Monday, August 27

not making the bed

Photo source

Ben and I were putting some clothes away in the bedroom. To be more honest, we were working through a mountain of my items, strewn on my half of the room. A week’s worth of clothes dumping.

“Remember when we used to make the bed?” Ben said.

“I remember that. I spent every drop of energy of house stuff.”

“You do so much less now, it’s so healthy. You spend your energy on better things.”

I recall the days of making our bed – because that’s what respectable people do, because that what my parents taught me, because that’s what good wives do...

And then it seemed so ridiculous to make it and hop right back in 2 hours later. Eventually I stopped altogether. Now I only ever sleep on the couch during the day, but I still don’t make the bed. My strength is a grain of rice; I’ve got to use it wisely.

There isn’t a right way to do most things – it sounds decidedly post modern, but really, I think in most areas it ought to be, ‘what works for me,’ or ‘what’s wisest in my situation.’ I used to do things because that was the way I’d seen them done, therefore it was right and preferable. Then I realised that my life was completely changing and shifting, and the old ways no longer worked. I grasped at the past, precariously attempting to continue along as I always had, despite my altered state.

I’m a copy cat, conformist, comparer. I am prone to peeking at someone else’s way of doing things and replicating it, irrespective of whether or not it is best for my life, my situation. I fear walking through uncleared bracken, uncomfortable in my own ability to navigate, unsure even of what I think without another to validate my actions.

“This is the way I’ve always lived” may work just fine for a long time, but I have a strong inkling that habit, tradition and mindless living is limiting. Thoughtful decisions make life smoother.

Now I cancel things when I feel unwell – I used to push through with my protestant work ethic. I wash when Ben and I have no undies left, and I choose flute practice and gym over dusting and mopping. We don’t have people over much, and we sometimes eat just eggs for tea, with tomato sauce. At first, I raged inside. I needed to do everything ‘right’, the way I saw others doing it. But now it’s excites me how many things can be altered to accommodate this stage of life. 

Life will keep changing. One day I’ll have strength perhaps, and I’ll have to decide what to do with it – return to study, change direction, start a family? And if we have babies, maybe I won’t have the energy to breastfeed, and we’ll do that differently. As life changes, the things which work for us will change too. Every time we turn a corner, we can sit down and decide what will make the next stretch manageable and enjoyable, and without peering over anyone else’s shoulder, we can implement our strategies. 


  1. So wise Dee, I think we all need to think like this more. Blindly doing what our parents did, or what we have always done or what we see others doing is sooo limiting. Thoughtful decisions certainly do make life smoother. Will be endeavouring to make more of these each day.

  2. Hehe I must be blessed with an untidy countenance! I'd rather create something new than perform mundane tasks like making the bed...... So I'm on the opposite journey, learning TOO make the bed when I can. Well said Dee.