Solitude

I worked the night shift for a year, two years ago. I didn’t work full-time, and I am thankful for that. I don’t think I could have stood it as long as I did if I had worked a forty hour week.

I’ve never been much of a sleeper. Everything has to be about perfect for me to get a good night’s rest. The correct pillow, mattress, and room temperature. For me, around fifty degrees, snuggled under a bunch of covers works out very well. Then I sleep.

So, to have me up to work from 10 pm to 6 am a couple nights a week, usually meant no sleep for that day. By the time I arrived home, it was wake-up call for everyone else in the house at the time. Dark curtains at the window, and the temperature as cool as I could reasonably have it, didn’t seem to help when the sun was shining outside. After a year of that, I was pretty much exhausted.

What I loved about that shift was the solitude. In nursing, generally the patients and the residents are sleeping…until you go in to wake them up. Yes, I had tasks to accomplish before the next shift came in, but it wasn’t crazy with the hustle and bustle of day-time hours. The lights were low, it was quiet, and it was peaceful. Solitude.

For me, being alone isn’t a bad thing. I do appreciate my family and friends. I love a day away, or a few days when we can manage it, with my husband. An afternoon with a dear friend is very special. I look forward to our family times when we are all together, eating around the table or playing games. But I do enjoy the times like now, when I’m alone for a bit.

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Yes, I should be sleeping, and I will probably regret this decision to write at two in the morning. I’ll regret it when I’m at work later today, dragging through the last couple of hours until I can go home. But for now…it’s really nice. Just the hum of the ceiling fan, the air-conditioner coming on every now and then, and solitude. My mind works much better during these times. How about yours?

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