A 24-hour shift is nothing new when it comes to the work schedule of a firefighter. It’s an adjustment, and while most partners will get used to it, some continue to struggle.

When The Man first started the job, I found myself okay with the night tours and 24-hour shifts. It wasn’t until now, more than three months into his career that I find myself struggling with nights alone. Perhaps it’s because his truck was called to a fire on Valentine’s Day. Perhaps there was a change in me. Regardless, sleep no longer comes easy, my appetite isn’t the same, and the only reason is that The Man isn’t here.

I know that there are many wives and girlfriends who share in this strugle, so I thought I’d just post a picture list of how I am occupying my time while The Man is with his brothers and sisters protecting our city.

-Looking for new editorial work! This takes up most of my time, and is a labor of love (mostly).

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-After looking for a job and being in the apartment, I work on staying positive by getting out and strolling my beautiful neighborhood, while picking up a little fuel!

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-Now that spring is right around the corner, I am so eager to get a little green into my urban abode. Bringing plant life into the apartment significantly improves the atmosphere, making it so much easier to be here. Whether picking up herbs at the market to replant at home, or growing seeds on my window sill, there are so many ways to grow a garden without a yard.

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-Spending time with Lily is a great way to pass the time! It sounds like hyperbole, but this little rabbit– like many other pets and animal companions– has helped me through more than I could ever describe. From cancer to a night alone, I can never be too down when there is a bunny hopping around my home.

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-Journaling gets stress out of the head and onto the paper. Writing has been much more than just a profession for me. It is a passion, even if I’m just building material for my own site and my freelance work, it satisfies my soul.

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-Reading is always a great way to pass time. When my own reality no longer is appealing, I like to get lost in the pages of nearly any kind of book.

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-When sleep doesn’t come easily, sometimes a nice glass of old-vine Zin does a body good!

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-In the mornings I usually only have a few hours, so before The Man gets home and/or I hit the job search trail again, I like to put the dishes away, make a nice breakfast, and plan my day and/or week.

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Maybe, one day, the unavoidable nights alone will be easier, and this routine will change as our lives and situations change. But with each new adventure, both The Man and I need to remain fluid and willing to make alterations to our thought processes and actions in order to remain a unified front.