The ‘malaise & ennui’ category

Voting for Some Actual Sleep

March 22nd, 2019

Week 12: The 2019 Voting with My Dollar Project

As a mom of twin daughters who are four, I have not had a good night’s sleep in four years. Or five? Honestly, I can’t really do this kind of math anymore. I’m too chronically sleep-deprived. All I know is, starting before they were even born, sleep became an issue. Those of you who’ve housed nearly full-term twins in their uterus feel me. I mean, all moms feel me. But moms of twins feel me intensely — particularly ones like me who never quite mastered the exquisite sorcery of sleep training and really should have just gotten a king bed in the first place.

For a long time now I have had a fantasy about checking into a hotel for a night to catch up on a little sleep. I have actively attempted this several times. Last fall I flew halfway across the country to go to a spa with one of my best friends, united in a common goal to read, eat, get massages, and sleep. Mostly, sleep. During that trip, I got food poisoning for the first time ever. I spent a lot of time in bed, but very little of it sleeping restfully.

I’ve attempted to book local hotel rooms several times, too. Something always goes wrong. The last time I tried, I accidentally booked the wrong night (being forever sleep deprived makes you very stupid). I showed up at the desk with my luggage in hand, only to be turned away. That was over a month ago.

But this week, I finally found success. I stayed at the Latchis Hotel last night, in downtown Brattleboro, and I slept for over nine hours without being woken up one single time. It was glorious. I feel like a different person today.

Why did it take me over four years to make this happen?

Well, I guess the main thing is that it feels really decadent, self-indulgent, even reckless to spend over $100 on one night at a hotel when I have a perfectly good bed ten miles away. It puts my husband out; he has to get the girls up and bring them to school all by himself (and he was wildly supportive about this, and I love him dearly). I spent the evening away from my kids, during a time when they’ve been pretty mom-focused and needy.

Giving this indulgent expenditure a more positive spin, at least I gave that $100 to a local business. And honestly, is 9 uninterrupted hours of sleep worth $100? I’m afraid it is.

When I started this “voting with my dollar” project, my goal was twofold:

  • To be more aware of how I spend my money and make a decent effort to spend more of it locally, and to spend less of it in general

  • To do the research to find out where my money is actually going when I buy things from big companies — in particular, to make sure I’m not inadvertently supporting the conservative right, Trump, or the NRA

One of the things I’ve realized during this process is that I’m lucky to live in a small town where it’s actually quite easy to spend the majority of my money with local businesses. As I’ve stopped relying on Amazon Prime to deliver watercolor paints and masking tape to my door, I’ve gotten much more familiar with the local art store, sporting goods store, bookstore, etc.

The downside of this is that it’s frankly more expensive to shop locally. Big box stores are cheap and have a much wider selection. And they are hard to avoid entirely. Last week, I confess, I bought a few things at the Gap.

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What I’m eating:

Made these “breakfast blondies” per Healthyish and they served as a nice quick family breakfast for a few days.

What I’m reading:

So close to being done with Becoming. I have really enjoyed this read and am grateful I did not marry a politician, although strangely, the most useful takeaway for me has been her relationship insight.

What I’m listening to:

Finally finished the full podcast series Seeing White. Should be required listening for every white person. Mindblowing. 

What I’m watching:

Saw Free Solo finally. As the wife of a climber, this movie really moved me. 

What I’m working on:

Recently published piece I wrote: How I Built This: The Unlikely Origin Stories of Thriving Events

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