Angus Barn's Chocolate Chess Pie. Oh, the decadence.
It's 3AM and I think I've successfully managed to sneak out of bed and into our living room without my husband noticing. The truth is, I've been lying in bed awake for hours, as is often the case when I am coming off of a string of night shifts. I slept until 4PM coming off of my night shift yesterday and now I fear that I am paying for this. After lying awake for a few hours, I realized I was hungry and thirsty after only eating one meal today and drinking wine and coffee as my only beverages, so here I am eating pita & hummus while drinking water and writing things that I will likely wish I hadn't written come 9AM tomorrow (today? This is the ultimate struggle of a night shifter. Which day is it??).
Tonight we celebrated the birthday of one of our most beloved friends in Indianapolis. We surprised him with plenty of good friends, food catered by his brother's catering company, lots of wine, birthday Oreos (I never knew there was such a thing! What a game changer), and my first attempt at homemade chocolate chess pie, inspired by Angus Barn back home (by inspired I mean it's their exact recipe). There was laughter like I haven't experienced in weeks, the deep belly laughs that I used to have with friends back home. The kind where you get tears in your eyes and feel like you can't breathe. It was lovelier and more needed than I think I ever realized at the time.
The week leading up to this night has been quite interesting. It's been another one filled with night shift, but with word that I am now second in line for day shift on our floor. My nurse manager asked if I wanted to officially be on the list for day shift, which is what I've been wanting since I first started there. I've dreamed of the normal hours of sleep and the peace of sleeping next to my husband every night. This is what I have been wanting forever (read: 1 year). But when it was dangling before me, a question hanging in the air waiting for me to capture it and respond, I hesitated.
Do you want to be on the list for day shift? You'd be second in line.
What? Leave all of my friends on night shift? Leave the family that I've been a part of for a year now? Leave the opportunities I've been given to be charge nurse and to precept new employees? Move to day shift? With all new people and cliques and personalities to learn and new processes? Day shift, where there are resources I couldn't even imagine at night and where family members come and go and call you ten thousand times for updates?
All of the sudden, I wasn't so sure. I recently heard a day shift tech on our floor make a comment about how easy night shift was and I snapped and got incredibly defensive of it. I've worked day shift and night shift in different hospitals and know that they are different beasts entirely. I know that day shift can run you ragged, but night shift has run me ragged, too. And to hear someone saying this in such a matter-of-fact way made my blood boil and maybe made me realize how much I've come to love night shift, so much so that I'm willing to defend it to someone who makes a negative comment about it. In any case, I'm on the list and I am processing what it means and knowing that it will still be many months before I will have a chance of moving to day shift, but it's there in the pages of what's ahead.
As I left for work last night, Scott told me he was having friends over tonight and that I should leave and make plans with friends. Basically, I was being kicked out. I was frantically trying to make plans but couldn't quite figure out where I'd go or what I'd do-- should I study for my med/surg exam or have a girls' night with friends? Should I go to the gym or go shopping by myself (one of my favorite things to do. Something I'm sure I'll miss when little people are in our lives)?
Hours later I got a text saying that some of the guys were bringing their significant others, so I was allowed to stay. And gracious, am I glad that I did. Sometimes the only therapy you need after a draining week is the company of good friends and a little bit of laughter. Chocolate chess pie doesn't hurt, either.
I hope you've experienced deep belly laughs and that you find yourself surrounded by people you love to do that with. I hope you find therapy in laughter and joy in the simplest of things this week. Work hard and rest well, friends. And I hope you find people you love to laugh deep belly laughs with this weekend.