As I sink deep under the covers, the dog snuggles on my left side, DW on my right, and my breathing slows down. I arrange and rearrange the covers and the pillows, prop them up higher, pound them down lower. Luna backs into me every time I move, trying to bury herself in my side. DW quickly drifts off to sleep. All the muscles in his body relax at once, his face buried in his pillow.
My mind wanders, picks up pieces of the day. At first I struggle with guilt for all the things left undone, and all the things I shouldn’t have done. But the longer I lay there, the longer my eyes adjust to the dimness and my ears zero in on creaky floor boards or the rush of the heater, I relax too. Because after every long day, every mistake, or half-finished project, I know that I can come back to this moment.
This moment of quiet and safety. This moment of calmness and peace. My family is asleep in their beds. The bills are paid. Our health is well. My marriage is solid. Before I turn out the lights, or shut my eyes one last time, I reflect on the goodness of my life. Regardless of how often the pendulum of emotions sway back and forth through out the day, there is always one moment that resolves me. There is one moment after repeated self-deprecating that I force myself to shrug off the burdens and open my heart to joy.
And then I am ready for the morning after.