In my childhood home, I had what my mom called the 'front bedroom' in our ranch style house. It meant, if my bedroom door was open, you could see into it from the front door entrance foyer. It meant everyone who came to the front door could see whether my room was tidy.
My solution was to close the door. My mom's solution was to ensure that I made my bed nicely every morning. Not surprisingly, her vote trumped mine. She said it was nice to start your day by doing something to create order. She said it felt good to never have to apologize or make excuses for a mess. She said to do it as soon you got out of bed and then it was done.
I moved out of the house when I was 17 and for the next 35 years I did not make my bed. It was a waste of effort in my mind. I left my bedroom in the morning and did not return until it was time to crawl under the covers. Why (I wondered with just a touch of superiority) would I spend even 5 minutes making a bed that no one saw, when there was so much to do in a day?
We moved into a new house this past summer - a bungalow - and I now sleep in a ‘front bedroom’ again. I started making my bed and even arranging the new decorative pillows I’d purchased. I could just close the door since my vote carries weight now. I could make the bed or not make it for any number of reasons. But there was something more. In some bizarre way I feel like I'm honouring and connecting with my mom who is now gone. I take 5 minutes every morning (probably closer to 1 minute since modern duvets make it pretty easy) to create an attractive, ordered bedroom. I actually get aesthetic pleasure from looking at it. Mom was right.
In fact, studies indicate that 71% of bed-makers describe themselves as happy. 62% of non-bed-makers describe themselves as unhappy. Bed-makers are more likely to enjoy their work, own a home, exercise and generally feel good. Non- bed makers are more likely to hate their job, rent apartments, avoid the gym and generally feel tired. Of course, there is no direct cause and effect, but some speculate that making your bed as soon as you get up makes you feel like you've accomplished something right out of the gate, which gives you a 'win' mindset for the day.
Mom was right about a lot of things. For a few decades, I often believed I was doing things better than my mom. To be really honest, I thought I was a bit smarter. In retrospect, I'm sure my mom knew I thought that way, but she never said a word. It's funny, in a sorrowful sort of way, how when a relationship with someone is no longer possible, you see with rather horrifying clarity how wrong you were about certain things.
If I could do it again, I would listen more carefully to my mom's words. I would care more about her perspective. I would pay closer attention to what she had learned about relationships with friends, a spouse, in-laws, money, food, morality and God as well as bed-making. I would not let my own youthful arrogance blind me to the wisdom that, truly, you can only get by doing time on planet earth (another thing my mom used to say).
I take one minute every morning as soon as I get out of bed to remind myself of this.
If there is something you would like to give more attention to, someone you wish you had listened to (or not listened to), if your inner arrogance/fear has blinded you and if you long to create balance/order/integrity in your world but just can't seem to make it happen, call me. I can help