Wednesday it turned cold so I fixed vegetable soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. Last night it was even colder, and raining, so I put our flannel sheets on the bed and hooked up the electric blanket. I pulled grandmother’s afghan out of the closet. Plugged in the electric heater that warms our bathroom. Took my fuzzy pajamas out of storage. The older I get, the more I enjoy comfort.
I spent a lot of my childhood being cold, hungry, tired, uncomfortable, and worried because of circumstances beyond my control. I worked long hours at school and then in the fields and went home to less-than-wonderful situations.
I spent a lot of my early adulthood being worried, tired, uncomfortable, and sometimes even in pain for the sake of pride, fashion, and personal satisfaction. I did too much, too often, and too quickly. Slept and ate too little. I tried too hard to be perfect in looks and actions.
I spent a lot of my early parenting years being worried, tired, uncomfortable, and often in pain for the sake of my children. I did too much and sacrificed too much in order to be the best mom that I could be. I often set aside my own needs and health and that wasn’t good for me or my children.
I spent a lot of my forties and fifties being worried, tired, uncomfortable, and yes, frequently in mental and physical pain for the sake of my career ambitions. I pushed the limits of my capabilities. I commuted too far and slept too little. I worked through accidents and illnesses and heartaches.
I suppose that explains why I sometimes now go out of my way to avoid pretty but uncomfortable fashions, worthy but stressful situations, enjoyable but tiring activities, or expected but demanding relationships. I seek solace in routines, and security in the predictability of my daily life. I make my little nest here as comfortable as possible so that I can retreat from the worries and stresses of the world.
None of us can totally avoid fatigue or worry or discomfort or pain, but we can treat ourselves to some warmth and softness at the end of the day. It helps…