Tool For Tuesday: To Make Or Not To Make…Your Bed

I was reading Gretchen Rubin’s blog post “Guess:What’s the Most Popular Resolution for Happiness?” here, and she wrote, “…if you’re feeling overwhelmed, picking one little task to improve your situation, and doing it regularly, can help you regain a sense of control. Making your bed is a good place to start.”

To Make or Not Make Your Bed? That is the question. Then the next question is: What does making your bed mean to you? And then: What can you do each day to take care of yourself — and to live your best chapter?

When I was growing up, I never had to make my bed. I didn’t know how to make my bed – or any bed, for that matter. That seemed to be a symptom of a bigger problem: I didn’t have a clue how to take care of myself. I expected other people to do things for me – to take care of me. Also, it never dawned on me that to have order in my inner life, it would help me to have a sense of order on the outside, too.

Caveat: I love a messy desk. It is a sign for me that I’m slam-bam in the middle of a project. To me, an anarchic unfettered desk is a sign of full-blown focus.

But I don’t love a messy bed. Making my own bed each morning means that I’m taking care of myself in a basic, loving way.

I started to enjoy making my own bed when I had kids and started making their beds. I made their beds with loving care and I wanted to do the same for me.

But I also began asking them to make their own beds at a very early age. I didn’t care if they made it sloppily or simply pulled the blanket up to the pillow. I wanted them to get a sense that they could take care of themselves.

A friend of mine named Kathy shared that having a nice bed is important to her because when she was growing up, her house was chaotic. These days, she also has two dogs who like to jump on her bed. Her husband doesn’t want the dogs to jump on his pillow so she bought him a pretty pillow sham. He still preferred to keep the pillow safely underneath the comforter.

At first, Kathy made the bed with both pillows underneath – his way. And then it dawned on her that just as her husband can choose what he likes, she can choose what she likes. So now, she makes her bed with his pillow underneath the comforter and her pillow on top. Every time she sees the bed, she’s reminded that, in her words, “a compromise doesn’t mean just one winner.”

What about you? What does making your bed signify to you? And in the “To Make Or Not To Make Your Bed” Debate – which side are you on?

And come to think of it, where do you stand on The Messy Desk? That could be a post for another time.

Other updates: Karen Houldgreaves of Preston, England will receive a copy of my book, THE INVISIBLE THREAD: A PORTRAIT OF JEWISH AMERICAN WOMEN via goodreads.com. You can order books via amazon (link above). I am in the process of turning the book into an e-version so I’ll be updating you on that.

I’m days away from seeing the cover to my upcoming book, THE MOM WHO TOOK OFF ON HER MOTORCYCLE, and I’ll be sharing that with all of you soon.

Finally, please go to http://www.facebook.com/DianaBletter and hit that upwardly-mobile thumb to like my work!

To have order in our inner life, it helps to have a sense of order on the outside, too.

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About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is a writer living in northern Israel whose novel, A Remarkable Kindness, is forthcoming from HarperCollins in August. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, and other publications. Her first book, The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker) was nominated for a National Jewish Book Award.
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