September has arrived and with it comes a brand new Doodlewash Adventure! This month we’re exploring all of the simple pleasures in life that people rank highest on their happiness meters for eliciting the most smiles. First up, we have a freshly made bed, which usually means crisp clean sheets that you can snuggle into while enjoying the fresh smell of whatever detergent you use. At my house, this perfect event is shortly followed up by a little basenji remaking the bed into whatever form makes him the most comfortable. Usually, this involves lots of fiddling with covers and dismantling every crisp crease until it looks like a bed that needs to be made again. He then snuggles in and just stares at you with a look that says, “Yeah, you did it wrong. This is the correct way. You’re welcome.” He seems so perfectly comfortable and content, that for just a moment, I wonder if perhaps he might be right. Maybe a mess of sheets and covers and a little tent you can burrow under would indeed be a bit more fun.
I have to admit though, in our house, we’re not very good when it comes to making the bed each and every day. A friend of mine insists on making the bed daily, claiming that an unmade bed looks like a “sick bed.” One that you apparently just stumbled out of for a moment before planning to return for the entire day in hopes that your fever will go down. I totally get it, and appreciate the look of a perfectly made bed, but in the end, it still fails to happen regularly. I’m much more like Phineas than I realize. Jumping into bed and grabbing covers, wherever they landed last, and just raking them up over me in a careless fashion that simply feels good in that moment. Even as the clean sheets are placed on the bed each week, my bed-making skills leave much to be desired. The end result looks less like a 5-star hotel and more like a Motel 6 that was short on staff that day. For me, I just appreciate the clean sheets, and I’ll happily leave the surgical folds to those more qualified.
I’m not sure why, but domesticity is not something that I have in spades, and days can go by with clutter building up around me. I’ve known this issue forever, so I’ve always budgeted a bi-weekly house keeper into every place I’ve ever owned. This forces me to clear the clutter in anticipation of her arrival and provides a house that’s generally clean most of the time. I shudder to think what it would be like if I’d gotten the more expensive houses and opted out of this wonderful service. I imagine I’d be featured on the next episode of Hoarders, buried under an accumulation of things that I failed to remember were there, only with less cats. But there’s always a happy medium to be found. I don’t really want to live in a place that feels unlived in. I think it’s perfectly okay to have a bit of clutter here and there, as long as it doesn’t build up into a crazy mountain of senility. And in the evening, I’ll sleep on sheets that are clean but never ironed, spread across a mattress in a happily carefree way. Each person has their own path to happiness, and indeed, their own perfectly wonderful vision of what constitutes a freshly made bed.
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About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Terra Cotta, Burnt Sienna, and Ultramarine Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!