Rule# 62: Make your bed
This may look at first glance like a chore list. Make your bed, take out the trash, walk the dog….
But making your bed does a great deal more than appease your parents need for order in the household. I argue that making, or not making your bed can define your day and eventually your life.
Life is a a collection of uncertain moments with uncertain outcomes. Similar people may approach identical circumstances and because of timing, outside factors and small changes in the universe come up with much different outcomes. There are no guarantees in life, and no matter how well you are prepared for a set of outcomes life can and will throw you a curve ball even when the pitcher signals a fastball.
We have to live with uncertainty.
The only thing we have complete control of is our actions and mindset. It is the attitude which we approach the uncertainty of life that makes all the difference. We begin to establish that attitude everyday when we get up by how we treat ourselves, our home and the people we meet;
I have found that the simple task of neatly making the bed,which you just got out ,of says allot about how you intend to interact with the world.
I have to explain in a little detail exactly what I mean by “making a bed” because the definition and task can vary widely. I have to first start with the what “making a bed” is not.
It is not quickly pulling up comforter to hid the unmade sheets.
It is not throwing the pillows at the headboard and yelling done.
It is not neatly arranging 22 assorted throw pillows and shams (I’m not exactly sure what the purpose of a sham is, but I’m fairly certain it is not related to the sham-wow of infomercial fame) This isn’t interior decorating.
What making a bed is, is the 3 to 5 minute process of neatly straitening out the sheets, covers and comforter so that the bed is “sleep ready” for the night. It looks like a bed that you would not be embarrassed to have a neighbor see and creates an inviting welcome when you enter it for sleep.
The whole process in under 5 minutes says a number of important things about you and the way you value yourself;
1. ) It says you are worthy to have a nice bed to sleep in and not just a pile of covers that shifts from night to night
2. ) It says that you can set out and accomplish tasks, even small tasks like this, and execute them quickly and efficiently
3. ) It says, when of the appropriate age ( for Rachel and Abby this means 32) , that you believe that you are worthy of someone being interested enough in you to join you in your bedroom for sleep and other adult activities. And that person, hopefully being a spouse. would like to enjoy a comfortable place to lie down with you.
4.) It is a caring act to your spouse or significant other whom shares your bed that says you care about them. For men having a well made bed for the woman of your life (note I clearly said woman and not women) is equivalent act of chivalry to opening a door or holding out a chair as they sit. It tells the woman that you respect them.
I want to make another brief aside while discussing the bed to my children. For the boys, avoid at all cost overly masculine bedrooms while you are single. The use of more neutral tones will be far less threatening to any woman. The room doesn’t need to look like you entered the Delta house fraternity president’s bedroom.
For my girls avoid, when living single beyond the age of 30, the use of Princesses, unicorns, and pinks. These will not send the right message to your future husband ( the only man that should see your bed) , make your choices neutral enough not to scare away people.
Back to the issue of making the bed…
In your life senses of accomplishment become increasing rare as you get older. With your work the projects will become longer term and the completion dates less certain. With your children you will go from the almost instant gratification of seeing them take their first step or sayingDaddy, to waiting years for them to become stable in jobs and relationships. The wins are still good ones, but their a lot more distance between the win.
Getting up everyday and making your bed starts you out with an accomplishment and a win. It helps you believe that there can be closure to things in your lfe and things can be get done.
I ask that you add this simple task to your life and enjoy the joy which it can bring you.