03 Sep 2013
January 1st, 2013 I started the project literally on the floor. I had no chairs, no table and no bed. Writing was done leaned against the wall, eating was done sitting on the floor, and sleeping… well you get the point. That experience alone taught me so much about appreciation, human adaptability and just how difficult it can be to be constantly on the ground. It wasn’t until March till I received the three incredible chairs that I am still using today from Umbra. And it wasn’t until last week till I received something to help me sleep at night – an air mattress! It really is quite amazing how ‘luxurious’ it actually feels to have any kind of mattress beyond the little bit of foam I was using.
For most of us, we live with things we consider the basics of life. We have shelter over our heads, food in our stomachs, and clothes on our back. I come from a weird place of new understanding and appreciation when I say that we take our beds for granted. I think back through my life, and I’ve always had a bed. Often times it was handed down to me, and sometimes it was my own purchase. It could have been a spare room in a family members home, or a friends spare for the night. A bed could even be a couch for an evening or two, or on a rare occasion a cot. But the only times I did not have some kind of thing that was comfortable to sleep on was camping – but even then, that was a week at most.
I’ve been sleeping on the floor for 8 months roughly. Wow have I learned to appreciate it. At the same time though, I’ve realized just how adaptible we humans are. In any situation we can make what we consider the norm to be just that. We adapt, move on and survive. A tough situation may be difficult to deal with initially, but after a certain while and the shock of it wears off, you accept and you move on. Having lost jobs, friends, loves, possessions and other things… they are a shock to the system, but eventually you adapt. I’m probably doing a horrible explination, but essentially what I want to convey is that if you’re in a tough situation, you’re having a tough time, you’re in a struggle, well eventually the shock of that will wear off, you’ll adapt and you’ll move on. It won’t be a problem any more and you’ll grow from it.
Are there difficulties in sleeping on the floor? Yup! It’s not comfortable to say the least and with a bit of a bad back, it certainly isn’t the best choice. Also, on more than one occasion having some kind of creepy crawly bug starring you in the face is not the best way to wake up or to try to go to sleep. The psychological impact of sleeping on the floor is tough too. But you adapt.
Regardless, I’m so excited to be off of the floor finally! Broadstone via Canadian Tire hooked me up with this beauty. A double sized bed, with a inflated ‘pillow’ area, a little cup holder and to make it easy to inflate – a foot pump!
The mattress itself took about 10 minutes of foot pumping to inflate fully, and is a pretty good size! I don’t know that it’s a mattress sized double – it looks a bit smaller, especially in the length. It seems to be pretty high quality, and after a weeks use I’ve only needed to add some extra air to it twice. What is that with air mattresses? No holes, yet they still manage to leak some air. I don’t get it. The pump on this thing really is a god send, as I can’t even begin to imagine what it would have been like to have to inflate this thing myself… The surface is a little bit firm itself, but what I’ve done is actually place my piece of foam on top of it to give it a nice soft sleeping surface. (Oh, and the fitted sheet was a take home score from the Beyond the Sea Condos… which I’ll document in a post later this week!)
Also.. I’m not so sure how I feel about the cup holder… I mean I can understand the use (obviously) but if I’m sleeping, the last thing I want is a pop or something else that could possibly spill and wake me up… I feel like it could be a weak spot on the mattress too. Who knows. Anyway, it’s an unnecessary inclusion in my opinion.
Looking online, this one runs about $50 so it’s a solid buy if you ever need a spare bed for a guest sometime, or if you enjoy camping. It doesn’t have the best rating on the Canadian Tire site, but like I’ve said… I have had no issues with it yet! Naturally, like all air mattresses though, you don’t want to be too rough on it. I’m already trying to tell myself not to get accustomed to it – because if there’s one thing I’ve learned this year it’s that with excessive use, things break down quickly. But in the meantime, I’m sleeping pretty!