34 Thoughts From My First Ever Night Shift

Last night I experienced what it’s like to work a night shift in a hospital – for the first time ever. It was an intense, yet spaced-out experience which I’m finding hard to write about in any sort of coherent manner (probably due to the fact I’ve missed a night’s sleep and the skill of producing eloquent content is evading me right now). Because of this, I thought I’d write a post documenting a fraction of my thoughts throughout the night instead – this allows me to share with you all my feelings in the way I experienced them, rather than editing the events into reflective prose.

So here we go, from start to finish, my first night shift experience in 34 parts:

This feels like a dream, actually no, a nightmare. Is this real? I don’t think this is happening. In the car on the way to work at 7:30pm? No way.

It’s so dark out here. Like, impossibly solid darkness. No one should be heading to work when the sky is this black.

This really is real. I just walked through the hospital’s automatic doors and the antiseptic, musty, microwaved-food smell that I’ve come to know so well is hitting me full on.

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Practising Self-Love For Valentine’s Day

I don’t really subscribe to the whole premise of a Valentine’s Day in which the focus is almost entirely on romantic love and capitalist consumerism. In my opinion, love between couples isn’t the only love worth celebrating, and buying expensive stuff isn’t the best symbol of these feelings. For me, 14th February is a day to show appreciation for the people that you care about, in whatever way is significant to them. If this means getting each other lots of material objects, then by all means do that. But I think it’s also important to not lose sight of the value of experiences and time spent together or doing something for them, such as making a special dinner.

In the run up to this day, I often find myself rolling my eyes at the crazy amount of marketing and advertising done by companies all over the place, whether that’s on the high street or online. In a consumer society, it’s hardly surprising that everyone is rushing to cash in on yet another celebration in the year that tells us it’s okay to spend lots of money, and I don’t blame them. That’s how business works. But that doesn’t stop me feeling a little depressed by it all.

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You Don’t Have To Eat Oysters: An Open Letter to Myself About Making Decisions

Dear 2018 Alys,

Sometimes you wonder if you’re doing the right thing with your life. In this fast-paced world of constructed online identities and overwhelming arrays of things and places and people and opportunities, you often feel lost. I see that look in the hazel of your eyes, your decisions are as uncertain as the shade staring back at you – some people see brown, others green.

But the question that consistently plagues you on some kind of level, whether that’s a buzz at the back of your brain or a drill in your temple, isn’t brown or green. It’s study or work. Distance learning or physical university. Travelling the world or the ease of home life. Healthcare or writing or the media industry. Internships or volunteering. Europe or America or Australia. It’s have you made the right choices so far or should you have done something different? And what’s the next step?

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Staying a Healthy Weight: Can Veganism Help? – Veganuary

People often talk about three main reasons for going vegan, two of which are ethics and the environment. Today, however, I’m going to be discussing the other point on the ‘why go vegan’ triangle: health. We all know our physical health is extremely important, it is one of the top categories for resolutions in the new year (quitting smoking, losing weight, doing more exercise, eating better, drinking less…) and something a lot of us, including me, know we could do better at.

Most of us, even if we don’t follow them, know the basics of how to keep our bodies healthy. Or at least, we know what we’ve been told are the most impactful things we can do to live longer and healthier lives: drinking more water, exercising regularly and maintaining a balanced diet.

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Boys Toys, Girls Toys: The Blue and Pink Divide – Blogmas Day 20

“I won’t eat my ice cream unless the spoon’s blue.” a boy scowls with the ferocity of a bear in a zoo, outraged at the injustice of being locked up.

“Of course, darling.” a tired mum sighs, looking up at me, the gelato scooper, with expectation and an awaiting hand.

The week after, and most likely the week before too, a parent apologetically approaches the counter and explains, “my daughter will throw a tantrum if she can’t have her ice cream in the pink cup, I know it’s the medium size, but maybe you could just put the small amount in the pink cup? That wouldn’t be a problem, would it?”

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Why Okja is a must-see: what we can learn from fiction

Grab a couple of blankets, a plate of snacks and a box of tissues to settle down for a couple of hours in front of Netflix’s epic drama, Okja. This is exactly what I did this afternoon – minus the desperately-needed tissues. This film follows a young girl, Mija, on a journey to rescue her companion animal, the eponymous genetically modified superpig, from becoming part of the meat industry. The action begins in mountainous South Korea, where we get to know these two lead characters before the American company that bred Okja 10 years earlier, the Mirando Corporation, arrives to recapture Mija’s best friend; and so, with the help of animal rights activists, Mija attempts to save Okja from the slaughterhouse.

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