch up.

Anyway, this time, I've noticed that I don't even like being awake during the day.

For one thing, it's much, much too hot and muggy. Nights are cool and drier.

For another, day is noisy. Night is quiet and fairly still--no visual or auditory noise on our busy, busy street.

Also, people! Oh my! People come out en  masse during the day. I know you're probably laughing at me. Don't get me wrong--I like people. I chat with grocery store clerks and people at bus stops. I'm not really an extrovert, but I'm not really an introvert, either.  But there are certain advantages to being out when most of the people are not out.

For example, I never have to stand in line for anything ever. Not at the library, not at the grocery store, not anywhere. Two days in a row we've gone out at noon, and I had to stand in line everywhere I went. Lines and fibro are very much not friends. I hate lines. I can't stand in them. And I can't stand still and wait for someone to finish doing something--getting peaches, reading ads, whatever. It hurts to wait for someone to get out of my way, so I don't like to have to wait.

I also never find myself in anyone's way, even with 7 kids around me, when we go out at night. And the kids never bother anyone, even if they sit on the floor or get loud. And they're easier to spot if they drift (or run) away from me a little because there isn't anyone else around at night.

Plus I can work at my own speed at night. If I feel like going fast, nobody is in the way. If I want to mosey, I'm not in anyone else's way.

It was quite a shock to go the library in the middle of the day and find it crammed full of families. I'm used to taking my kids to the library from 8-9 pm (every week, even)--and nobody is there. They get to play with the legos by themselves. They can sit and look for books without getting anyone's way. They can play the puppet stage or watch the model trains or use the felt friends or sit in the beanbag sea (yes, we have a very cool library for a small town) without waiting for someone else to get done. And, more importantly, the kids can approach the librarians themselves and get the help they need without standing in line, without the phones ringing, without being hurried along so the next person can get help. We can stand and chat with the librarians, and it's okay because nobody is waiting and nobody is breaking the rules. The little ones (even Elijah) can get themselves on the kids' computers and nobody cares if they used them for half an hour or 45 minutes because nobody is waiting.

A lot of our stores put out the discount and scratch-and-dent things as the night shift starts (like 10:30 or 11 pm), so I always get first go at those things. And, because they stock at night, the open-all-night stores have all the things that are on sale right there in stock when I go. (And, obviously, I'm less likely to go to a store that isn't open all night!).  During the day, I often find sale items are out of stock, but in the night, I rarely find empty shelves.

The night staff at stores is much nicer than the day staff. Less stressed, less busy, more inclined to chat, nicer to the kids. They remember, too, what we talked about last time and ask about things. The night staff is less stressed, under less pressure, and less likely to be overworked. Plus they get paid more, so they seem happier to be working.

Traffic during the day is not fun. At night, at least in our town, they turn a lot of the lights to flashing yellow lights, so getting around town is super easy. During the day? Not so much.

Plus, nighttime is full of beauty and stillness and mystery and creativity. The day time is hot and noisy and smoggy and full of everyone's problems. Night is full of everyone's dreams.

Day is convenient. And day is right in a lot of ways.

But I do love the night.

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