And that’s a really good question, because I struggled – I really did.
I can assure you there were many times when I just wanted to throw in the towel and get a “normal” job! Anything that would enable me to get a decent night’s sleep because if you’re reading this right now, you can appreciate how hard it is to be healthy when you work 24/7.
In fact when I began sharing my shift working journey via this blog all those years ago, my intention was not just to share handy hints and tricks that I’d gathered along the way, but to give you some insight into my own personal struggles as well.
In essence, to let you know you are definitely not alone.
Unfortunately there are MANY perils to working early shifts, night shifts and late shifts – along with those unexpected “longer than normal shifts!”
But if you are a shift worker, you are one tough cookie because not everyone is cut out to work shift work that’s for sure. Hands down it’s a tough occupation and that’s before we even get into the nitty gritty of your actual job description as a lot of shift working roles can be very stressful as well. Now I’m thinking doctors, fire fighters, policemen, ambulance officers to name a few.
So in answer to my original question, how on earth did I manage to work shift work for over 20 years, the best answer I can give you is “sheer determination“.
I was determined not to let those wacky hours get the better of me by staying focused on all of the good stuff around working irregular hours. In fact I feel incredibly lucky not to have endured 20+ years of peak hour traffic, the boredom and monotony of catching public transport, along with succumbing to a contagious disease rife amongst our “9-5” cousins called “Monday-it-is”!
Fortunately each day I went into work I knew I was going to come across something different which is pretty cool (OK – maybe not the grumpy passengers nor intoxicated patients) but you can’t say our days at work are ever boring!
So hang in there.
Shift work is tough, it really is. The continual lack of sleep makes feeling “normal” incredibly hard to achieve but it’s important not to ignore the benefits because there are plenty of those to help keep you motivated – even when that alarm clock wakes you up from a peaceful slumber at 3:00am in the morning I promise!