The Sacrament of Making Your Bed

I was starting to read Regina Leed’s book One Year to an Organized Work Life (which I hope to review soon) and happened on this wonderful little tidbit on why you should make your bed. Now I don’t really have a problem with making the bed. I’m used to it now and it bother’s me if it isn’t done. But I have to admit that some days I wonder just what the point it. After all, I’m going to mess it up again the next night. No one but me is going to see it. Why bother. If I were a bachelor, it probably wouldn’t get made very often.

But Regina had this to say:

“An unmade bed signals that there is no end to your day; you are dragging the activities, emotions, and energy of one day into the next without ever giving yourself the experience of a fresh start. When you make your bed, you will feel energized every time you walk into your bedroom.”

I hadn’t looked at it from quite that perspective – organization as a spiritual symbol to your mind. And why not? As a priest, I believe in the power of physical symbols to effectively represent spiritual realities – often much better than words ever could. A spiritual symbol such as a cross or communion can impact the spirit on a powerful and unconscious level. Making your bed can be a sort of sacrament. It communicates hope for a new day and a fresh beginning to a spirit that needs refreshing.

I suppose this is something of the appeal of Feng Shui, which I have to admit I haven’t taken all that seriously. Not that I don’t enjoy a well-organized and beautiful room. But the Taoist details – such as which direction things have to be arranged in, I have to admit that I really didn’t have much use for. But to people who are steeped in Taoist tradition, I can see how these details in a room’s organization would resonate on a subconscious level with years of previous associations. I’m still not sure it resonates all that well with Americans ignorant of Taoist symbology.

Feel free to disagree (or agree for that matter) in the comments.

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6 thoughts on “The Sacrament of Making Your Bed

  1. Deb

    I see Regina’s point – making the bed is a kind of ritual that signals end of night, time to get going on the day. And at the other end, unfolding a made bed signals end of day, time to rest. Still, I can stand having an unmade bed occasionally – now – but only because I trained myself to chill-out over it! Pete, my husband is a rubbish bed-maker. He tries but everything ends up skewiff despite his best efforts, so on times when he was stealing a few minutes’ extra after I’d got up of a work morning, I’d hang around hyperventilating until he got up so I could make it the second he went to the bathroom….and then if he’d come back and plonk himself on the made bed to put his socks on, I’d drive him nuts with my tutting and tsking. Not the best start to the day 🙂

    …. still, some things are definite no-no’s in the bedroom…. laptop and mobile phones spring to mind – no way!… those things definitely come under the heading of ‘ dragging the activities, emotions, and energy of one day into the next’.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      No laptops?? Uh oh… How about if I cross the small step up into the “sitting” area. Then I’m not technically IN the bedroom.

      I’m not a terribly proficient bed-maker myself. It takes me twice as long as it should to get it looking decently. My wife always insists I recruit one of the children to help me move it along a bit.

      Reply
  2. Deb

    I see Regina’s point – making the bed is a kind of ritual that signals end of night, time to get going on the day. And at the other end, unfolding a made bed signals end of day, time to rest. Still, I can stand having an unmade bed occasionally – now – but only because I trained myself to chill-out over it! Pete, my husband is a rubbish bed-maker. He tries but everything ends up skewiff despite his best efforts, so on times when he was stealing a few minutes’ extra after I’d got up of a work morning, I’d hang around hyperventilating until he got up so I could make it the second he went to the bathroom….and then if he’d come back and plonk himself on the made bed to put his socks on, I’d drive him nuts with my tutting and tsking. Not the best start to the day 🙂

    …. still, some things are definite no-no’s in the bedroom…. laptop and mobile phones spring to mind – no way!… those things definitely come under the heading of ‘ dragging the activities, emotions, and energy of one day into the next’.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      No laptops?? Uh oh… How about if I cross the small step up into the “sitting” area. Then I’m not technically IN the bedroom.

      I’m not a terribly proficient bed-maker myself. It takes me twice as long as it should to get it looking decently. My wife always insists I recruit one of the children to help me move it along a bit.

      Reply
  3. Deb

    Alas, my children are now both too large to throw into a duvet cover and refuse to allow them back out until they’ve smoothed out every lump and bump in the duvet!,,, Although, I’m to be a grandma soon!… now there’s a thought!

    Reply
  4. Deb

    Alas, my children are now both too large to throw into a duvet cover and refuse to allow them back out until they’ve smoothed out every lump and bump in the duvet!,,, Although, I’m to be a grandma soon!… now there’s a thought!

    Reply

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