It’s after 1 am.

I’m writing a post.

And I’m not even remotely tired.

That would be because I am frequently scheduled to close the store in the evenings, a shift that either puts me home at 11:30 or 12:30, depending on the day of the week. Obviously, tonight was one of those 12:30 sort of evenings. I can’t really complain, I’m a manager, and as such, my duties tend to be less menial and more clerical. Don’t get me wrong, I pitch in, and I work  my tail off every second I’m on the clock. But for the most part, I just supervise and make sure the urinal in the boy’s bathroom is scrubbed without actually having to do the scrubbing myself. This is a cause for celebration.

The only problem is, I tend to need eight to ten hours of sleep nightly to perform at peak efficiency. I am currently getting six to seven hours a night. So, I’ve taken up drinking coffee. In copious amounts. I haven’t quite gotten the necessary quantity figured out, because I’m finding that I tend to drink more than I need and am up for two hours or so after I get home. That is LATE. And the only thing that gets accomplished in those hours is soap opera viewing and the occasional episode of America’s Next Top Model. Or Hell’s Kitchen. If I have the stomach for it, maybe Glee.

So basically I might as well be sleeping, but I’m not, and am therefore not benefiting from those extra two hours of sleep that I so desperately need in order to not have to consume so much coffee. Honestly, I don’t remember when this cycle began, but I wish I’d never had that first cup of joe. Worst choice ever.

Oh wait, I’ve definitely made worse choices. Maybe ‘Worst-choice-involving-coffee ever.’ That seems safer, if I’m going to go for the superlative, which apparently I enjoy.

Anyway, the only drawback I’ve found to closing is that it negatively affects my sleep schedule. There has been a positive or two: I have to be a bitch every now and then to make sure everything’s done correctly. I wouldn’t normally consider this to be a good thing, but I’ve needed to learn how to be a bitch for a long time. Necessity is the mother of invention…and bitchiness! But seriously, I’ve grown some balls in this process, and I’m proud of myself.

As for the second benefit, I eat a bigger lunch and a smaller dinner (as a general rule, sometimes I just eat a big lunch and a big dinner…but not usually) which Mom tells me is a much better way to have meals. Also, doing paperwork brings me joy. That is probably the lamest thing I’ve ever said, but heck, we all know I’m lame. No revelations of character there!

Ok. The Closer is finally winding down. Fifteen minutes with a book and I’ll be dead to the world. Unless I overdid it with coffee AND soda tonight… Brilliant!

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Here I am at a coffee house in Auburn, Alabama hoping for the creative juices to hit me. This place has it all – Frank Sinatra music, coffee (obviously), free wireless, and (sort of) comfy sofas. I am waiting for that JK Rowling-like inspiration to flow from my fingertips to the screen. So far, I’m fairly certain I haven’t tapped into her genius. Yet.

What I have done is a fair amount of work… phone calls are a lot less stressful in this public sort of environment, as is staying “on task” with my emails. I feel a lot more guilty about playing instead of working when I’m in my pajamas. However, sometimes I wish Facebook were only available for perusal during the hours of 7-9pm. That would make me a much more productive person. I am just fascinated by people’s status updates. Seriously, almost everyone I know writes fascinating status updates. Full of links and wit and the occasional controversial statement. I have a hard time staying away, even when I’m supposed to be concentrating on my emails. People, quit giving me so much reason to stall!! I need to focus!

Anyway (and yes, I realize how unfocused this sounds), I’d like to know how one becomes a “self-starter.” I used to describe myself this way in job interviews, but I’ve come to find that I was only a “self-starter” when I had someone else starting me. So I guess that doesn’t exactly count, right? I’ve managed to start up and continue posting on this little blog, basically of my own desire and motivation, but this may be the most ambitious thing I’ve started without anyone else prodding me to do it.

So (and Dad, I expect you’ll have some fancy links for me, or at the very least another set of audio CDs…), does anyway have any advice? Should I make lists or set goals (yes, Dad, I know the answer to that question)? Should I plan my day by the half-hour like I used to? Should I just be satisfied with the level of self-startedness I currently possess and do the best I can with it?

I’m coming down off of my coffee-high now so I’m quickly beginning to care less and less about doing anything but listening to Frank croon and chilling out in this mellow environment. This is better than working in an office… it certainly smells better in here than any office I’ve ever worked in… and no one cares if I play on FB… Or text my friends for hours… or whether I’m a self-starter or not… just as long as I buy something every few hours or so!