“If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for the Creator, there is no poverty.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
To put it anything but mildly, I woke up this morning, our last day in Germany, on the wrong side of the bed. Or to be more precise, on the wrong side of the couch. I taken to sleeping there because it had a firmer mattress. Unable to find a comfortable position, I’d spent the night tossing and turning, just awake enough to know that I most certainly was not asleep. Checking out of our room later today, it was time to pick out an outfit for our flight to Copenhagen. But I couldn’t find anything in the depths of my suitcase, filled as it was with all things black and Banana Republic, and, I could hardly stomach the idea of another breakfast in the hotel dining room.
On top of all of that, there was this:
Tom had slept well, hardly moving in the bed with a mattress that works just fine for him. He had slept soundly enough for me to know that he most certainly was not awake. I knew this of course, because I was. His outfit for the flight to Copenhagen was already neatly laid out, and he couldn’t wait to enjoy our final breakfast downstairs in the dining room.
All I wanted to do was stay in the middle of my little First World problem misery, feel sorry for myself, and find fault wherever I looked. Which in this case specifically meant my husband. How dare he wake up on the right side of the bed?
Then I remembered Theodore Roosevelt’s words: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
While not ready to be robbed of the company of my own misery, I knew Teddy was right.
Grasping for any straw within reach, I headed for the shower. Five minutes under the hot steamy water, and the ice around my heart began to melt. I spent a little time sprucing up with make-up, and looking in the mirror, I caught a glimpse of the girl I like to be. Pawing through my suitcase, I found my favorite traveling outfit, which wasn’t so hard to find after all. I’d merely needed to take the beam out of my own eye.
Just as we were about to head down to breakfast, Tom came over and gave me a dose of something we’d learned from a therapist years ago. It’s called “hugging till relaxed”, and is just like it sounds. He put his arms around me, and just hugged. And hugged. And hugged. And hugged some more. And he didn’t let go until he felt me relax back into myself.
Maybe the way to the other side of the bed isn’t that hard. Clean up your act. Find the person in the mirror you like to be. Dress in your favorite traveling clothes. And allow love to hug the self-pity stuffing right out of you.