Papercut and colored pencil art by Sheryl Aronson X 5

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Good Night's Sleep on a Leaky Air Mattress

Last night we slept on the floor of my step-son's apartment near Boston.  To be precise, we slept on an air mattress.  They didn't beleive me at first when I said it was losing air, but it soon was leaking so fast that it was obvious to everyone.   We pumped up the mattress, and within 5 minutes, we hit the floor.  We slept on it anyway, for lack of other options.

My body hurts when I sleep at home on our Sleep Number bed with a Memory Foam topper, so I was not thrilled with the sleeping arangement last night.  But, as I have said before, there are always choices.  No, we didn't have a choice about sleeping on the floor when the mattress went flat each time we pumped it up, but we did have choices about how we dealt with it.  I could have lain there, and worried about not getting any sleep, and about how much pain I would be in the next day.  I could have cursed my circumstances, and wished that I was someplace else, that the mattress didn't leak, or that my body didn't hurt.

None of those choices would have helped me any, and would have made my circumstances worse.  Worrying about not getting sleep would have kept me awake, Focussing on my pain or on my bad luck would have made me feel sorry for myself, and lead to ruminating.  Again, the result would be no sleep.  That would have brought about a self-fulfilling prophesy, of expecting no sleep and then getting no sleep because of my behaviors. 

Instead, I chose to accept my situation and make the best of it.  I  looked at it as an adventure, like we were camping out (or in, as the case may be).  We are on vacation.  We are visiting my step-son.  This is fun. I arranged myself as best I could, then focussed on calming my breathing.  I focussed on my husband snuggled against me, rather than on the hard floor under me.  I chose my reality by what I focussed on, and by what I chose not to focus on.   The hard floor was still there, but it wasn't relevant. 

As a result, I slept fine.  Maybe not as well as in my own bed at home, but well enough that my fatigue didn't flare up, and my pain level is no higher than usual.  We went to Cape Ann today and played tourist, and on the way back to the apartment, we stopped at Wal-mart and bought a new air mattress.

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