I am a funeral director in a small East Coast town, and like a small town doctor in older days, we make house calls and respond at any hour around the clock, including on Christmas Eve or Valentines Day right in the middle of the special dinner -- might have to leave our personal life and go help someone in the darkest day of their lives having lost a loved one. It puts a big strain on our family life and one's health, but it is also very rewarding knowing you can do it.
When the strain is great, and the situation may have been very tragic -- it is amazingly therapeutic to get in my 1955 Dodge, and drive the back country roads. It's my escape capsule, taking me back in time to the days when I was driving my first car on a learner's permit, with my poor mother going "Oh, Oh!" as I learned to shift gears and negotiate curves. My first car was also a Dodge almost identical to the one I have now.
I put on an oldies station on AM, playing those old songs from the mid 1960's when I was learning to drive, and I often go on the same old roads as then. The tension melts away, I get waves from familiar folk along the route who know me -- many of them even know what I am doing!
My 55 Dodge is immaculate, it has been an AACA Senior formerly, but it's duty as my escape capsule made me pick between driving it whenever I felt like it, or keeping it a show Queen. The former won out, and I don't regret it. I keep it very nice, and it keeps me sane. A good trade off, I think.
I have a Sara Teasdale poem that I think of as I drive those back roads, and re-live happy times:
Into my heart's treasury, I slipped a coin.
That time cannot take, nor a thief purloin.
Oh, better than the minting of a gold crowned King,
Is the safe kept memory of a lovely thing!