You’ve just come back from the holiday of a lifetime. Or maybe not even that. Maybe just a normal holiday, or some other uplifting event. And you’re back home. Plunged straight into real life. The pendulum has resumed its irritating, relentless swing. Back to work! it sneers at you while whooshing past, to and fro, carrying you along in its cruel trajectory. Back to worries, responsibilities … all the usual everyday complexities of living, with some light relief thrown in every now and then, when the pendulum isn’t looking.
So you crawl into bed on that first night back home, and you plunge into the escape of sleep, perfect sleep.
But then you wake up the following morning. And open your eyes. And you can’t work out where you are. Oh, that’s right. Home. Could be worse. You could have woken up in some dank and dark hell hole, having been kidnapped by terrorists or a psychopath. But that sobering thought doesn’t console you. It’s like when people tell you to appreciate what you’ve got, and you just want to yell at them, Oh, fuck off! But of course you don’t say that, because on the whole you’re a well-brought up person. On the whole.
So what DO you do when you simply don’t want to get out of bed in the morning? I’ve given one possible cause for this unfortunate ailment as post-holiday blues; but there could be all sorts of other reasons. I suppose a little self-analysis is required here.
Is the reason why you don’t want to get out of bed because:
a) you’re a teenager and you need loads of sleep. Like, WAY more than eight hours.
b) You’ve just bought a new goose feather quilt and it’s so divinely comfortable, there is absolutely NO way on earth you can justify abandoning its feathery, billowy domain.
c) You’re newly in love and want to stay in bed all day having sex and drinking Prosecco. (Your partner can get out of bed to open the second bottle.)
d) You have a hangover.
e) You are otherwise ill.
f) You’re depressed for no particular reason and can’t bear to face another horrible day.
g) You’re depressed for a bloody good reason, eg. your marriage has just ended – second time round! – and therefore you reckon it’s far better to remain in bed for as long as you bloody well like, shut your eyes, and cry yourself to sleep.
Here’s the key to the above.
- Reasons a) and b) are absolutely NOT justifiable.
- Reasons d) and e) are totally justifiable.
- Reasons c), f) and g) are justifiable, but perhaps not quite sensible.
And now for some sensible reasons why you should get out of bed in the morning.
- You’ve got to take the puppy on a walk. (Pray remember that it was YOUR choice to get a puppy in the first place, so it’s too late for second thoughts now, in light of all the surprise puddles and poos that keep appearing in unexpected places, not to mention the regular dawn call.)
- You’ve got to see to the children, the partner, spouse or other family members who urgently need your attention. (Pray remember that it was YOUR choice to plunge into a full-on relationship that ended up in setting up home and starting a family, so it’s too late to grumble now, in light of all the stress and exasperation and exhaustion that goes hand in hand with relationships and family life.)
- You’ll get bed sores if you remain in your self-pitying, supine position for too long. Bed sores are NOT a pretty sight. (Pray remember Grandma in the last few bed-ridden months of her life.)
- You’ll miss out on all the free-of-charge pleasures that the act of getting up and greeting another day offers. Simple pleasures like listening to the chirping of birds and the rustling of trees as you and your puppy bound along the Elysian lanes. Or more subtle pleasures like appreciating that you have a pair of eyes to see the things all around you, and a pair of ears to hear the sounds all around you, and a pair of legs to carry your body forward, and a life that is full enough to embrace accumulated areas of commitment and responsibility and love, all of which, on the whole, outbalance the areas of lethargy and regret and self-pity.
- You’ve got a novel to write.
- You’ll cause upset to others if you never get out of bed again. Some people and animals will actually MISS you.
Actually, I suppose if you’re really old and frail and living all on your own, then your thought processes might be a little different from the above. Maybe no one needs you anymore. Maybe no one misses you. Maybe you’ve just become a burden. An inconvenience. Maybe you’re swinging on that pendulum by the nails of your bony hands, begging it to hurl you as far away as possible from the expensive care home that your family has generously dumped you in.
But I’m not there yet. And presumably neither are you, fellow blogger. Best not to complicate things even further by worrying about a future that might never happen. I mean, you might never reach such a grand old age. You might instead find yourself boarded on the high-speed train to heaven at any given moment. Maybe even tonight. Maybe you’ll have a brain haemorrhage or a stroke while you’re asleep (from an overdose of Prosecco) and next thing you know, you’ll be stretching out your pale, dead arms amid the billowy clouds of your brand new heavenly quilt, from whose wispy mists you’ll be able to gaze down at the terrestrial world you so foolishly shunned while you were actually a part of it. And then, at last, you might finally appreciate all the things you were supposed to appreciate, bearing in mind that you’re now no more than a slip of a soul that trickled out of your corpse when you closed your eyes and the stupid pendulum wasn’t looking…
There is one perk about being deceased. At least you never need to get up, ever again.