Habit breaker

I have always been a pretty warm person, the one who doesn’t wear socks, and can be found in a t-shirt more often than not, even in the dead of winter.  when I do get cold, though, I get really cold and don’t just want to be warm, I want to be hot.  The older I get, the more I find the need to be warmed.

When I was young, my go to solution was to sit on the heat register.  I would lie in bed in the morning and wait for the furnace to come on, then jump out of bed with my comforter. I’d settle on the vent and wrap the blanket around me so that all of the hot air was trapped inside; a wonderful tent of warm air for a few minutes to start my day.  Once I figured out how to work the thermostat, I was forever getting in trouble for turning it up really high to extend this morning ritual, or sometimes having a little midday warm up.

When I moved out and started paying my own bills, I went to the other extreme. My friend Lala and I shared a two bedroom apartment in a really old house. It was a hundred-odd year old building that had been converted into five apartments. Five poorly insulated apartments that were heated with electric heat. I was frugal, so I liked to keep the apartment at about fourteen degrees celsius. Lala humoured me and allowed the common areas to be be that cold, but Kept her room a balmy tropical oasis.  

It was about this time that I started using a heating pad.  Sure, I’d used them in the past for various aches and pains, but now I saw it as a heat source. I never brought it to bed with me, but it kept me comfortable while I watched TV or read in the evenings.  I eventually moved in with Willy, but kept the heating pad even though he kept the house MUCH warmer. 

In the last few years I have noticed that the heating pad is on all the time when I am on the couch. I lounge on it in the evening, so each only seems to last me about 18 months before it stops working. The newest one is huge, and has an auto-off feature, which initially annoyed me, but likely saved me from either hurting myself or burning the house down. 

I woke up this morning at 4:00 am to watch the world junior game, and got settled in to the chesterfield. I flicked on the heating pad to high and waited for it to warm me up. After a couple of minutes it was apparent that it wasn’t working, no matter how many times I flicked it on and off. The light came on, but no heat. I briefly thought about replacing it, but then decided it was ok. This was a sign, I was relying too much on the heating pad.  It was time to break the habit.  A few more minutes went by and I decided to try one more thing, and reached down to ensure the plug was jammed into the outlet.  I wiggled it and felt the warmth on my back. That was a close one.  



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