Sunday, October 01, 2006

Propensity for Joy

"A propensity to hope and joy is real riches; one to fear and sorrow real poverty”

David Hume

About 18 months ago, I shared an adventure with 4 strangers-waiting-for-a-shuttle-bus-to-catch-a-train.
Elements of the adventure:
  • A cold rainy morning.
  • Waiting an hour past the scheduled time that a shuttle bus was due to pick us up at the train station, No bus, no possibility of catching that train further down the road. We learned much later that the bus was stuck at the snowy mountain pass.
  • A hitch-hiked ride in the truck of the aunt of one of the strangers.
  • 5 adults with baggage, day packs, an oversized back pack, 2 sleeping bags, umbrellas and 'truck stuff' - sqoooozed into the cab of the truck.
  • Barely making it to the train station 45 minutes down the road.
  • Finally catching our intended train.
During our misadventure, we exchanged niceties. Got acquainted. Got soaked in the rain, felt anxious, hopeful, discouraged, disgusted, thankful. Shared some of the frustration of taking public transportation. Called Amtrak, got no help from Amtrak, cursed Amtrak. We bonded. So when finally boarding the correct Amtrak train, we decided to sit together for the ride into The Bay Area.

I'll spare you further detailed descriptions of the strangers-turned-comrades-for-a-day. I'll hold back on the many fascinating stories, cute or poignant anecdotes shared and haha funny jokes told during those 4 hours we hung out together.
What I will tell you is something one of them said to me a moment before she disembarked the train at her destination.
She gently touched my hand and said 'You possess the propensity for joy - it's an admirable and enviable quality'.

Glass half empty thinking has me imagining that she found me immature (which I am sometimes, but that is another story for another day...).
Glass half full has me thinking her compliment was genuinely sincere.
Hmmmmm....think I'll spare torturing myself and believe the latter.

All the above leads me to address, finally - this personal dilemma:
Waking up with a Propensity for Joy each day can be somewhat impaired by not getting a sufficient amount of restorative sleep the night before.
To be sure, waking up blurry-eyed grumpy can really put a damper on the day's joyful perspective.

Let's talk pillows.

In all my adult years, I have failed to outfit my boudoir with great bedpillows. How does one choose (wisely)? On my current pillows, I just can't seem to get comfy. Sleep is fitful at best, and my neck and shoulders ache something awful each morn.
I need HELP!
Polyester-filled pillows look so promising in the store. They are fluff fluff fluffy, but within a few weeks use - flatten to pancake depth. Solid foam pillows remain too springy and 'formed'. Poly-wrapped foam gets misshapen too - possibly due to shifting of the polyfill layer. Shredded foam - no thanks! I have purchased down pillows, but never the ones made from the choicest downy feathers because I'm too cheap to fork over the big buck$ for a high quality down (check out the price in the link below!). I fear it too will go the way of all-pillows-past and fail to be the pillow 'of and for my sweetest dreams.'

The beddings in nicer hotels almost always guarantee me a great night's sleep. High thread count sheets, poofy down duvets, a plethora of pillows - with 3 pillow types (firm, medium and soft) to arrange and rearrange to great satisfaction under one's head. Toss in a neck roll and it's Sleepland Heaven. My mattress at home is sufficient. I've got many threads to the inch sheets, a decent down comforter with a soft duvet cover. But it's ultimately all about the pillow, isn't it? My preferred pillow type is the European square - stuffed with the downiest down that isn't crunchy but soft, and provides gentle support through the night. It cradles my head lovingly as I drift off to sleep, and the feathers within (the pillow, not my head!) don't squish down to nothingness by morning. Sleep-inducing. Ahhhhhh....

Those babies are hard to find in retail stores. I'd like to feeeeeeeel one before buying, as well as hear /read testimonials from consumers who have experienced delightful rest on these pricey pillows. With this criteria, forking out the big buck$$$ to purchase one from an online shop is not an option.
[the new link for pillows/prices seems more reasonable, does it not? should I or shouldn't I?]

Does anyone out there know of a great beddings store to recommend, or is acquainted with someone employed as a 'hotel fancy linens buyer'?
Anyone out there with a tried and true 'how-to-get-a-great-pillow' suggestion?
[short of theft, that is]

I need some good Zzzzzzzzzz's to maintain my PFJ.


Lauren said...

Back in the days when we had a little disposable income to spend, we plunked down some money on a nice pillows and it was worth it! (mind you- we did use a 20% off coupon from Bed, Bath and Beyond.) Before I bought them, I didn't know you could get down pillows that fluffed up so nice and puffy and didn't have sharp pokey feathers sticking out of them. It really does help with chronic neck pain, too.

PS- You do have a propensity for joy! You know we all say that about you, don't you?

justducky said...

Hi b,
I've always used down feather pillows. I like to squish them up, lay my head comfortably down. They're good for cuddling, too.
Tip o' the day:
I have dust allergies; pillows collect dust. But did you know you can wash down pillows in the washer?

I use hot water in the machine...2 pillows per large load. A tiny bit of unscented laundry soap. Spin cycle a 2nd time and then pop them in the drier on hot for a good while! They puff up and smell wonderful!

Also, I learned from my Southern father-in-law about "sunning" the pillows. I hang them on the line in hot summer sun for an airing. So fresh, like new!

jessierose said...

do you need a post-it?

baffle said...

JR ~I don't need no stinkin' post-it.
Haven't ya noticed? My PfJ manages to exercise itself no matter how tired I am.
Lack of sleep simply renders me...
less responsive than usual.
Oh yeah - and big shopping bags unda da eyes.

JustD ~ We had feather pillows when I was a kid. Striped blue and white ticking covers that allowed the pointy hurty top o' da bird feathers to stick through.

L ~ Thanks for the PfJ confirmation. Enthused mudders = fun mommas to be with? OK, that does it. I'm saving my pennies for the primo pillow.

jessamynit said...

excellent way of looking at it!

I just woke up (almost 10am here) and I can tell my PFJ or whatever is not quite up to gear. blah! rainy outside.

what a nice thing for that lady to say to you.

I read recently about imported (from korea) jade (!) or stone beds that are heated from beneath. so, you sleep on a hard slab of marble or something, but it warms your joints and muscles into proper place.

sounds... weird!

also, I also like the memory foam pillow that curves for your neck. and BEST of all I like the memory foam mattress topper that wonderful mother in law gave for my bridal shower thingy. like a cloud!

very different from jade.

baffle said...

I always check and double-check my links - can you believe it - the $172 downy pillow is 'no longer in the system' of the online shop!
sold out!?!

Isn't it nice that there are folks who can afford to buy these things....I'll keep looking and see if I can replace the link....

In the meantime....will be considering the foam memory pillow and mattress topper. Think either will also help with my memory?

[winky wink]