Today’s daily prompt asks that we write about an oasis where we go to get away from it all when everything else is too much. I will say that there is no such place. I live a life where I go from work to my daughter’s school to home to work to my daughter’s school to home, with no stops for fun on the side. My husband and I spend some time together in the evenings watching shows on Netflix, but even that is scarcely an oasis.
If I have to describe a place I go to get away from it all, I must say that I go to sleep. Whenever I feel myself beginning to feel discouraged and overwhelmed (which is most of the time), if I don’t have any other pressing obligations, such as daughter’s homework or some task my husband has given me, I head straight for the bed and crawl under the covers. If I can manage to fall asleep so deeply that I have forgotten who and where I am, then the sleep has done its job. The down side is that I must wake up. When I wake up, my job and my life come crashing down on me so solidly that it was hardly worth going to sleep. I remember the job that I hate, the fact that I have no friends, the crushing routine from work to school to home, and I just want to cry. I am too tired to cry. For some reason, the tears never come. I just get up and soldier on and march from place to place to place. If I am lucky, it is evening and it will be time for me to go back to sleep soon.
Last night I didn’t even have the sanctity of my sleep oasis because I slept so poorly. I am on a new diet, and I felt queasy and could not get comfortable. My husband was also sleeping poorly, so he was tossing and turning in the bed and at one point resorted to playing a CD that is supposed to be self-hypnosis to aid an insomniac to go back to sleep. Self-hypnosis my ass. The only thing that CD does for me is annoy me so badly it keeps me awake. I almost moved to the other bedroom, but I was too tired to get up. Also, my phone rang about eleven o’clock last night regarding a patient I had in the hospital, which I had to answer, and which woke me right back up. And that wasn’t even one of my call nights.
So my “oasis” is shaky at best. It is a house of cards that can tumble down on me on any given night. And if I’m on call, there’s a very real chance that my sleep will be interrupted by phone calls all night long. I may even have to get up and go do a delivery or a surgery. Those nights I just write off as awful, and again I want to cry because of the reality of my existence and my stressful job. But I don’t cry. I just get up and go in and do my work. And then I am exhausted the next day, but I have to get up and go into work anyway.
So “oasis” is a joke. An oasis is for other people. Other people have friends they can go see, or they can have a drink (I don’t drink any more), or they can go shopping (I’m not allowed to shop any more) or they can go into a nearby town and see a show or go out to eat (I am tethered to work and family and my call schedule, and I’m on a diet, so going out is not really all that much fun any more). And I can go out alone or I can go out with the husband and daughter. That’s pretty much it. We do that occasionally, and when we do, that is fun. But most shows or clubs I want to attend either seem to happen during the day when I must work, or on a call day when I cannot get any farther away from the hospital than thirty minutes. Everything interesting happens in a town that is at least forty-five minutes away.
My town where I live is devoid of entertainment. Everyone is a cookie cutter of everyone else, and they are not me. I don’t have any friends because people either find me strange or I find them judgmental and boring. There are people I am friendly with, but that is not the same as being friends. I love jewelry making but the nearest group is an hour away. I love photography but there is no group here. I would like to exercise by taking yoga or some other classes, but all the classes are during the day for the Ladies Who Lunch and I have a job.
If it sounds like I am feeling sorry for myself, I do. I know that I have many things that others would love to have; a stable job, a loving family, a home that I can pay for. But I am lonely and busy, and we all know that our problems seem more magnified to us than they would to others. I do not like my job; it is like a living hell that I must get up and face each day, for reasons I cannot go into here. I am seriously considering changing my job, and that may be the thing that truly brings me out of my funk. I can only hope that that will be so. Until then, I am a dead woman walking, and the oasis is just out of reach.