Monday, 29 April 2013

The Occasional Couch Potato

One of the most difficult things to do when you're holding down a 9-to-5 job is to keep stimulating your imagination. It's like nervously anticipating the arrival of a blind date. You never really know what you're gonna get or if he will turn up.  
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Waiting. Hopefully not in vain.

You anxiously wait for spurts of creativity and when ideas come, they don't even knock. They're like bulls that barge in, stampede and pile up on top of each other, and you're left to weed out which one to pull out first for the whole herd story to survive.
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Ideas sometimes arrive like bulls on a stampede.

The past couple of weeks have been particularly a struggle to come up with anything worth mulling about as I was mentally out and about but physically grounded. Add to that, my internet at work was intermittently shutting down, I was disconnected from the virtual world that opens my muse

Needless to say, I was worn out. One night, I slumped on the sofa and promised myself a few minutes of slumber. My few minutes stretched into a few hours. The window was behind me and I looked up to see that the sun was about to shine.

Yet again, I had a sofa moment. You know when some people have a lightbulb moment in the middle of evacuating the excesses of gastronomical hedonism, or when meditating under the shower? I get that as well, plus for some reason, occasional uninterrupted sleep on the couch gives me a physical and phrenic buzz that I feel I'm ready to conquer the world again. Or at least put some silly thoughts into writing.
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 That moment when the bulb lights up.

Extending Your Comfort Zone

So what is it with a sofa that revives me?

I'm convinced it's not a unique experience to me so I googled to check if someone has ever written about the joys of curling up in the sofa when you're supposed to be in bed. 

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A giant sleeping cat couch. Cats at their best as we know them.

Interestingly enough, there are people very concerned about their sofa-sleeping habits that it is discussed at great length via mental health forums or depression central. 

Others share tips on how to sleep on a couch (which to me is as long as you're not standing on it), how to get a good night's sleep on the couch (ending up on the couch is supposed to be not premeditated; you've been relegated to it if it was), or how to choose the best sleeper sofa (again, premeditated).

Is it safe to sleep on the sofa? Is it safe to sleep on the sofa permanently? Can sleeping on the sofa ruin it? These are just some of the questions I came across online which I couldn't believe had articles written about. How can someone come up with a 1,500-word piece on question #3 when the simple answer is YES, you can ruin it in the long run. Couches and sofas are not here to make beds obsolete.

I think that we end up dozing off on the sofa much quicker than catching up with some sleep on our bed, because the sofa serves other than it's expected purpose. In bed, we consciously force ourselves to sleep when we can't because that's the main reason we are in bed (with other in-between reasons withheld). On the sofa, we allow ourselves to zone out while watching TV maybe after dinner. That's when you're hit by that kind of sleepiness you only get at work after lunch. But you can indulge yourself at home and not require the customary cup of coffee to wake you up. 
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 Eat out for a change.

I believe the same purpose-expectation relationship I made up applies to having lunch on a balmy day on your dining table. It feels more celebratory and relaxing once in awhile if everyone gathers in the garden or lanai or conservatory to dine.
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 Calmly sleeping like a baby.

On the sofa, you squeeze yourself into the innermost corner as if you're cocooning yourself. It's almost recreating that space in our mother's womb where we first felt safe--not in the sprawling cot we were upgraded to after the first three months in a Moses basket. 

Sofa or Couch?

So whether you call yours a sofa or a couch, the odd voluntary downgrade bumps up mental and physical well-being and creativity. It pays to have a breather sometimes.

That said, I'm taking a break away from my work desk. And my couch.  And British weather. 

I look forward to looking forward to coming back.

Have a good week everyone! 


  1. Well said Ms. Madge! I know exactly what you mean! Mine is a couch :). I was once given the advice that I can still pursue Corporate America and be creative at the same time. I found that didn't happen so easily for years (as I also became a workaholic). However, I found myself burnt out and not working over a year ago, and that was when I did most of my writing in my own blogs (I've had several iterations and killed or made private older ones too at that)! As soon as I started a 9-5 job(or more like 6 am - 2 am in my trade), my creative juiced tapped out once again - hence the dry spell for well over a year! These days, I write whenever I am fortunate enough to either have time or an idea pops up. I especially get inspired when I travel or when I see work from other writers like you, so thank you for sharing :).

    1. Thanks for your kindest comment! Definitely not easy to open your muse when you have to work for a living. At the same time you don't really want it to be your job anyway coz it will lose the whole fun about it.

      I subscribe to this writer named Jeff Goins. Google him. His posts are very inspiring and encouraging. He used to do the daily grind also and recently quit to be a full time writer.

      Just write as much as you can. Look forward to reading more of your thoughts!

      Ps. I'm struggling to leave a reply. I'm away and an iPad isn't really good for technical troubleshooting. So this is all for now. More soon x

  2. P.S. have a nice break on your couch :).

    1. I'm in fact typing away on a cosy bed at the moment :) I do miss the couch at home.

      Will be posting about what I've been up to when I'm back :)

      Till next time!

  3. I used to sleep on the sofa all the time in my early twenties but then again I hardly slept in my twenties. I rarely do that now and I love my bed and having stuff at the bottom of my feet.

    Have a lovely time and hope more ideas come rushing through!

    1. CSW, I can imagine how comfy your bed is, judging from your very sophisticated taste in anything home-related :) I guess I was couch hopping in my past life that's why it's still in my system.

      Tell you what, it's hell trying to reply coz iPads are very temperamental with anything blog-linked. I thought I deleted this post accidentally when I edited some prepositions I overlooked! I already deleted 1 post from last month coz of the same problem. So be careful.

      My thoughts are with Sulky Kitten btw. Such a loss in the blogosphere.

      Yes more thoughts coming. I can feel them! And some are green. Hahaha...

  4. In my twenties, while I was living and working in a Spanish holiday destination, I used to rent a living room sofa to sleep on. I know it must sound crazy to some people but it was very normal thing to do over there. The wages were fairly low so all the foreign workers did anything they could to save their hard earned money. It’s funny how little you actually need in life to be happy.
    Have a nice break!

    1. Wow I must say I'm impressed! I wish my twenties were as exciting as yours in that sense. I know someone who lived in her car for 3 yrs and took showers at her gym. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do to make ends meet.

      I agree with you when you said how little you actually need to be happy. Sometimes all it takes is a night on the couch :)

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Keep them coming :)

  5. Oh my goodness this is the most perfect exhibition! Thank you for sharing your inspiring photos! Would go in a flash if I lived closer:) Have a lovely Tuesday! Caroline

    1. Hi Caroline!

      I was looking for your comment after the bags post but it ended up here. Funny!

      The trip to the bag museum was one of the most relaxing I've done in Amsterdam. You should go one day :)

      Thank you for dropping by. Have a lovely Tuesday too

      MsMadge x


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