There’s a new little book out called “Make Your Bed” by William McRaven, which sounds simple enough until you realize the author is a retired four-star admiral who oversaw the raid to kill Osama bin Laden and now oversees thousands of college kids in Texas.
The book began as a graduation speech McRaven gave a few years back, in which he listed 10 important lessons he learned during Navy SEAL training, starting with making the bed.
“There’s a power behind making your bed every morning,” McRaven told USA Today. “Learn to do the little things well, learn to make your bed right, and that transcends into a lot of other things you do.”
The admiral’s 10 lessons also included “find someone to help you paddle,” “start singing when you’re up to your neck in muck” and “don’t back down from sharks.”
I think I’ll stick with making the bed every morning.
Growing up, my mother was pretty picky about bed etiquette. Sheets were washed each and every week, then returned to the bed promptly, with neat hospital corners.
She taught me how to fold the bedspread at night so that the pretty side stayed up, and how to fold the bedspread in the morning to make a neat pocket for the pillows.
I don’t have a bedspread anymore.
Instead, my husband and I have separate comforters, which is the custom in Sweden. It’s quite practical, as I am always too cold, and he is always too hot.
My husband has a lightweight comforter, and I have a super-warm comforter that I wrap myself in like a mummy and nobody steals my covers during the night.
But I still make the bed every morning, just like my mama told me to. It’s not the painstaking process I learned as a little girl. It’s more a fluff-the-pillows, unfurl-the-comforters, let-them-land-where-they-may kind of a process. I use that extra time to have another cup of coffee.
A recent story in The New York Times mentioned that a lot of people (let’s assume they are young people) think it’s a waste of time and energy to make a bed. After all, who’s going to see your bed besides you?
But it does feel nice when the bed is made, like when your underwear is neatly folded instead of just stuffed into a drawer.
Elsewhere in the house, the breakfast dishes may still be in the sink, the floor may need sweeping and the flowerbeds may need weeding, but by golly the bed is made.
There is a fairy tale about a spoiled little princess who is sent to live with a family of commoners, where one of her chores is to make her own bed. She discovers that is quite nice to go to sleep between crisp, unwrinkled sheets.
Full disclosure: I no longer make my bed first thing in the morning, because I read in another book that you’re supposed to let the sheets air out for at least an hour before you make the bed. Something about our bodies exuding lots of sweat, skin oils, body smells and “flocks of microorganisms” while we sleep.
You know what? I’m just going to sleep on the floor.
Lisa Davis is Features Editor of The Anniston Star. Contact her at 256-235-3555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.