The joys of coming to work 1 hour later

Coming in to work at 8 a.m. was indeed a luxury for me. As my fellow anesthesiologists would concur, our life begins at 7 a.m. on a daily basis. Some administrative duty made this possible for me one day. This was a first for me, and I felt compelled to put down my musings in writing.

Preparing for this morning treat, I had made sure to set my alarm for thirty minutes later than usual. Needless to say, I was awake at my usual time since my body clock didn’t know any better. Or rather knew that I was an anesthesiologist.

But, I didn’t have to jump out of bed. I could rise alight from my bed in a more genteel and ladylike manner. I enjoyed my morning cup of coffee with my husband and was actually sitting down when drinking it. I heard the stirrings of my household coming to life and delighted in being part of it all this day.

I got my 7 year old ready for school and had breakfast with her. She loved having breakfast with me and her dad on a school day. I hadn’t realized how much these little pleasures meant to all of us. She wondered aloud if I was sick and I explained that I was fine and going to work and not going to be late either. Of course, that begged the question, “Why can’t you do this every day?” We shall not pursue that line of questioning today.

I saw my 9th grader off at the door as she waved and walked off to school. How precious!

As I headed to work, I noticed that the traffic was much heavier than I liked or was used to. I waited for at least for two changes of traffic lights before I could move on. The sun was above the eastern horizon and beating straight into my face, and I reached for my sunglasses, not something I have ever done when driving to work. I realized the rest of the world was beginning to get to work now and I could not have my usual parking spot because it was taken. Nevertheless, it was a great trade for coming in an hour later than usual.

Walking up to the hospital in the bright, beautiful sunshine, I breathed in and filled my lungs with the cool morning air and my mind with a memory of this day till next time — whenever it comes. Green scrubs and masked faces, syringes and concoctions, cajoling and IV placements, residents and nurses, pagers and alarms and other anesthesia treasures awaited me.

Bina Dara is an anesthesiologist.

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