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MAKE YOUR BED


“Downtown Lady” watercolor by kayti sweetland rasmussen

Making one’s bed is pretty basic to most of us, like changing your socks, returning your phone calls and possibly eating your oatmeal.

It happens to be the title of a new book by former Navy Seal Admiral Andrew McRaven, whom I saw interviewed on TV. I haven’t read the book yet, but I began thinking of what a primary life lesson it calls to mind.

As a child, I went with my mother to a Navy wives function at the home of the Admiral in Bremerton, Washington. I remember the Admiral’s wife asking if I cooked breakfast for my father. She said that she cooked eggs each morning for the Admiral. I have thought many times of what a gracious and unassuming action it was.

The bed is personal to each of us. My mother in law rarely made her bed when age made it more difficult, though until the age of 92 she kept going strong in all other respects. A cousin remarked while walking past his bedroom with its unmade bed, that it had become his best friend.

I like to think that making one’s bed is akin to clearing the deck for the rest of the day’s work. This is a lazy day as far as work goes, but I made my bed this morning just in case.

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12 comments on “MAKE YOUR BED

  1. Most day the bed is made by H. Sometimes, if one of us is restless, I creep upstairs and sleep in another bed. In that case I make the bed, but not as perfectly as H’s. I hide things under al large pillow. According to H, that is cheating.

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  2. Delightful watercolour! Although I’ve been able to resume most of my activities, that moment at the end of the day when I climb into my bed is pure bliss. Really, I’m grateful to have such a welcoming bed. Like you, putting the bed to rights is part of my morning routine.

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    • I didn’t have another painting with a bed! I did that one after a visit to the red light district in Hamburg Germany.
      I’m happy you have recovered so well. That time of slipping into our beds at night is so comforting. Our reward for a day well spent.

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      • Yes, you’ve put it very well–a reward for a day well spent. I have a painting of a bed, with a book open and turned over on the sheet. It’s not one of my own efforts, but it’s a great favourite of mine.

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  3. Even though I carry a relatively comfortable 30 inch wide self-inflating mattress when I backpack, Kate, I still long for our king-size bed at home. We just got off the trail and ‘oh what a relief’ it was. Peggy used to like me to help make the bed with her in the morning, but now she prefers that I prepare breakfast. 🙂 –Curt

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    • “Make your bed” is number one instruction in the military training in case it wasn’t learned as a child. My father was a crusty Master Chief in the Navy and I learned early on the value of both making my bed and washing the dishes. No argument there. The lesson learned is that once done, you have completed the first task of the day and can move on to even greater tasks.

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  4. Whether one makes her bed when she arises is contingent upon upbringing. We were taught to get out of bed and then make it up, so I do. I feel better when the bed is made.
    Getting into a bed at night, one that has lain open all day, seems odd. Today, I changed my duvee cover and all of the pillows. Then I went back and bought another one for the guest room. I am tired of darker colors and opted for greys and creams. I feel better already!

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    • Partially growing up in my Grandmother;’s rooming house, there were no unmade beds! I have always thought there was something unsettling about an unmade bed. It makes me wonder what has been going on in it. I imagine your new decor is very refreshing. We need a change now and then. Also sleeping in the guest room occasionally lets you know what they need for better comfort.

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      • Isnt’ THAT the truth. Also, taking a shower in the “guest room” shower. Last time I did this, I discovered that hardly any water was coming out…

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  5. Admiral McRaven gave the commencement address at the University of Texas in Austin in 2014, and I still remember it. You can see the video here. At 4:37, he begins talking about the ten lessons that he learned while in Navy Seal training (in California!) and the very first lesson is: make your bed. It’s a wonderful speech, entirely enjoyable, and gives a sense of the man. I think you’ll like it.

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