During the winter, my feet are almost always cold. It drives me crazy. I can wear two pairs of fuzzy socks and sit five feet from my fireplace, and my toes still feel like icicles. Can any of you relate?
Even on the rare occasions when my feet feel relatively warm, as soon as I get into bed, my foot temperature drops 30 degrees. I am not even kidding. Well, that might be an exaggeration. I’ve never been good with body temperature. But the fact remains that getting into bed = cold feet for Dana.
I’ve tried all kinds of things to combat this problem. Use a hair dryer to warm my tootsies up? Done it. Hold a space heater up to blow directly onto the sheets? Check. (I know that’s not safe. Don’t send me emails. And do not try that at home.) Take a shower right before bed? Tried it. None of it keeps my feet warm for more than a couple minutes.
A few years ago I guess my parents got tired of hearing me complain about my cold feet, because they bought me a bed warmer. If you’re not familiar with this little piece of technology, it’s basically a mattress cover that has wires running back and forth down the length of it that get hot when you plug it in.
I thought I loved it. Every night I’d slide into those toasty warm sheets and send up a quick prayer thanking God for the person who invented the bed warmer. But in reality, it did nothing for my feet. When I would lie on my back, my heels would be hot, but the rest of my feet would be cold. If I turned onto my side, the downward-facing sides of my feet would be warm, but not the rest. You get the picture. It just didn’t work.
I had pretty much given up on ever having warm feet in bed when I ran across an article about “great winter finds” online. One of the recommendations was a hot water bottle. Now, I’d heard about hot water bottles, because I’d read about them in books when I was a kid. Anne Shirley used one. Yes, I’m talking about the fictional Anne of Green Gables, who was born more than 100 years before I was. In my mind, hot water bottles were something they used in “the olden days,” and they didn’t exist anymore.
But oh, they do exist, and when I clicked the link to Amazon (like this one right here), I discovered that they’re also cheap, and they sometimes come with adorable little sweaters. I mean seriously. CHECK OUT THIS HOT WATER BOTTLE WITH A SWEATER. This one also comes with a cheapo knit cover with paw prints that is basically useless, because the elastic neck doesn’t stretch far enough to get around the full bottle. But I’m not concerned about that, because LOOK AT THAT SWEATER. There are even other options with animals knitted into them, like sheep and foxes.
So I bought the hot water bottle (and did I mention it came with a sweater?), and it has changed my life. I fill it with piping hot water, I stick it in my bed a few minutes before I get in, then I slide in and slip my feet between the bottle and the mattress, and oh my word, my feet actually start to get warm. It’s amazing. Plus, it perfectly matches my favorite sheets, which I also discovered via one of those online lists of great finds.
I know you’re wondering why I’m going on and on about hot water bottles. Well, it’s because my hot water bottle reminds me of this:
Newer isn’t always better.
We make this “newer is better” assumption a lot, and I’m not sure it’s a good thing. For one thing, it can be wasteful. We toss out the old gadget in favor of the new, shiny one, which might not be an improvement. And meanwhile, we have an entire cabinet full of thousands of dollars worth of old technology that could still suit our purposes perfectly well. (I’m not judging here; just commenting. I have multiple boxes filled with old gadgets.)
It can mean we dismiss the opinions, beliefs, and teachings of people who have gone before in favor of new, popular voices. Sometimes we need to do this, but a lot of times we don’t. We can easily get caught up in someone’s charisma and rhetoric and not stop to think about how what they are saying compares to what we already know to be true, based on wise counselors from our past and, more importantly, Scripture.
And what does it teach the kids in our lives when we are always pushing for the new over the old? This can vary from situation to situation, but without meaning to, we might be modeling a spirit of discontentment, a sense of dismissiveness or disdain for past achievements, the idea that young people’s ideas are superior to those of older people, or even a self-serving need to feel like a trendsetter. I know I’ve been guilty of all of these things and more. You likely have too.
I have no desire to make anyone feel like a failure for doing these things. We’ve all done them, and much (if not all) of it has been unintentional. It’s ingrained in our culture to always be striving for something newer and better.
But let’s instead strive to think more about why we’re adopting new gadgets, ideas, or values. Are they really beneficial? Are they better than what’s already there? Do they line up with what we know to be true? Maybe so, and that’s perfectly fine. We do need progress. But let’s remember that new does not always equal progress. Newer isn’t always better.
And if you literally have cold feet, go buy yourself a hot water bottle. You won’t regret it.
What’s something that has shown you that newer isn’t always better? Let everyone know your thoughts in the comments.
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