Minimalism Vs. the Mattress

What’s fun for other people may not be fun for you–and vice versa.

I learned that from one of my favorite books, The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin, and I usually use it to bolster my excuse when folks ask me to do things I don’t want to do – like scuba diving with sharks or skydiving. Today, I’m using it for another reason.

It all started back in May when we sold our bed and had to sleep on the floor. Our awesome neighbor gave us a 3″ thick memory foam mat that we covered with a blanket. The 3 weeks we slept on the mat were nothing short of amazing. We woke up every day feeling rested and restored. In retrospect, I wonder if we slept so well because of the extra padding under our carpet or maybe subconsciously we knew that it was a short term arrangement, or perhaps we were just caught of in the excitement of moving.

When we moved into our new apartment last month, I wanted to replicate that restful feeling but thought we’d step it up a notch and put the memory foam mat on a platform bed. I read more than a dozen articles extolling the virtues of sleeping on a wooden surface and nearly an equal number that said it was a definite “must” for anyone who called herself a real minimalist. I have no doubt that sleeping on the floor or on a wooden platform is great for some folks. We aren’t those folks.

Trust me when I say that we really tried to make it work. I put every quilt my Grandma ever gave me under the foam (all 6 of them) to make it more comfortable and when that didn’t work, we bought another foam and added our self-inflating camping mats to the mix. But like The Princess and the Pea, I still felt the wood below it all. More importantly though, I felt silly.

What’s fun for other people….

Yesterday, our new mattress was delivered. Nothing fancy, just a 8″ innerspring mattress that we topped with the memory foam mat. I won’t say that I had the best night’s sleep ever but I can say that I didn’t wake up feeling as if someone had beaten me about the shoulders and hips with a baseball bat!

The lesson in all of this – minimalism isn’t one size fits all. You don’t have to throw out every knick-knack or memento you’ve ever collected. You don’t have to wear the same clothes all week. You definitely don’t have to be cheap (frugal maybe, but never cheap!). And you don’t have to sleep on the floor. The only “must” for being a minimalist is being true to yourself.

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