Sometimes it’s the simplest things that bring comfort and joy. Simple things like clean sheets on the bed.
The crisp, clean, soft feeling of sliding between sheets just put on the bed straight out of the dryer is a simple pleasure. It’s not one single thing about it, but lots of little things that we often can’t quantify. That inability doesn’t make it any less special, enjoyable, or comforting.
It’s a common thing – not an everyday occurrence, but commonplace enough to be considered and everyday experience. And yet, it’s special in it’s own way. That first night after putting new sheets on the bed, I always sleep better than the nights that follow. I wish I knew why.
Maybe, deep down, it reminds me of home and family, of an earlier time when I had fewer worries and responsibilities. I do know it helps reduce my stress and insomnia. Who would think something so simple and normal could make a sizable difference?
How do you sleep in clean sheets? What dreams do you dream?
We’ve had an usually cold winter so far here in Austin. It snowed twice in December – I can’t remember that happening since I moved here. Every couple of years we get a dusting of snow once during the winter. This year the last few days of 2017 saw a hard freeze that extended into the first week of 2018.
I’m not particularly fond of cold, though I do like seeing snow and participating in winter activities like skiing and ice skating. That’s one of the reasons I moved away from Nebraska and Kansas.
What I do like about cold weather is that it gives me a chance to use my fireplace. A couple of logs (even if they’re fake store bought fire logs) lasts all afternoon or evening. There’s something about gazing at a fire on the hearth. It makes me content to just sit and let my mind wander. I might think about people I know and miss, or about story ideas. I might think about the future or the past. Or I might just let my mind relax and wander where it will.
In the midst of cold that freezes body, mind, and soul, watching a fire warms me, giving motion and impetus to thoughts, feelings, and motivations. There’s a visceral connection to other people that goes all the way back to times when fire meant safety and food and comfort.
And sometimes the fire is simply beautiful, in and of itself.
It’s almost the winter solstice. Throughout history winter solstice has been a time when cultures celebrated the turning of the year and the return of the sun. It has been and still is a celebration of hope for the future.
I’m a night person. So I celebrate the longest night of the year. But I’m not a fan of cold weather so I also appreciate that the days get longer, and warmer, after the solstice. There’s something to appreciate on both sides.
What do you think about the longest night of the year?
After an early adulthood of extreme ups and downs, I remember the moment I embraced the happy middle. It happened one night about 9pm, when I got home from a long day at the call center. After almost two hours driving round trip and depressing calls for 12 straight hours hooked up to a computer screen, I get home and instead of grabbing a drink and sitting in my chair and watching football like my Grandfather, I hear the girls and their mom laughing joyfully upstairs and decide to slowly, tiredly take each step up there like the tired cranky old man I was becoming.
At the top of the stairs, they turn and see me and each scream my name and embrace me and invite me to come join them- they are watching a musical Tween-type family movie and painting each other’s nails and singing along with the movie. It was that moment more than any other that I surrendered. I remember thinking, how could you not Love this? Look how lucky you are to be a part of this! So I joined them and I didn’t say a word about work, about sad people in untenable situations that I couldn’t possibly help. Instead, I smiled and jumped into cross-legged position on the floor and they painted my toenails and put my hair in ponytails and we watched the movie and I think we watched it again from the beginning so I could see the whole thing with them, and I learned to love that movie, which never could have happened before, and that music too, despite it’s incredible cheesiness. I decided to embrace cheese. I decided to adopt Cute then, I gave in. I figured, this is my life now, and its not so bad. I can’t complain…and you know how I hate that. 😉