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16 October 2006 @ 01:41 am
Golly gosh darn it anyway!  

There was a party I really wanted to go to last night (Saturday night). Not like the social at Gavi's school Friday night, which I kind of wanted to go to and it would probably have been a good thing if I'd gone but would have been full of, you know, perfectly nice but mundane people—people not in or familiar with the fannish community. No, this was a party thrown by friends at their house, where there would be music making at some point and some number of friends would be there in addition to my hosts and I really wanted to go. Gavi wanted to go too, even though what she usually does at this sort of party is bring a book and find a comfortable corner to curl up in and read—which makes perfect sense to me; she wants to be there and experience it and see what's going on but isn't yet ready to engage in a lot of conversation with grups. Susan even was figuring she'd go (but then ultimately ended up feeling dragged out and ill that evening and decided going to bed was a better idea than going to a party).

Why didn't I go? Even though I had an obligation to Gavi and to the hosts? Well. The party was to start around 7pm, so I set my alarm for 5pm. Got up, had a bowl of cerial, bumped into a few walls, went back upstairs to lie down and read for a while. I think I may have taken my drugs during this interval but I'm not sure—it might have been later. Woke up again around 7pm, which is more-or-less the time I normally wake up for work, thought about going to the party, thought about going downstairs and LJing about it being 7pm and I wasn't at the party yet, thought about getting up and going to the bathroom … and snoozed off again. I think I wandered in and out of sleep for the next couple of hours. Around 10pm I finally woke up and actually felt like getting out of bed (as opposed to simply feeling able to drag myself out of bed, which was how I'd felt earlier) so I went downstairs and apologized sincerely to Gavi for letting her down, since it really seemed too late to be trying to pull things together and go to the party, especially if I were going to be bringing her along. By 10:30–10:45 I actually felt kind of awake. If the party had been starting at, say, 11:30pm I probably would have gone, although I wouldn't have prearranged to take Gavi.

I don't think this failure was due to the social fear thing, although I imagine there may have been some subconscious element of that. It was mostly due to the fact that I really didn't feel awake at all until late.

I reckon working third shift (10:45pm to 6:15am) in itself shouldn't really be an impediment to going to parties on Saturday nights (or even Sunday nights, should any of my friends ever decide to schedule such a thing). The real problem is that I've incorrectly shifted my sleep schedule. That is, instead of being able to go to sleep in the morning immediately after I come home from dropping Gavi off at school, I tend either to putter around or to lay in bed hoping to fall asleep soon. I usually end up sleeping from, I dunno, noonish to sevenish. My guess is that this is a result of years of daily school and work life-habit: the usual schedule that conditions us is to get up and go to our obligations (shcool when younger, work when older) and then have the time after that as personal and relaxation time. It appears to be easier to shift hours/times of day than to shift the cycle itself to sleep–personal time–work–sleep–personal time–work…. If I could somehow do that, I think I'd be able to attend more social events, which would be a good thing. I wonder how to do that.

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Geri Sullivangerisullivan on October 16th, 2006 09:03 am (UTC)
As someone who's had a completely whacka-whacka schedule for years, I'm betting that shifting the cycle to go directly from work to sleep would be extraordinarily difficult. I mean, yes, I sometimes pull it off, but even when I'm completely, totally toast and only have to crawl upstairs, I still usually do *some* post-work wind-down time.

It might be worth trying a modified cycle that gives you two (albeit shorter) personal times each day. A work-Gavi to school-putter wind down time-sleep-personal time-work-Gavi to school (etc). The hard part of course limiting the putter wind down time to a couple of hours, say until 9:30-10 am, then sleeping until 5.

To whatever degree I have a cycle at all (which isn't much), my "normal" day does have chunks of personal time before work as well as after work. The pre-work email and net pass takes up most of that time, much like the same activity is serving as my wind down "tonight." (And is the reason I'll be going to sleep around 5:30 am rather than shortly after 4, when I finished the work portion of my day, though it wasn't a full work shift tonight. More like the length of a work shift -- 8pm to 4am with 2 hours of fanac mixed in with 2 hours of phone conversations and net catch-up followed by 3 hours of PROmote work, and 1 more of "Go, You Chicken Fat, Go!" exercise, a two runs through "Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes," net catch-up, list making, and putting together a box of paint supplies to take over to the NESFA clubhouse midweek.

