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Life as I see it…

Now I lay me…


February 19, 2020

The bed greeted me like an old friend. I slipped my cold feet between the soft fleece sheets which molded around me like a warm hug. After a long day on my feet in the food pantry, my body was calling for rest. It was time to recharge and let my mind sink into oblivion.

But my mind wasn’t ready to close down for the night. My thoughts flew back to my childhood bedroom which was a cooler in disguise. There was no lingering in the room before jumping into bed. It was a big rush to shuck off my clothes and slip into my flannel pajamas. And, of course, the socks remained on my feet. The bed did not welcome me with a warm hug. The sheets were ice cold. Millie and I shared a bedroom and also our body warmth. It took a while for our bodies to emit enough heat so we could unfold from the fetal position.

Electric blankets were unheard of in our household even though they were being sold to the public in the 1940’s. Electric blankets wouldn’t have helped us anyway because I don’t recall any electric outlets in the bedroom. The only source of light was a single bulb on the wall which had a chain for turning the bulb off and on. There were no flannel or fleece sheets. There were no rice bags to warm up and put on our cold feet. Besides that, we didn’t have a microwave oven in which to heat up the rice bags. We did have an electric heating pad, which I used when I had an earache, but that would have been useless and unsafe in bed. But we survived and can now laugh about our icy bedrooms.

Despite being cold, we were able to fall asleep and sleep through the night until we heard the stair door squeak open and Mom’s voice would strike through the cold air urging us to get up. If it was really cold, we would grab our clothes and get dressed by the warm stove. Modesty be darned.

Even with all the fleece sheets, warm blankets and quilts, sleep can be very elusive. It is hard to get the brain to shut itself off and forget the thoughts of the day. We will sometimes relive our day and remember the not so pleasant happenings instead of thinking about the good things that crossed our paths. It is hard to shut off the thoughts of the past and the mistakes we have made along the way. It is difficult to bury the times we were unpleasant with our family members. But the guilt doesn’t stop there. Our brains insist that we dig up and replay all of those instances when we were at our worst.

When trying to drift off, I know that I cannot start to write a story in my head for my brain will come fully awake and I will lie there wondering if I will remember those story thoughts or if I should write them down on the pad I keep on my night stand. So many times I have a great thought which I know that I will remember in the morning. But, alas, the memory fails me again and that idea is lost somewhere to never resurface.

And it does no good to think of how tired I will be the next day when sleep does not overcome me. Why is it so easy to fall asleep in front of the TV or in the rocking chair while reading a book and so hard to fall asleep when I am in bed? Staying asleep through the night is also a challenge. In my younger years waking up at 3:00 in the morning would be a delight because I would have a couple of more hours to sleep. Now at 3:00 AM, I think about the hours I will lie awake before it is time to get up and start my day.

Getting out of bed is still a challenge. Whether I am refreshed or not, I still have to get up. I love that snooze alarm. If I plan on staying home for the day it feels good to lie there a little longer because I can.

May you all sleep well and be ready to attack each day with a rested body and a clear mind.


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