Being naked in my bedroom is a big deal.

You’d think nudity is a given in a bedroom, but not so much in our house. Our bedroom is located in the “attic” of our bungalow, which means despite our best efforts to heat it, the room is significantly chillier than the rest of the house most of the year. From around October through May, and especially during the dead of winter, disrobing in the bedroom is a grand effort involving a separate space heater, a microwavable neck/shoulder pillow that improvises as a bed warmer, flannel sheets, and about six blankets. Changing from my work clothes into my pajamas is done in about 1.7 seconds to minimize any bare skin-cold air contact. The bedroom is similar to a biohazard zone, in that I need absolute protection: knee-high wool socks, slippers, fleece pajama pants, long-sleeved shirt, a hoodie on top, and sometimes even a scarf.

It takes a significant climb in outside temperature for the upstairs and downstairs climates to switch. That “switch”–when I ascend the stairs and feel the air getting warmer and warmer–brings about a giddiness akin to what winter aficionados must feel during the first snowfall of the season. The switch is a sign of freedom: liberation from clingy, heavy clothes; socks that suffocate my toes; and heavy blankets that weigh me down through the night.

The higher the stair, the warmer the air??

It’s been in the upper 60s for the past few days, and the bedroom has been growing more tolerable (lighter socks, flannel PJs rather than fleece). Today we had a high of 80-something. Would this one-shot spike in temperature be enough to bring on the switch?

Ladies and gentlemen, this evening I stood stark naked in my bedroom.

I came home from the gym, peeled off my bathing suit upstairs, and stood with ZERO CLOTHES in the middle of the room. I actually did a victory cheer, raising my arms overhead and woo-hoo’ing. Then I plopped my naked self on our mattress, lying in ecstasy as the light breeze from the *open window* whispered over my skin. No purple fingers. No goosebumps. No mad dash to hide under the covers. Just me, my curves, birds chirping outside, the sound of neighbors putting out recycle buckets, the gently flowing curtains.

Our plush pug re-enacts my naked lounging.

I never allow myself time to relax like that after coming home because I am always in a rush to bundle up and move as much as possible to keep warm. Winter–cold in general–is so restricting to me. I feel like a prisoner, waiting (im)patiently for my parole, the day I can walk without shackles.

Today was just a brief preview of the parole that is to come. Tomorrow it will be back in the 60s, the windows will close, the socks will go back on my feet. It was a bittersweet moment lying there naked in my bedroom, like an inmate being allowed outside the gray prison walls to clean the highway on a sunny spring day–sensing freedom but not being quite there yet.

The day I’m able to be with nothing is the day I’ll have everything I need.