When we first arrived in Scottsdale Arizona 20 days ago, the temperature was in the 80’s. We couldn’t turn on the air conditioning fast enough, sweating profusely as we unloaded our car of the eight orange Antler suitcases, flat screen TV (this won’t travel the world with us), and miscellaneous bags and boxes.
In a matter of minutes the noisy air conditioning began to cool our condo as we eyeballed the inviting swimming pool outside our dining/living room floor length windows. Ah, cool. Perhaps a swim was in order soon.
Although winter hadn’t officially arrived in Minnesota when we left on Halloween, the chill was in the air, the leaves had turned to varying shades of rust and yellow, wearing a warm coat was in order and firing up the furnace for the season was a must.
In only a matter of days, we turned off the AC finding ourselves comfortable during the day in the 80 degree weather and more comfortable at night under two blankets while in the low 60’s. How quickly we adapt.
Tom and I spent the last 10 years sleeping in a over-sized king Sleep Number bed divided into two sections, allowing for the mechanical raising and lowering of the head and foot by use of individual controls. If one wanted to shake their legs, get in or out of bed during the night, toss and turn, the other wouldn’t feel any motion.
The drawback of this particular bed was the difficulty of “cuddling” with the crack between the mattresses in the way. As we planned our future travels, it was inevitable that we’d notice the type of bed in each property, most of which were standard double or queen beds without all the controls, the comfort, the special bedding and of course, the crack.
We wondered if we’d have trouble sleeping together in a small bed. As we’ve heard from time to time, some couples don’t sleep in the same bed, let alone the same bedroom. With rampant sleep apnea, insomnia and snoring in the general population these days, it’s understandable that “special” sleeping arrangements must take precedence over night-after-night close quarters.
Recently, we’ve both sleep fairly well; Tom surprisingly finding that he’s catching up from years of poor sleep due to his work and me, falling into bed exhausted after an entire day of my little brain figuring out all this technology. We don’t snore nor do either of us suffer with sleep apnea.
The adjustment was purely comfort related. Can we, after all these years, sleep in close quarters in a comparatively tiny bed? Much to our amazement, we can.
Much to our amazement, we are both sleeping better than we have in years albeit with my wild nightly dreams of traveling.
I realize now, why I didn’t sleep well in the past, awakening first at midnight, later at 2:00 am and again at 4:00 am most nights, finally wide awake at 5:30 am, in time for Tom to get up for work. I too, dragged myself out of bed, often tired but glad to be up, ending the battle to sleep.
Its different now. For me, it wasn’t the body that couldn’t sleep. It was the mind, never still, never willing to rest, often filled with useless drivel, meaningless to-do lists combined with worry over situations for which I had little or no control.
I’ve always believed, right or wrong, that worry is only worthwhile if it motivates one to action that will ultimately solve the problem. And yet, I worried, keeping me awake, night after night.
After the tumultuous end of life as we knew it in Minnesota, I made a conscious decision to let it all go. Life is too short to waste a moment in a state of useless worry. Nights are too long to spend tossing and turning, seeking the next morsel of concern to grab onto to further the fitful state of being. Its over now. I’m free. Finally. I sleep.
Yes, I could worry about the wide array of scenarios that could go wrong as we travel the world for the next number of years, too many to list here. We all know what they are. We’ve made every logical and sensible precaution possible. We continue to spend the bulk of each day in preparation. This process will diminish soon, once we leave.
The goal is clear. We’ll have the planning under control when we leave the US on January 3, 2013, allowing us the freedom to live in the moment, observing and relishing in our surroundings, enjoying the people we meet, their culture and the sheer beauty and wonder of nature.
We’ll adapt to the weather, the time changes, the lack of air conditioning, the loss of our favorite TV shows, the poor Internet connection, the avoidance of ice in our drinks as necessary, the lack of availability of our favorite food, ingredients and beverages and, the not-so-comfy bed.
No matter where we may be or how primitive the environment, we’ll always be able to cuddle at night, hug during the day and sleep worry free at night… provided no wild animal is banging at the door.