It’s after 12 a.m. and I’m at work, just outside of my patient’s room within earshot of his soft snore. As soon as the central air kicks back off again, the house will be prayer-room quiet. This might be the time for many people to rush to their Facebook account for a “Who’s up with me?” post. But not for an introvert like me. I love the quiet. While the world around me is asleep, my creativity rises, shines, and fires up the mental energy that I’ve never been able to sustain during a day time work schedule.
Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t like talking, laughing and getting familiar with different people. There’s definitely an extrovert side of me that’s able to adapt to situations where I have to be more outgoing – and I do. I’ve had jobs where I worked day shift – in the healthcare field, and during my newspaper staff writing days. I put on my smiley face and genuinely enjoyed my people moments. And while I was in the midst of an extrovert excursion, I felt energized, particularly when I was able to snatch a few moments of silence when one excursion ended and another one began.
But I always felt drained afterwards.
It’s how I feel just listening to my client’s wife every night. Her landline rings constantly from 7:30 in the evening to 12 a.m., and she never seems to tire of picking it up. Rarely will she allow a call to go to voicemail, instead she’ll click over and promise to call a new caller back in a minute. Whether she’s downstairs in the laundry room or up in the kitchen busy rolling dough strands to braid challah, Now, I know it’s different talking to family members as opposed to talking constantly to customers, visitors, patients, and other workers. Still, my mouth gets dry for her. 🙂
I think it takes a special type of person with a certain kind of mental energy to be able to talk all day, with one person after the other, in stress times, and in peace times. It’s absolutely crucial for most jobs I think, but particularly for educators, policeman, librarians, bus drivers, receptionists, or healthcare workers like me, jobs where a garrulous personality trumps an introverted one. I could switch to day shift and be that type of person if I had to, even though it would mean a total stimulation overload. But why put myself through that when I can work the night shift and put all of my “talking” energy into writing?
Nope, I’ll keep my night shift hours. For the introvert in me, working the night shift has the energizing power of someone else’s sunshiny day shift.