As I've gotten older, I periodically will grasp the importance behind some of the smaller things that my parents used to hassle me about. At the time I considered it pretty nitpicky. Things like rinsing dishes when you put them in the sink, not hoarding piles upon piles of laundry, or putting clean clothes away. You know, small things that take and unacceptable 5 minutes or so out of the busy schedule of a 16 year old. Living on my own brought these things to light for me in the way that my parents saw them; you rinse the dish now, you don't scrub it later; you do a small load of laundry every week and you don't spend an entire day every two months washing every article of clothing you own; you put your clothes away, everything is neater and easier to find for the most part. I would have a crystallizing moment for these things and suddenly feel almost guilty for resisting these extremely simple, yet important, tasks for so many years.
Most recently, I had a moment that completely changed the game though. I started making my bed every day when I woke up.
My jury is still out on pillows you don't use though.
For literally more than 21 years of my life, I saw absolutely no point in making a bed unless you were staying at someone's house whose parents wanted the beds made. Even then, I didn't get it. Why waste time every day making a bed you were just going to mess up again that night? Especially if you were putting clean sheets on right before you are going to sleep, why bother to tuck the sheets and smooth it out when it will last no more than 45 seconds? The answer to those questions is a bit more complex, to me at least, than the benefits of rinsing dishes. There is nothing like getting into some freshly laundered and crisply laid out sheets when you are going to bed.
It's a beautiful thing.
On top of that, it sets the tone for my days now: getting up and making the bed marks off something in the daily quest log within minutes of waking up! The feeling is so good, why not go ahead and straighten the room? And at this point, there's no sense in stopping the Productivity Train, so let's get a run in and get some real work done. Maybe the thought process isn't the same for each and every person and I'm certain there are people who function better than I do and don't even bother with sheets on a bed, but the sentiment remains.
This post sprang from a realization I posted to Twitter, so if you like these posts, follow me on Twitter! While I'm at the shameless plugs, the third inaugural episode of the What Else Sucks podcast is now online, on the web and on iTunes! I talk with three of my friends about the awful things in pop culture and the things we like. Thank you for reading and check back in this weekend for my next post about things I don't understand how people run without.