Making Room for that Little Extra Something
We have bedroom problems just like any other couple. Someone wants it but the other person isn't willing (or able) to give. That leaves the other person out in the cold, forcing them to do without or manage things on their own. Sometimes I'm the problem. Sometimes it's my husband.
It's all about the blankets.
When we go to bed at the same time it's not an issue. It's when he goes to sleep before I do (which is 90% of the time) that sets the stage for frustration. As I approach the bed, ready to climb in and fall asleep, everything looks fine.
My husband is a kind man and I believe he tries to make sure I have plenty of covers. Usually the sheets and blankets are smooth and reaching all the way to the edge on my side of the bed. THAT is exactly the problem.
I am not one inch thick. Indeed, I am many inches thick. If I was paper-thin we would have no issue. I could slide under the covers and fall asleep toasty-warm and comfortable under a blanket that stretches to the edge of the bed. But I am not as thin as paper.
No matter how close I snuggle to him, the bits of me facing the edge of the bed have no coverage. I start the ssslllooowww pull, teasing microns of fabric away from the snug cocoon around my husband.
Sometimes to hasten things along I add 'The Persuader'; a tap of chilly feet placed just-so on his calves. Tucking a corner under my chin I roll a bit. More often than not, in the winter I supplement with a fleecy throw to seal out the cold.
It's not one-sided. I know, for a fact, that on nights when I am able to unwind them I don't get just 'my share' of the covers. Many a morning I make the bed and find the lioness' share of covers puddled around me. I know I must leave him in the cold, too. We manage.
The thing about blankets is: it's the part that extends over the side of the bed that keeps you warm. The part of the bed covering that covers the bed is just for looks. The part that provides the warmth and comfort is in the extra fabric that falls over the sides.
The other night, as I worked my subtle commando skills, teasing the inches of fabric around me, I thought about how important that 'extra ' really was. It applies to more than just blankets.
If we really want to meet the true needs of those around us the effort must go farther than the surface.
There is a difference in the way we greet each other; when we make the polite-on-the-way-to-the-coffee-in-the-morning-smile-and-nod, and when we take the 'extra' time to make eye contact and see the other person. Taking the time to let them know they have been seen.
There is a difference in our intent that is palpable; when we say 'Let me know what I can do' versus 'extra' thought of some positive action and saying 'Could I do this for you? or would this be better?'
Do we use social media to display our outrage over injustice (as we would use a colorful throw on display in our home) and then roll over, pulling our indignation over our shoulders to keep only ourselves warm? Or do we take the 'extra' time to make a positive change and stand for what's right, speaking up, donating time and money?
Sometimes the intent to include and shelter others is present but we don't have the resources to help. ( A twin-sized quilt would be hard-pressed to cover a king-sized bed, no matter the good intentions.) What to do then?
Perhaps just being clear about the real intentions, not pretending to have offered warmth and solace when we haven't really invited others into our shelter, perhaps that self-awareness is, if not enough, a starting point.
Be open to how much difference that little-extra-extending-past-the-surface can make. Do what you can to extend your margins and warm not just yourself, but those around you. Think about the little changes that would make that possible.
I'm going to start watching the end-of-season advertisements. Sewing two blankets down the middle should be perfect for next winter.
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To read a bit more about life with the guy I snuggle with each night: