I believe that things have energy, and that we give objects energy through the memories and feelings we associate with them. I once admired the Rolex of a man I’d been dating. He said he’s been wearing it every day for 25 years, ever since he bought it with the money from cashing in the engagement ring that he’d given a great love — and was later returned.
“I wonder if subconsciously you hang on to that heartbreak by wearing that watch every day,” I said. “Maybe if you swap that one out for a new watch, you will finally find the wife you’ve been looking for.”
“That’s heavy,” he said, and smiled. “Maybe.”
About a year after my husband and I separated, I realized it was time to buy a new mattress. Sure, there was the perpetual sag that left me with achy muscles each morning, no matter how many times I flipped that sucker. But more than that, a bed is a bed. A marital bed is a marital bed. Where all kinds of things happen between a couple. Tender talk. Dreams shared. Bitter arguments that were indeed not solved before going to sleep. Adult things. Mundane things, like folding laundry and sharing aloud from magazines under bedside lamps. The dull ache of missing the other person’s breathing when he is away on business. Hours and hours of energy spent as a married couple on that mattress.
Swapping out that Serta and its ex-shaped sweat stain was more than just indulging in a sweet plush pillow top that promised a good night’s sleep. That purchase was about accepting that my marriage was over. That chapter of my life was done. I needed to pack away all those sweet and nasty memories and move forward. Put that part of my life to bed, as it were.
So I did. Even though money was not flush at that time, I filed this expense under “health” as I believe quality sleep is critical one’s well-being, especially as the mother of two very young children who was not getting a whole lot of sleep. I also wasn’t getting a whole lot of sex.
I didn’t stop at the mattress. One of the countless things my ex-husband and I fought about was bedding. I prefer crisp white linens, while he hated anything without color. While we both loved the taupe raw silk coverlet from ABC Carpet and Home, I traded in all my bridal bedding for all-white everything. Virginal white.
And then something happened: Sure, I slept like a log. But something else.
I got a boyfriend.
And I started to have sex.
All the time.
And while that relationship ended after a year, I have had the most wonderful time dating since my divorce. Sometimes on my new bed.
Recently my enthusiasm for post-divorce exploratory dating has been on the wane. I looked around my bedroom to see what else might be clutching tight to negative vibes. Old vibes. And I see that everywhere I look is old paint. Paint from when my husband lived in this bedroom with me. There are nail holes we pounded together to hang a beloved Indian bridal tapestry. Water stains from a storm that canceled a weekend trip to Philadelphia. Scrapes and mars that happen with life. A life together.
And so I made an appointment with a painter. To freshen the place up a bit. But also to freshen up the energy. Pack away some old and welcome the new. My bedroom doubles as a home office, and I hope the paint will also bring in some new business and more money. Money I may invest in a new watch for a certain someone.This post originally appeared in October at DailyWorth where I write the column, That's What You Think.
Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post's ‘Must Read” list.
Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.
A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.