Last night, I climbed into bed after a long day. I was warm and clean from a shower, the sheets were freshly washed; it was lovely. As I set my alarm for the next morning, I braced myself against that feeling I sometimes get right before sleep. That feeling of the space next to me in bed where nobody is. Not feeling a comforting arm slide around my body. That feeling of loneliness.
I wasn’t lonely. I had a great day in the sunshine. A morning walk with a good friend. Some time in the afternoon to get chores done and then relax on the couch with a good book. And then, an evening with more friends and a refreshing dip in a pool.
So why brace myself against that empty space next to me? In fact, why a space next to me at all?!
I always sleep on only one side of the bed. Even though, most nights I sleep alone. Even the occasional one-night stand goes home (a good rule for one-night stands, I find). Who am I saving the space for? It’s my bed and it’s my space.
I read a great interview in Maclean’s magazine a few weeks ago with Michael Cobb, a professor from the University of Toronto who just released a book called Single: Arguments for the Uncoupled. He points out that even though single people outnumber married people, we still live a culture that views being in a couple as the ultimate goal. And, while I didn’t agree with everything he said, this part had me nodding, “being part of a couple is the thing that’s supposed to save you, as it does at the end of almost every single romantic comedy.”
Well, I don’t need saving. And I don’t need to save space in my bed.
So, I claimed that space. My space. I rearranged my pillows (why have two pillows on the bed when I only use one?) and moved myself into the middle of the bed. I stretched out and snuggled into my space. It’s just me right now and I am okay with that.
And yes, I had a great nights sleep!