inspiration · Navigating Life

A Lump In the Mattress

I recently noticed a lump in our mattress.  You know, the one that emerges after two people sleep on each side for a matter of time, creating their own valleys in the plush-top material.

This development disappointed me because it was just a year old.  We replaced our super-comfy-but-10-year-old mattress hoping that this new one would last just as long.  And yet, here in front of me a lumpy bump had appeared.

My reaction was, dang it.  This sucks.  We’re going to need a new mattress way sooner than 10 years.  Every time I re-made the bed and pulled the sheets over that lump, I sighed a big annoyed sigh.  I tried rotating the mattress so that we would sleep on different pressure points and it would even out.  Nay, the lump remained.

During this time of mattress evaluation, I was also going through some self-evaluation.  I had been waking up very early in the morning to “do things.”  I suppose I was being productive, reading, writing or studying.  Always quiet in the early a.m., with my hubs still sleeping, I would turn on the fire, and the cat and I would hang out till we heard stirring from the bedroom.  Then, I would cruise in to say good-morning with a hot cup of coffee.  My hubs would always say (jokingly-but-still-sadly), “I woke up and rolled over and you weren’t there…you were gone.”

In the beginning, as a new couple, we would spend all night in some sort of tangled web of arms and legs, feeling breath on skin, mumbling something to each other about love, and requesting more spooning.  Over the years, our mattress got larger and put a bit of material distance between us.  Each side of the king-size bed became like two separate beds.  I started bolstering myself with pillows instead of his body.  We slept with backs to each other more often, maybe a cold foot would reach out to touch a leg.  Mornings became more about getting ready for work or working out, instead of laying in bed sleepily together, just enjoying each others’ company.

Now, it was tugging in my mind, like, what if someday I look back and regret not sleeping in more with my hubs?  Why did we stop doing that anyway?  What could be more important than cherished quality, cozy time together?  I decided to make an immediate change.  I was going to cross the great king-size-bed divide, mash down that lump, and close the gap between he and me.

What a positive change it’s been, investing my morning hours canoodling with my love instead of whatever-the-heck I was doing before.  I’ve gone from waking up at 5 a.m. to not wanting to get out of bed at all.  Minutes and hours pass by as the light comes in our window and “suddenly” it’s 9 a.m.  We’re recapturing time together.

Let’s think of the lump in the mattress as a metaphor for anything that divides us from those we love.  What’s creating a rift in your relationship?  What walls have you built up over time, or is it something new that’s wedging you apart from your loved one(s)?  Can you cross the great divide, mash down the lump, and come together?

Please heed my advice – don’t wait.  Time will not always be on our side.

A week ago, I got a text from my husband that really shook me.  Our dear friend’s wife had passed away that morning.  She had battled cancer a few years prior, and we had known about that fight.  But, the last we heard, she was in remission and would recover.

This made the news of her passing so stunning that it felt surreal.  We attended this couple’s wedding in San Francisco two months before we got married in 2006.  We visited them in their apartment in Chicago.  They relocated to Houston and adopted two girls about three years ago.  As far as we knew, all was well in their lives.  Here we were, now, reading online tributes of her life in the past tense, and words of sympathy and sadness, and it was like, what?  This wasn’t happening.

My hubs and I came home early from work that day.  It was cold out.  We poured a glass of wine and turned on the fireplace and some soft music.  At first we sat, without really saying much about anything, just being together.  In that quiet moment, we made love, in the flickering glow of the fire, because we could, and wanted to, needed to – because somewhere out there our friend was desperately grieving his love’s absence, and we still had each other.  If I lost my love, I know I would wish for one more night, to touch and kiss and laugh and smell and feel, and stare into those eyes – to wrap him up in my arms once more.

So, now I implore you, dear readers, do not waste time.  Let this holiday season mark the end of any old grudges, against a loved one, against yourself, family or friends.  Spend time loving.  Spend your valuable time punching down the mattress lumps, not building them up by sleeping in your own little valley, bordered by inanimate puffy rectangles.  Reach out and touch that human being beside you, rekindle the flame, release your “must-dos” and “must-haves” that keep you apart from love.

Let go.  Give in to love.  We have right now to do so, but we will not always be so blessed as to have this gift of time.

The lump in our mattress has disappeared.  Now when I make the bed, I smile because I can see that the bunched up material has reintegrated into the rest of the mattress.  I did it.  I smashed down the lump and smooshed myself closer to my husband.  Sleeping in never felt so lovely.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – Winnie the Pooh

 

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