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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Happiness Is… Making the Bed

About a month after Devon moved in to his apartment, I gave him a table.  I had planned on using it in his old room which I had planned on converting to my Scouting/crafting room.  Now, I still may do all that, but his need was a bit more urgent than mine, so I donated the table to him with the understanding that he had to build it.

It sat in the box for a long time and eventually was buried in clutter and trash that he and his room mate refused to clean up.  When I chided him for his mess and reminded him he was not only risking eviction, but also illness (yes, it was THAT bad!!) he defensively and angrily reminded me that I had no room to talk as I don’t even make my bed.

I am a clutterbug. There’s no doubt about it.  I may wash dishes and clean counters and scrub toilets and launder sheets and towels, but there are stacks of papers and piles of half finished crafts and clusters of books that just never quite get put away.  And no. I wasn’t known for making my bed. Why bother??  When TDO was working graveyards, I was sleeping in the bed at night and he was sleeping in the bed during the day.  If I were to make the bed, I’d have to do it during the precious few minutes I had with him before he went to work or during the mad rush of fixing dinner, homework hell, and the bedtime shuffle.  What’s the point?

But. Things have changed.  Our schedules are better meshed (except when insomnia strikes) and really, why not just give it a try.  I vowed to make the bed every morning until Devon built the damned table he had buried in his kitchen.

Interestingly, Devon got sick of his own mess and during a long weekend where his room mate was away, he cleaned and built the table.  By then, I’d been making my bed for two months - every day.  Even though I could have just stopped, I didn’t.  Not only had it just become routine, I actually felt better - yes, happier - by just investing a few minutes each day. 

It wasn’t until a week or so ago that I ran across this article which gives some reasoning as to why bed making can be so helpful with happiness and productivity.  That wasn’t my initial intent for starting the habit - it was more of a “see! I do too make my bed” thing - but in the end, the outcome was undeniable.

Now, I’m not saying that making one’s bed will change life forever or that its the cure all for anything that ails.  Hardly.  The truth is, November and December are rough months for me.  I still had times of near incapacitating depression.  That said, on the days where I felt like I couldn’t function, at least I’d get out of bed (to make it!) and in doing so I’d often (not always) also get showered and dressed, cos heck, I was up anyway.  Domino effect. 

I still had a day or two where I curled up and read or watched mindless tv or immersed myself in video games instead of being productive, BUT, I still felt better knowing that I’d at least accomplished something that day, even if TDO and I were the only two in the world who knew I made the bed.

I’ve also noticed I sleep better and am more enthusiastic getting into a fresh, clean, nicely made bed.  Bonus.

Do I think I’ll make my bed every day for the rest of my life?  Not bloody likely.  I am who I am.  Still, I do think it has become the norm instead of the exception based on the excellent return for my minimal investment.

Posted by Liberty on 01/10 at 02:43 AM
Posted under: See-Through

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