Three Things, Day 10: Weight, Comfort & Convenience

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. 

As I sit here writing, there is so much I am grateful for, not the least of which is my loving, supportive, incredibly patient wife; my amazing children who consistently demonstrate the ability to make more mature and thoughtful choices than I did at their ages (currently 17, 19, 22, and 26); and a new job that makes me feel valued and purposeful.

I was thinking, though, about the little things that get me through an average day, and this Thanksgiving, I want to focus a bit of time on three of those.

Gratitude #1:
I’ve used a weighted blanket to help me sleep each night for nearly three years. It literally changed my life.

Sleep has always been challenging for a variety of reasons. I have generalized anxiety disorder, which tends to get ramped up as I try to settle in for the night. I also like the pressure of lots of blankets on me, which is fine for winter but not so great in summer. And for whatever reason, I go through bouts of insomnia that can last a few days at a time up to several weeks in one go.

My weighted blanket helped with all of that. 

The deep pressure stimulation provided by the blanket reduces the production of cortisol, a stress hormone, while increasing the production of serotonin, a mood-boosting hormone. This is a tremendous help with my anxiety. And in addition to producing serotonin, deep pressure stimulation also supports production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. This allows for a healthier, more consistent sleep routine. Finally, my weighted blanket is perfect for year-round sleep, with breathable fabric that keeps me cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

The past few nights haven’t been great for sleep because I’ve been dealing with feelings from early in the pandemic that have returned. But I’d be getting even less sleep without my weighted blanket, and I’m grateful for having it.

Gratitude #2:
Facing our couch, I sit at the left end. It’s my spot, and I love it.

It’s where I’m at if we’re hanging out in the living room for whatever reason, it’s where I’m writing this piece, and when I attend Zoom meetings, I do it from there.

I don’t have a whole lot else to say about my spot, other than that I think it’s important for everyone to have a little space carved out where they can be comfy and happy. I sure do appreciate mine.

Gratitude #3: 
Our dryer is broken right now. 

A couple weeks ago, it started making a grinding noise that most major appliances shouldn’t make. The rubber on one of the barrel wheels was stripped, so I ordered a new pair. They were inexpensive and easily replaced when they arrived a couple days ago, but then both the front panel clips that hold the front of the dryer in place broke. Replacements should be in tomorrow, and for safe measure, we ordered a new belt to put on since the dryer is already torn apart. 

It’ll be good to have the dryer fixed and running again. Washers are dryers are the kind of things we take for granted and then quickly appreciate when they’re no longer there. One trip to the laundromat can change your whole perspective. So can having damp underwear draped on your windowsill. 

Once the dryer is fixed, I’ll hold a deeper appreciation for it. At least for a while. We unlearn appreciating something easier than we learn to appreciate it. I guess that’s part of why I’m doing this project in the first place.

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