Most of my adult life, I would roll out of bed and, half-awake, make my way to the kitchen to make coffee. Some days this endeavor would fail miserably from my grogginess and general lack of focus and attention: I would mess up the water-to-coffee ratio, or not place the coffee pot in the machine properly, causing half of the coffee to drip on the counter, or insert the coffee filter incorrectly, producing a cup of joe with an interesting texture from all the coffee grounds that escaped the filter.
If you’ve experienced these struggles first thing in the morning, you know that they don’t exactly set you off on a happy day.
Not that these things never happen to me any longer, but certainly less so since I started paying attention to the way I wake up and get up.
It all started some months ago when I decided to make my bed every morning.
As a kid, when I was big enough to have my own room, I was not required to make my bed and, frankly, didn’t see the point in it. And it didn’t matter when I was young and life was very much care-free.
But the older I get and the more complicated life is and the more challenging getting up becomes, making my bed in the morning became my morning practice, which brings a sense of accomplishment and even hope for the day ahead.
One of my friends posted a clip from the Commencement Speech at The University of Texas in 2014 given by Adm. McRaven.
I think he really nailed it. This is what he says:
If you make your bed every morning
you will have accomplished the first task of the day.
It will give you a small sense of pride.
And it will encourage you to do another task,
By the end of the day,
that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.
Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.
If you can’t do the little things right,
you will never 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.
If you want to change the world
Start off by making your bed.
And not that I am changing the world, but making my bed in the morning is morphing into this little ritual I have that is slowly changing me as a mom and as a person.
This is my ritual: when I wake up I take a deep breath, think a positive thought, like something I am thankful for or some aspiration for the day, get up, make my bed, drink a glass of water, do 10 minutes of stretching, a 10-minute meditation, and THEN I make coffee.
If the kids are up by then and the weather is nice, we take a few minutes to sit outside and listen to the birds. They tell me what they dreamed about. It is really nice.
Then I tell them: GO MAKE YOUR BED!