It’s kind of funny how few of my plans worked over the past couple of days.
Wednesday: When working owl shift, I have found that I can really can only force myself to do one thing during the day beyond basic hygiene and taking care of the cat. I decided that this time it was going to be exercise. I had run almost 8 km a few days ago and I did not want to slip too far out of shape. I had barely run 2 km before I saw the car accident. It happened right in front of me.
A teenage girl in an SUV had stopped at a light when she was rear ended by a mother and daughter in a pickup truck. I made sure that everyone involved was OK, and then I called the police. I directed traffic around the accident and stayed with everyone keeping them calm. It was the teenager’s first accident and she was not sure what to do or whether it was her fault (it wasn’t.) The mother was calmer, but she was also shaken. She said that she had tried to stop, but her brakes had failed her.
When the police officer arrived, I told her exactly where I had been and what I had seen. I gave her my name and phone number in case there were any more questions. Then, when the cars were moved out of the way, I cleaned the larger bits of the accident off of the street so that incoming cars would not be damaged by them. I noticed that a headlight from the truck was lying on the ground and that it seemed to be in good condition. I took it to the woman and told her that a mechanic might be able to re-attach it, thus saving her the cost of at least one part. Not a lot, I know, but better than nothing.
By the time all of this was done, an hour had passed. That was pretty much how long I had planned on running. Any longer and I was risking problems sleeping, so I went back home.
I could not sleep for long. I had to go out and pick up my pre-ordered Thanksgiving dinner. I knew that I would not want to cook on Thanksgiving for just myself. And though I had been invited to several dinners with coworkers and friends, I had a plan for the day. I would sleep for a while. Then I would call my family. I would skype with them and play music that I had been practicing. And I would re-heat the meal I had ordered and eat it at my leisure. It would not be the same as being there, but it was the best I could do.
I had not counted on the grocery being so packed. I know that I should have expected it, but hey. Owl shift messes up my reasoning skills. What would have been a short trip under normal circumstances took two hours this time. Sleep was becoming less and less of a certainty.
I got home and decided to call my family to find out when they would be having their meal so that I could plan around it.
No answer. Oh well. I would try again later. To bed!
I couldn’t sleep. Eventually, I broke one of my rules and took a painkiller which makes a person drowsy. I do not like taking sleeping aids. But it was getting late, and I needed rest.
The alarm went off too soon. I felt like I was moving through cotton. But I had given myself enough time to struggle to consciousness, take a shower, and get dressed. I would be at work before the start of shift at midnight.
Thursday: Shift seemed to last forever. I had not gotten enough sleep. And I felt awful. But I love my job, so at least there was that.
When shift finally ended, I went straight home and called my family. Still no answer. I sighed and played with the cat for a bit, before collapsing in bed. He always feels a bit neglected during my owl shift days.
I tossed and turned a lot. I finally got up and tried calling again. Still nothing. I debated about eating, but I was not hungry. At all.
I practiced on the banjo, but my heart was not in it. The ukulele and guitar did not help, either.
I thought about going back to try to sleep, and that’s when the power went out. Or rather, my neighbor tripped the circuit breaker in the basement. No matter how many times I have explained to him, he never seems to get the difference between the controls to his apartment and to mine.
I put on a winter coat and shoes and went outside so that I could go to our mutual basement. I saw my neighbor leaving to have Thanksgiving supper somewhere. I smiled and waved at him, though I really wished I could have reminded him once more about the breakers. Oh, well.
When I got back in my apartment, I reset my clocks and turned on the alarm so that I would not oversleep. I sent a few texts wishing some friends “happy Thanksgiving” and then turned off my phone before going to sleep.
I awoke to the dual sounds of my alarm and my inebriated neighbor singing in Spanish. He has a nice voice. I am glad that he had fun.
I turned on my phone and saw a message from my family. They had forgotten their phones at home and had not brought the tablet so skype would have been out, too. But I could call if I wanted. So, I did.
Nothing really went as planned the past couple of days. But I am still thankful for many things.
I have food in the fridge. I have a fridge! I live in a decent apartment. I have a great job. I pay my bills on time. I have friends who invited me to dinner. I have a family would would have been happy to see me. I have a car in good working condition. I have clothes to wear. I have a cat, so that I am not continually alone. Life is good. Even if it doesn’t follow the plans.