You know, puttering....

Sorry you and Gavi missed the party, Hope Susan is feeling better. Look forward to seeing all of you in another week and a half!
A monstrous ramblingbibliofile on October 16th, 2006 11:02 am (UTC)
I still usually do *some* post-work wind-down time.

For me, that time is key. Even when on a deadline that basically allows only for work and sleep, that wind-down time still worms its way into my schedule.

Another friend worked the third shift and then shifted her sleeping schedule back every weekend (with naps to tide her over). Personally, I thought it was crazy making, but it seemed to work for her.
Miss Behaviourkevelyn63 on October 16th, 2006 12:49 pm (UTC)
Interestingly enough, that is the one thing I sorely miss from working third shift - being able to get off work and just come home and go to bed. For whatever reason, going to bed at 8am and sleeping until 4-5pm seemed very natural for me. It's this get up, get dressed, fiddle a tiny bit, then get into work by 8am routine that I despise but live with. I think the biggest prob with it is the 'getting up so early before I am ready' part.

Laurel Krahn: fandom - propellor beanielaurel on October 16th, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC)
Sympathies, I've had similar things happen due to getting on strange schedules/cycles myself (as well as due to social anxiety, depression, all that "fun" stuff). Lately there've been parties I've wanted to go to and I just haven't managed it. Frustrating.

FWIW we'd love to see you any time this weekend at Convivial-- be it just to hang out or to play some music. I imagine people will be up at all hours (that's one of the beauties of a con, eh?).

The consuite really has an absolutely fabulous space for a music party, but I'm not sure how many music-makers will actually make it to the con given this is the first Minn-StF Fallcon in a while, etc. We shall see. Should be fun regardless (but IMHO it's always more fun with music).
Roxannermeidaking on October 16th, 2006 02:24 pm (UTC)
Do you want advice, or commiseration?

Working third-shift is awful, but there are ways to cope. They do involve dedication and commitment to the new time schedule; you really can't be on third shift during the work week and first shift on weekends. Imagine trying to work in (say) Australia all week, then come home on weekends (assuming one could teleport). It wouldn't work. It sounds to me like you're possibly living jet-lagged *all the time.*
Peter Hentgesjbru on October 16th, 2006 03:22 pm (UTC)
I have felt your pain, my friend. More than once there were parties or other things going on late some nights and yet, when the weekend rolled around, all I did was sleep them away. These days I can't blame my schedule but still find myself doing that on occasion. Other times, I find myself awake at 5:00 a.m. for no good reason, having been absorbed in one task or another for far too many hours.

Brains is weird.
the laughing leaping waterminnehaha on October 16th, 2006 04:49 pm (UTC)
Both of us find that taking a bath helps us calm down enough to sleep when we're not otherwise able to. Avoiding wet hair at bed time is a reason to take a bth not shower, but it's also the soothing hot water and the enforced sitting still for a while that helps.

K. [we missed you, but maybe the fallcon...? We're going]
dd-bdd_b on October 16th, 2006 05:55 pm (UTC)
Sorry that worked out poorly. Especially since you sound like you really *wanted* to get to the party, and probably would have been in a mood to appreciate it even.

Well, better luck next time. Hope to see you at Convivial.
David W. Schrothdavidschroth on October 17th, 2006 01:09 am (UTC)
I definitely feel your pain there, Fred.

Even though I know I do better if I get some nap time before heading off to the third shift job, I keep finding myself skimping on the nap time. And then paying for it later. Like today.

I don't know - using melatonin seems to help, somewhat.

It's a shame I've run out, and not replaced my stock.
(Anonymous) on October 17th, 2006 03:49 am (UTC)
Party
We really missed you Fred!!! But, you now have the honor of causing me to finally look at a live journal (I guess that means I am no longer a live journal virgin...). Hope to see you next time!!!!

Ann
Annenetmouse on October 17th, 2006 04:07 am (UTC)
*hug*
I'll be out for the memorial on the 27th, there until the 29th. Let's make sure we see each other while I'm there. (thanks for yoru long comments I haven't yet replied to on another thread, too)