I grew up with someone who made their bed every morning and harped on my to make mine. I never saw the point. Until now. (I know, I know. It only took 29 years and a Navy Seal’s Speech for this to finally sink in…)
My close friends and family know this about me but I am not the neatest of people. I aspire to be. I am much happier with a clean and organized house (clean house, clean mind and all that) but keeping it that way day to day somehow eludes me. I make piles that don’t get put away and I tend to leave shoes everywhere. Right now these tendencies are exacerbated by the fact that we now reside in a big house without enough furniture so I don’t always have a good “place” to put things. I’d like to organize our mail but we don’t yet have a good table or desk on which to organize it. On top of this I seem to have fallen into a bit of a rut lately. I spend so much of my day with Casey, playing with him, rocking, nursing, watching his reactions to things, thinking of new games to introduce, new ways to make tummy time appeal to him, activities I can introduce that will work all of his different senses, ways to teach him things, and generally just staring at him that I’m baffled at how to spend the little bit of ‘me’ time that I have.
I used to spend my ‘me’ time…on me! I had time to read and write and shop and create and I had the luxury of choosing to put off any chores that needed to be done if I so chose. Because I had time. Time to get to things later. Now my ‘me’ time is short and comes in unexpected bursts. My ‘me’ time is now ‘nap’ time and it’s usually spent actually napping or doing laundry. (I know everyone warned me about the insane amount of laundry that babies generate but seriously?) We constantly have a load in the washer waiting to be switched over and a load in the drier waiting to be taken out and folded. And I usually can’t get to both every day so the load in the dryer usually has to be re-fluffed to prevent wrinkles. Anyway, my rut comes into play because with all my ‘me’ time being spent trying to finish the laundry or refill the diaper basket or loading the dishwasher, I seem to have lost my creativity. Sure it comes in short bursts but it isn’t sustainable. I’m lost when dinner time comes around. Whereas I once planned our daily meals and took pride in getting a nutritious and yummy dinner on the table each night, now I stare at the contents of our refrigerator like I’ve never seen food before, unsure where to even begin.
But then, while watching the Today show, I heard a clip of a commencement speech where a Navy Seal told the graduates “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” You can see the full clip here. And you know what? It works. If you make your bed each morning, then you have accomplished your first task of the day and that task while lead to wanting to accomplish another task and another. The Nay Seal goes on to say, “Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right. And if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made. And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”
So I’ve started making my bed each morning and you know what? I have three dinners planned for this week. And I actually finished one full load of laundry today: washed, dried and folded. AND I swept and swiffered our wood floors. Go me! (of course I did swiffer myself into a corner and had to stand in the kitchen sipping my chai tea while I waited for it to dry…) I even have ambitions of getting my sewing machine and supplies unpacked as soon as we get a table to put it on…
So, I’m not completely out of my creative rut, nor have I all of a sudden turned into a neat and organized home maker. But I’m making small steps towards making my ‘me’ time about me again. And I’m making my bed at the beginning of every day.