Thoughts on two naps and low level stress

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Whenever there is a stat holiday on a Monday, which is my usual day off, I'm to take the Tuesday off as my statutory day off. So today was just such a day. I think to say that it was a quiet day around here would be an understatement.

I got to the guys early prayer time at 6 here this morning, and got the coffee made and things lined up for prayer. It was a good time and there were seven of us there today, and the prayer was good.

I got home by 8 am and ate some toast and chocolate milk while the house was quiet, then went and had a nice extended morning nap which I gotta believe I needed. After a bite of lunch with Micah who was headed off to work, and Lauralea who was knitting up a storm today, I took my headache and headed in for another nap, part two. So lots of quick sleep was had and enjoyed today. I can usually tell that I needed it by how quickly I'm out when I lay down. Normally it takes me a good chunk of time to sleep when I lie down, but not today.

When I used to live in another city I was a part of the rotation of Clergy on call for the hospital, and about every six weeks I'd get the hospital cell phone and whenever there was a serious accident or emergency was involved or whenever a Code Blue was called at the hospital, the cell phone would ring and I'd have to go off into a high stress situation. I really enjoyed being a part of that opportunity and some of the life experiences it gave me I wouldn't change for the world. Some I'd change in an instant. However, I began to notice that during those weeks when I had the phone there would be a constant low grade sort of stress that would come along with it. All my plans for the week would be secondary to that phone and whatever calls would come in, whenever they would come in. day or night. I saw it as a part of the work that these expectations would come with it. I was usually glad after a tough week on call was completed and I could hand it off to another guy.

I've been remembering those days as I've been thinking about living here in a field - beside a church, in front of a cemetery. There is a similar feel to life here in a manse, owned by the church, living beside the church and at the place of work. Though it's a lesser grade stress than used to be present with an emergency cell phone, I think I've identified a similar feeling to being on call, except here it's where I live. It's the same sort of low grade stress that is ongoing, constantly. The regular "on call-ness" of it all, that at any time, day or night, I'm ready to go.  Though I don't make my plans accordingly on a short term basis, I do make arrangements if its a bit of a longer time away. I think this is a part of the challenge of living in a rural community in a public place.

I'm regularly trying to dissect the feelings I experience here and why they exist, because I want to learn how to do this work better and to be better and longer at it. And this is one of my recent discoveries. Living here in public in the home provided by the job, there is a similar though lower grade stress that is a constant thing.

So maybe on days like today when two naps are possible, it's a good thing. :)


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