It isn't easy tumbling out of a warm bed and into the cold, uninviting night, all before 0430 in the morning. But it sure beats my old job.
It wasn't the most restful of nights, and I remember being awake about an hour before the alarm, and feeling grateful that I could still soak up the warmth and cosiness for a little longer. When the alarm did go off I was jerked suddenly and rudely out of unconsciousness and into the realms of reality. I was confronted by a mixture of emotions: tiredness being one, but whilst I was groaning inwardly, I was strangely cheerful. I had been away from work a while, and I was looking forward to seeing my colleagues again. And I also realised that this was just another day that separated me from other, more exciting, occasions, such as Christmas, and, not so far beyond the horizon now, my wedding day.
Shivering, I dressed quickly, folding my dressing gown around me, over my uniform. I went through the motions of a typical work day: tie back hair, clean teeth, use toilet, make coffee, eat cornflakes, read Bible, pray. One glance through the downstairs window was all it took to confirm that I had an extra five minutes as the car was thankfully free from frost.
At 0425 I picked up my bag, exchanged my dressing gown for my winter jacket, complete with scarf and gloves, and hit the road. I was the sole driver this morning, at least for most of the journey, although I passed a juggernaut midway there and was tailed almost until the journey's end, as though the driver inadvertently wished to prove they could keep up with me. Or maybe it was because I always stick to the speed limit. Even at that time in the morning.
I pulled into the car park, and made my way in, greeting one or two colleagues on my way. I parted with my jacket, scarf and gloves at the lockers, forced to make do with my work fleece. It wasn't long before I was in work mode again, focused on the task, but alert enough to greet the people I met on my way around the store. I was calm and collected, comfortable in my work environment, and I couldn't help thinking to myself, I am here indefinitely for the moment. I see no door, nor am I looking for one. I smiled at this, and continued, feeling safe and fully at ease.