The Early Shift

This morning, I worked the early shift. The very shift. The “open the door at 6:30 am” shift. However, this is my favorite time to work, for more than one reason. First off, the place is deserted, and it’s almost as if I am the only person whose eyes are open and moving. Second, the famous Nebraska heat, the kind that clings relentlessly to its victims, is still in hiding, waiting until midday to devour the helpless. And the third reason why I prefer to roll out of bed at 5:45 in the morning during the summer, is because it’s early in the morning when I feel like I actually have my life together.


During this time of year, a wave of emotions washes over me, and this year, that wave happens to be a tsunami. With college, traveling, test scores, writing, and trying to make the second hand stop ticking so fast, I am overwhelmed to say the least.

But at 6:30 in the morning, I’m not worried about student debt. I’m not worried about when my next trip to paradise is going to happen. I’m not worried about comparing my average to my neighbor’s average. And I’m certainly not worried about a sudden case of writer’s block that could potentially send my career into a downward spiral.

It may be due to the fact that I am still blinking the sleep from my eyes, or how still and calm the waking world is, but I hold onto zero tension when I have the opportunity to watch the sun stain the sky.


For that reason, I don’t mind working the early shift, in fact, I might even go as far to say that I like working the early shift. There aren’t very many problems at 6:30 am, other than deciding between a cup of tea or coffee.

In such a busy, loud, complicated world, if we could find even a minute or two to appreciate the silent moments, I think there wouldn’t be as many wrinkles on our foreheads. And you know how I feel about those damn wrinkles.

Yours truly,

Maddie Rheinheimer

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