Have you ever had one of those crazy night’s sleeps where you can’t even call it that . . . because you didn’t really sleep?
I had one of those last weekend at our writing retreat. All of our participants were assigned to a nice bed, (not the same bed, of course), but my business partner and I had the floor. Unfortunately I left for the retreat with a defective air mattress. I didn’t know this at first.
I was pretty warm when I went up to the loft for bed, so I only grabbed a lap blanket to cover me.
Because my business partner didn’t want me to be uncomfortable, she brought me a longer blanket and a fold-out-cushion. I placed the cushion under my mattress.
I got into bed and tried sleeping for an hour or so, but the cushion under my mattress was smaller than the air mattress, and . . . well, I felt like I was surfing. Any time I turned over, my mattress tilted to a 45 degree angle. Can you imagine trying to rest while riding a wave?
Eventually I had enough presence of mind to slip the cushion out from under me.
I assumed that if I slept only on the air mattress, all my problems would be solved. Little did I know that air was escaping from my deceptive little floating bed, and that I would soon awaken with bruises from becoming a mattress burrito on the hard floor. And cold.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t get many intelligent thoughts while I’m in the zombie hours, so it took much longer than it should have before I realized I could sleep on the fold-out-cushion instead.
After moving over, the cushion supported me in comfort, and I finally slept in peaceful, but cold slumber. Until 20 minutes later when it was time to wake up.
I’m sure you are wondering why I am sharing this.
Well . . . I sacrificed a whole night’s sleep to learn a couple lessons, and I thought I could share them to make me feel a little better about it.
When I first shared my story with you . . . I may have left out a few valuable details.
First of all, at the beginning of the night, I had a third blanket just across the room. As it continued to get colder throughout the night, I could have gone over and gotten the blanket. It was only a few feet away, but I made a deliberate choice not to get out of my blanket to solve the problem.
Second,I had suspected I had the wrong bed before I left home. I was sure I had a new mattress with no leak somewhere in the house, but I didn’t take the trouble to go look for it.
Third, from the very beginning I sensed that I would have to stay perfectly centered on the air mattress if the cushion was underneath it, and that it would take some work to stay balanced. However, I ignored my thoughts, went for it anyway, and got “seasick” in the night.
And to think that I looked like the victim.
My sleep could have been tremendously more restful if I had simply made better choices. I could have paid attention when I had those thoughts to use all three blankets. I could have found the new mattress, and I could have trusted my better judgment and not put the mattress on the cushion to begin with . . . but I didn’t.
So what was my lesson learned?
Perhaps I have more control of the things that happen in my life. Maybe those thoughts that kept coming (that I continued to dismiss) were divine help for me to make my life a little more comfortable and enjoyable. Could it be that all those tidbits of instruction were inspired, and they are available to me on an ongoing basis? If I simply choose to act on them?
Not sure about you, but I’m going to make more of an effort to respond to those things in the future. And maybe tonight I’ll sleep better.