The Art of Staying In Bed All Day

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in-bed-all-dayWe stayed in bed all day watching Netflix movies and reading books in between the movies.

Call it recovery from our first big house party in a few years, where we dipped into the cellar and made like Jesus, serving the best last late into Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

I got up and made breakfast for the friends who stayed until the bitter end and then stayed the night.

We ate omelettes with leftover pulled pork and sharp cheddar cheese with salsa and avocado. I made them strong coffee, and we watched some television together before they left for their Sunday activities.

I thought briefly about cleaning up the kitchen, but then I thought better of it and slumped up the stairs and crashed back into bed.

It felt good not to be busy. Just to chill with the window open a bit and the sun and the blue sky trying to tease me outside.

“What do you want to watch,” I asked her.

She looked at me over her Kindle with eyes that said, “I don’t want to decide.”

We watched some comedy first, something silly and inconsequential. Something that matched the mood of the day.

It was fun not to care. Not to feel like we were missing out on life by not watching the latest flick on the badass sound system downstairs.

We at some leftover slow-cooker chili and a little apple pie, breaking every rule we ever made about about eating in bed.

Then we watched Dirty Dancing, because enough time has passed since Patrick Swayze’s unfortunate death, and because deep down we both still just want to be dancers.

We lounged around for another couple of hours when we realized it was 5 p.m.

The kids ate leftovers, played outside, played video games, scrambled to finish their homework before the end of the weekend and otherwise minded their own affairs, which is what made it possible for us to stay in bed all day.

If you know me at all, you know the idea of staying in bed all day is anathema to me.

Sleep is a waste of perfectly good, productive consciousness.

It used to be that if I didn’t spend at least half the morning accomplishing something, I’d spend the rest of the day lamenting that.

But I think I’m spent.

The business of life is unrelenting, like a permanent impact zone where you paddle against the waves only to get thrown over the falls again and again, where your struggle works against you slowly draining the life out of you until the waves finally take you down.

My wife and I used to go on vacation together with two very different mindsets. She to relax on some beach or by a pool. And I with my maps and my museums and plans.

Lately through, we’ve both been sitting on the beach. The museums unvisited, plans unmade.

We are getting older, approaching middle age, unless the brilliant scientists of today continue to push the age barrier back, of course.

I think it’s the business of life that ages you. I’m 40, and I’m so tired of the Joneses and their boats and $2,000 a week Costco bills and their 80-inch curved screen, 4K television.

I think we forget to rest, and when we’re finally forced to rest, we’re 65, and resting isn’t as easy anymore, because you have to get up to go pee 20 times every night.

I recommend spending a Sunday in bed or on the couch with a New York Times crossword or in an easy chair with a Jim Harrison novella. Where nothing is as important as what you are doing in the moment.

If you’re like me, it’s tough. It feels lazy. It feels wrong, as if life is getting away from you.

We spend 24-years of our life sleeping.


That thought makes me shiver.

And yet there must be a reason. Something that happens when we lay ourselves down and submit to the calm and relaxation of sleep. As if we’re living a whole other life when we close our eyes on this one.

If I’ve learned anything from my lovely wife, it’s that relaxing is a state of mind. It’s something you have to crawl into like an 800-thread count Egyptian cotton comforter. You pull it up over your head and grab your book, or the remote control, and you let the rest of it slip away.

It’s not that life is getting away from you when you finally decide to relax. It’s that you’ve finally discovered the pace of life without all the window dressing and time-keeping humanity has pressed onto it.

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