Have you ever heard the phrase “leaving your house in dying order?”
My mother would say this each time we’d leave on vacation or for weekend trips. The concept was in case we met our demise while away, those who had to come into our home would be met with tidiness instead of squalor. Heaven forbid there would be a pile of laundry, unmade beds or dishes in the sink. Truth be told, rarely were there EVER dishes in the sink or piles of laundry. Unmade beds were quite common when my brothers and I were teenagers, but my parents’ bed was always made.
I’m a bed maker, now. I like having the bed all tidy with my 10 pillows adorning it. If you haven’t heard or read about the commencement speech by Admiral William H. McCraven (RET) gave during the University of Texas at Austin (his alma mater) graduation ceremony in 2014, be sure to look it up soon. Here is the whole speech link (jamesclear.com/great-speeches/ make-your-bedby admiral-williamh mcraven ) or Google YouTube for it, too.
Here are some key elements of his speech: “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day,” he said. “It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And 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 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.
“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”
He has also written a book based on it “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life … And Maybe The World.” I have added it to my reading list.
The way I see it, making your bed is a simple but mood setting task. Accomplishing one positive aspect of your day just may be enough some days. And for you graduating seniors, not only could it get you in a good habit – your roommates just may appreciate it as well.
SUE BROWN is a columnist of the Pleasanton Express. Contact her at email@example.com.