It's nearly 1pm est here at work, Ladybee is home baking beans covered in smoked bacon and Mom is chatting with the family of her room mate at the nursing home (where she will be for another 10 days) - I'll get to see both in a few hours and then I'll feel better in spirits.
Working shift work isn't easy on the families of the workers either and I was thinking of all the millions of people who HAVE to be at work when most people get to be home with their families or fast asleep in their own bed.
To all those who work these terrible shift hours JUST to keep the rest of the world running as seemlessly as it does - I salute you this Christmas Day. To their families who have to constantly shift their lives around to accommidate the shift-workers, thank you for all your support and understanding.
It's an odd life if you have never worked it - getting home at 7am and looking for Spagetti and meatball rather than eggs and bacon. And the older I get, the tougher it is to adjust to the never ending change of schedules and the occasional overtime which really messes up your internal clock.
I think we work one of the odder rotating shifts here: most just go around the clock from days to evenings to midnights and back to days, and I actually did that for several years. But our whacky schedule here is as follows:
Five 3pm-11pm shifts with one day off, then
Three 7am to 3pm shifts with one day off, then
Two 11pm-7ams, followed by two 3pm-11pm (called the splits) then two days off, then
Eight 7am-3pm days in a row with two days off, then
Five 11pm-7am shifts in a row with 4 days off, then it starts over.
It is a 35 day cycle that you end on a Thursday morning and start over on a Tuesday evening. I've worked this for 15+ years and my family STILL has no clue when I'm working - lol.
So there are endless numbers of people who make the world run while the 9 to 5 folks are living a more stable life and definitely sleeping a whole lot better. I think of the people at the health care facility where my mom is stay - they too are hard working people who effect the lives of so many others, doing work that rarely is appriciated and often abused: there is nothing about nursing that is glamorous, it is hard hard work. These folks do the feeding and changing of those unable to care for themselves and I can't imagine how psysically and mentally challenging that must be day after day after day.
So to all those away from home today, making a living to feed their families as best as they can, you are not forgotten on Christmas day. And whenever you finally get to sit down at the table with your family to celebrate this and all holidays where you are away from home, be proud that you are a hero to many people and invaluable to so many others.