|My side of the bed, post-tidying.|
Let me just put this out there:
I am not, now–nor will I ever be!–a morning person.
If you can remember when I talked about my bibliophilia and how that caused me to use the light of mother moon to read books well above the average reading level of my age group at any given point in my childhood, then you can understand how that lack of habitual night-time-sleeping could lead to a grown person who comes up with more excuses to stay awake at night and throws bigger fits when awakened in the morning than her own three-year-old daughter.
Growing up, every morning that my mother was home was a morning she would listen to some news program that started out with the little ditty, “Oh what a beautiful morning!/Oh what a beautiful day!/Oh what a beautiful feeling!/Everything’s going my way!” I cannot remember the name of the program, but I remember that song, mostly because I remember rewriting it in my head on my grouchiest mornings, “Oh what a terrible morning!/Oh what a horrible day!/Oh what a terrible feeling!/Nothing is going my way!” To her eternal credit, my mother just kept on watching that program, and would either ignore me, turn the song up, or sing loudly along with the TV’s version.
Mornings weren’t my scene. I would gladly stay awake for days on end when the mood hit me to do so; I’ve been compared (both by friends with the diagnosis and my hypochondrial self) to a person with bipolar disorder, and, given that my own biological father reportedly had that diagnosis, it is not unreasonable to assume that I inherited that little genetic gem. However, I have found over the years, that if I go to bed, I will wake up around four or five in the morning needing desperately to micturate. If, however, I ignore the overwhelming urge to resume dormancy, and, instead, preen and prep myself for the day, then within thirty minutes or so I am perky and peppy to the point of potential pique.
And what should I do with this sudden cheerleader-on-speed persona my early morning self can adapt? Housework! You might think the answer should have been writing, but that involves, generally speaking, the placing of one’s buttocks on a settee of some sort and the concentration of one’s eyes on one’s written or typed words. Housework, though, involves moving and (in some cases) dancing. Housework is something that I am rarely motivated to do, so if early morning can be used to do it, I should go with that.
This morning I did just that. The entire house got a decent–although far from thorough–tidying. I washed the dishes, but for a few that needed an extra soak. I did some laundry (using a partially-hand-washed approach since my washing machine has fallen off kilter and will now scrape the floor if its spin cycle is employed). I fed my children. I got the debris of daily living off of my floors. I even made the bed!
I remember when I lived with my Granny and making beds was mandatory. She’d studied sociology and, if I remember correctly, said there was a link between caring about making your bed and caring about yourself. I’m sure she’ll correct me if I’m misquoting her or the science behind that. But the fact was I had to make my bed daily. And I HATED it. But then, when I was in Job Corps, I was again in a situation where daily bed-making was a requirement. I learned to deal with it. Not making my bed at Granny’s warranted a stern talking to, which, don’t get me wrong, was a pretty stiff punishment in and of itself, but not making my bed at Job Corps meant termination from the program after a series of lesser punishments, and I couldn’t have that!
By the time I’d gotten to my college dorm room, I’d ingrained the bed-making habit and other cleanliness habits, so my dorm room always looked spiffy (unless roommates didn’t hold up their end of the living-space-sharing bargain). Somewhere between then and now, I lost the desire to have a made bed. Perhaps my husband and I living on opposing time-lines is partially to blame, or perhaps, without someone coming behind me to check, it just doesn’t seem to matter anymore. But when I made my bed this morning and did other bedroom-tidying tasks, it felt good. I was proud. I took pictures!
I would like to wake up early every morning to the habit of grooming, cleaning my house, doing a bunch of writing jobs (for pay, please?!?!), spending time with my family, and then relaxing. Because as exhausting and daunting as that sounds to me just reading what I’ve just typed, I know the feelings of accomplishment each day and the joys that will come with all of that (not to mention my husband no longer picking fights with me about my housekeeping time-line not matching his) will be worth it.
NOTE: This does NOT count as a New Year’s Resolution, so please don’t hold me to it if you happen to drop by my house one afternoon and the bed’s not made…
Fun Fact: There are 246 Rs in this post.
Neko Case–Make your bed the river young girl. Make your bed the river young girl. La la la la la la: make your bed the river young girl.