I didn’t always make the bed. The habit emerged a few years ago in an effort to establish simple ways of bringing peace into my sometimes chaotic life.
I married my husband John in September 2009. Two weeks before, we purchased a small house, and two months after, we got a dog. Within a few months, I became a wife, stepmom, homeowner, and dog owner, not leaving much time to transition in between. I didn’t feel overwhelmed at the time, still running on the excitement of it all, but I slowly noticed that the energy I spent taking care of my family and home far trumped the energy I spent taking care of myself.
As the years went on, I changed some habits. I eased up a bit on the state of my home, and found a yoga studio. But it became clear that I needed a ritual. Something I could do each day without thinking about it, without deciding.
I started with the bed.
A made bed is oh so rewarding. I love the instant effect it has on my bedroom and the feeling of the cool, smooth sheets against my legs as I crawl in it at night. A made bed became a simple treat I could give myself each day.
As I grew to love making the bed, I began making it immediately when I got up each morning. Soon I started making the bed while John was still sleeping, growing frustrated when he would sleep in and keep this small piece of happiness from me. Yes, it’s irrational. I understand that and am certainly not proud of those moments. But those moments led me to a vital component of my minimalism: letting go.
It was time to let go. I had to let go of the notion that the bed needed to be made directly after I woke up. I had to let go of the expectation that making the bed would be something John was equally passionate about. Most importantly, I had to realize that making the bed was something I did for myself.
In yoga we often say “Let go of that which does not serve you.” My minimalism is just that, and in turn making more space for the people, things, and thoughts that truly matter.