Apparently, research has proven that those who make their bed each day often have a better night’s sleep, which improves mental health and happiness. That’s a rather lovely and extremely simple thing to add a bit of joy into our world and make us smile. Though making a bed only once a year would not work as well, so this is simply a gentle reminder for the rest of the time. Our dog, Phineas, recently received a new little bed as a gift. In the store, Philippe paused before purchasing it because Phineas can be a bit finicky when it comes to things and he was worried it would be money wasted. It took more than a year for him to approve of the outdoor cot we got him, and he still only uses it occasionally. But, we had nothing to worry about as he immediately curled up into the little bed and simply stared back with eyes that seemed to say, “what the hell took you so long to get me one of these?” It’s soft as can be and with no sheets to bother with, Philippe and I both are rather envious of him now.
Unfortunately, making a bed every day is not something that either Philippe nor I do out of habit. I, at best, will often “fake make” the bed which involves just yanking the covers back into place without bothering to adjust the pillows. Sometimes, even this is too much to deal with and the covers will remain in their crumbled form. One of my good friends refers to this as a “sick bed,” alluding to the kind one should only have if they’ve spent days bedridden and suffering from severe stomach flu. Neither Philippe nor I have been sick in years, so this is not our excuse. It’s instead bits of laziness mixed with bits of simply not caring about it one way or the other. Changing sheets doesn’t even supply motivation and the same rumpled look returns. Thankfully, twice a month, our housekeeper comes and our bed is made properly with surgical folds, properly placed pillows, and a dazzling look that might remind one of a fine hotel. Our sleep is rather nicer that evening, but I’m never sure if that feeling of relaxation and glee is due to the freshly made bed itself, or simply the fact that we didn’t have to bother with getting it to look that way.
By nature, Philippe and I are not ultra-tidy people, but not so incredibly messy to a point where we would get our own reality show. There’s just a touch of clutter about sometimes. While we might tidy up a bit before having friends over, the fact that we only ever have close friends over takes much of the pressure off. We’ve already impressed them enough to be good friends, so there’s really no point in pretending to be people weren’t not when they come over. Our home simply looks like people actually live there, sketch and paint there, and cook there. I rather like these little traces of life. It’s like actually inviting friends not into an over-manicured show home, but into your actual life. A lovely thought, or yes, simply a clever excuse from a guy who just doesn’t want to go through all of the effort to maintain a show home. And Phineas could potentially care even less about the state of his house. As long he has his new amazing little bed to curl up in he’s perfectly fine. We all find paths to comfort and joy in this life in very different ways. Since I’ve never been able to curl myself into a little ball like my basenji, I can, at least, enjoy the twice monthly therapeutic effects of a lovely make your bed day.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
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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!