I get overwhelmed reading self-help articles that give you a laundry list of tasks. It’s always, 5 Things To Do RIGHT NOW To Be Happy. It sounds simple until you realize those five things are: form 12 different habits, eat better, make sure your house is always clean, make sure you have your dream job, and change your mindset completely in order to be better.” Who is capable of taking on all of those things at once?
Basically, the advice is to change your life. To that I say, “Gee thanks. I didn’t realize that turning my sad life into a happy one would make me feel better. How helpful.”
Of course the goal is to make your life better for yourself. You want good habits, to eat better and to have a better mindset, but they don’t tell you how to make these things happen. They don’t give you simple, tangible tasks that can not only increase your over all happiness. I always wonder why people make it seem like bettering yourself is as simple as being better? It’s time to stop with the, “Here’s a headline that will make your head spin with no actual real content” posts. There’s no one single task that you can do to improve your life, but there are simple steps you can take to begin to change your life.
So here’s my little scene I’d like to paint for you.. I wake up. My bed is warm, it’s cozy, and I’ve got nothing going on today. Are there things I could be doing? Sure. Is there a life I could be living? I guess. But am I going to do it? Absolutely not.
This was my life for years and years. At least a decade. I was homeschool, so even through my school days I didn’t necessarily have anywhere to go so I just didn’t. I didn’t go where I wasn’t needed, I didn’t do what I didn’t NEED to do. Sometimes I wouldn’t even do what I did need to do. This carried into my first apartment. The mess I thought I’d escape somehow, without any effort because “I’m an adult now” and adults are just magically clean somehow? Seriously. I can be a real disgusting pigsty when I’m not trying. I lived in the middle of my giant mess for years, both literally and figuratively, until I realized I needed to change.
I hate this metaphor, but I was really adrift. Like a seed in the wind with no where to stop, plant, and grow. Even after I got married, I didn’t fully figure it out. Part of it was a defense mechanism. Don’t try and you’ll never fail. If I’m being honest though, I’m just really bad at being definitive about who I am. Really, I in no way knew how to get my life on track already and stop being so blah all the time.
OBVIOUSLY GETTING PREGNANT CHANGED MY LIFE.
That doesn’t mean getting pregnant has to be your life changer, I’m just stubborn enough to need a HUGE wake up call and that wake up call is named, Oliver. As I say in my post about my Mr. Oliver, I realized I needed to be happy. Of all the things I shouldn’t do as a mother, making my child spend his adolescents with a miserable mother was the biggest one. So one day, I washed the sheets (for the first time in some amount of time that I won’t tell you because it’s extremely embarrassing) and I made the bed.
Then, the next day rolled around and I made the bed again. Then again, and again, and again. I didn’t actually decide that making the bed was a good idea. I just did it. Like an instinct. Maybe some nesting was involved, but I did it… and it felt good. The next thing I knew, I was making the bed THEN getting dressed. One morning I even had breakfast. These things may seem so little, but for a person who’s in the funk I was in, it was huge.
So why making your bed?
Why is that the thing that started everything? What about it made a difference?
WELL, YOU CAN’T SIT IN A MADE BED.
I put effort into making the bed. I made it look nice, it made my room look clean. And here’s the thing, if you’re not going to sit in bed all day, you have to get dressed. So that’s how the making the bed and then getting dressed thing started happening. Then, the whole making the bed and getting dressed thing made me hungry and so on. You get it. It was a snowball effect of productivity. That one simple act of making the bed made so many things start to happen to where now, a whole year later, I am not only writing this post, but I’m sitting on my couch in my clean house after doing yoga and reading a book and the tv is on in the background IN THE LIVING ROOM because I don’t have a TV in my bedroom anymore.
This person that I am now. This person I always wanted to be but never thought I could because getting out of bed is too hard. This is who I am. All because I started making the bed every morning. That tiny little act changed my life. It made my marriage better, aided in turning me into a good mother, and gave me a reason to get out of bed and live. It’s not major, things aren’t perfect, but they are so much better and getting better everyday.
So make your bed. Seriously. You never know where it could take you.