I’ve always loved my bed.
I have always paid a great deal of attention to its bedding, its pillows, its mattress quality. I’ve spent more time and money thinking about and outfitting my bed than most people spend on their entire home. Once a long time ago, an ex-boyfriend referred to my bed as the Puffy Village because he said it was so ridiculously comfortable that you could spend your whole life in it and be perfectly happy and content. The name stuck (the boyfriend didn’t, but que sera sera, no?).
This weekend I spent a great deal of time actually in the Puffy. Sleeping. Most of the time blissfully sleeping, some of the time sleeping fitfully experiencing some rather complex, vivid and not-so-fun dreams that sometimes result from my nighttime drug cocktail. I stayed up later than usual both Friday and Saturday watching The Crown and surfing social media – more time spent on social media than is probably healthy, but that’s another post entirely.
I’d fall asleep around midnight or 1AM, wake up around 8AM to feed the hungry creatures who alert me to feeding time by pouncing on my full bladder or my boobs (ouch). Then I drag myself zombie-like back to the Puffy and roll over like I never left and fall happily to sleep again.
Let me talk a little bit more about the Puffy.
I believe in quality sheets. I just do. I think life is too short not to sleep on fantastic sheets. I’ve felt this way well before I had an income to support purchasing quality sheets but I never let that stop me. I have three large steamer trunks on my second floor and they are all full of sheets. I like my sheets to feel good but to also look comforting and peaceful. I like them to match. I also have a fourth cedar chest in my basement that is full of sheets – but those are flannel sheets only used when it gets really, really cold. I realize how horrifying it is to make these admissions here, in virtual public.
I have always loved quilts. I never had a quilt on my bed when I was a kid. I wanted a vintage, sewn-by-some-wise-old-woman-from-scraps-of-precious-material-by-hand quilt. We weren’t a quilt family. We were an afghan family. Italians like to crochet, I guess?
Anyway, when I got my first bed of my own as an adult I also got my first quilt. I now own four. I change them based on the color of my sheets and their weight (some are heavier, some are lighter, it’s kind of an intricate science). I love each one of them. I often wonder who will take them for their own when I die. My quilts should be heirlooms to be treasured.
I’m not entirely right in the head.
I am also a connoisseur of fine down and down-alternative comforters. I have super puffy winter weight comforters (two of them, to be exact) that are cozy and warm no matter how crazy cold it gets in my very old and hard-to-heat, drafty house. I have a lightweight comforter for the spring nights when there is still a little chill in the air when you go to bed at night but the windows are open and you can hear the breeze in the leaves on the tree outside the bedroom window and it feels amazing. I keep those in the closet in the bedroom and I change them out according to my whim.
I used to make a big to-do about clean sheet day. It used to be Clean Sheet Sunday when I would go through the stripping of the bed, the quilt, the comforter and launder what needed laundering but usually just grab the next set of luxurious sheets from the top of one of my sheet trunks and toss the dirty ones down the laundry chute. Don’t ask me how many sets of sheets are currently in the basement waiting to be laundered right now, as we speak. It’s embarrassing.
I really loved Clean Sheet Sunday. I documented it religiously on Instagram. Now it’s not always a Sunday. It’s whenever the MS gods choose to give me the energy to perform the whole operation without killing myself in the process. I don’t document it as often on Instagram. Maybe I’m embarrassed that it’s not happening as often as it used to? Maybe I realized finally that not everyone is as obsessed with my bedding as I am. Either way, I love clean sheets.
When I hear someone say that phrase that people say when they are boasting about their fantastic, adventure-filled lives, “I can sleep when I’m dead” I get a little crazy. Without exception, I want to punch those people. I love my bed. I love sleeping. How dare you act like such a wonderful, blissful experience is not worthy of your precious time? I think of those people in the same way I think of people who boast energetically about ONLY listening to NPR, NEVER watching television and ALWAYS reading only classic literature. Whatever. I love to sleep.
But on both Saturday and Sunday I slept in until 3PM. I went to the neighborhood pharmacy in my pajamas on Friday afternoon, a work-from-home day. On Saturday, I didn’t even bother getting out of my pajamas. I knew I’d not leave the house and I had no desire to waste a perfectly good clean pair of yoga pants on lounging about. So I just didn’t. And no. I don’t do yoga.
I find myself feeling some kind of way about this overwhelming urge to sleep my life away. I want to scold myself for being so lazy and squandering so much time unconscious. I want to scold myself for being a loser for sleeping so much of the weekend away.
I had to talk myself out of that. The thing is, I had a super busy week last week at work. Not physically, mind you, but mentally my job requires a lot of energy, focus and just plain time. I’d be a liar if I said that it doesn’t suck the energy from my body like an invading alien.
All of the planning, thinking, maneuvering, strategizing (and sometimes drama) take it out of me. By the end of the week, I am physically spent. I want to scold myself for devoting so much of my precious energy to something like my work. I should be trying to spend more of that time taking care of my ever-failing body and my ever-diminishing physicality.
But I love my job. I love the people I work with. I love using my brain to solve problems and come up with ideas for how to sell things better. I love my job for making me feel a part of the world out there. I am nowhere near the place in my life where not working is even an option for me. MS has taken a lot from me in this first year of my diagnosis, but I won’t let it take my work from me. My work is a huge part of who I am. It might be sucking me dry right now, but that’s just the way it’s got to be.
So, lost weekends might be the norm for me for awhile. I need to sleep. I want to sleep. I have a freakishly fantastic place in which to sleep. I’m just going to sleep.
I’m constantly judging myself as a person with MS. I try to fight! I try to be the “MS doesn’t have me” girl that the commercials all show! I want to be a MS-achiever! I want to prove the diagnosis wrong and have a life just like the one I used to have before MS.
But that’s idiotic. I have MS and I need to sleep. I need to sleep a lot. On top of that, I actually love sleeping. I love the Puffy Village. And that’s just how it’s gonna be. For now. Who knows how it’s going to be tomorrow? Or next weekend? Or next year? For now I will spend the weekend sleeping when I need to and I will stop judging myself negatively for doing so.
Or I will at least try. Those sheets don’t pay for themselves people.