I recently became aware of the fact that I’ve never paid much attention to how beds are made. I’ve always made mine the way my Grandmother taught me- fold the sheet down, pull the quilt up over the pillows, do a quick karate chop under the pillows to make a line, smooth things out. Call it a day. I’d noticed the abundance of pillows that most designer beds have. I like the color and character they can add. But I didn’t realize until a few months ago that typically the quilt it not pulled up over the pillows. It’s folded down, revealing the sheets and pillows that are slept on. What?! Who has pillowcases that they actually use to sleep on that are worth showcasing?! Is that normal? Are most people’s sheets in a state worth revealing? Eek.
The fact is NO. Most people don’t have either of those things. It just so happens that the visual minority is misrepresenting the unseen majority. Most are lucky to have a bed to sleep in. (If we’re thinking globally.) My grandmother’s method of making a bed, was orderly, but it didn’t require new bedding be purchased on a regular bases, it didn’t call for an overabundance of pillows, and it certainly didn’t require all parts of the bed to look unworn.
What is it with the mentality that everything look “unworn” “unused.” I sleep in my bed. I drool on my pillow. And maybe because I’ve never spent big bucks on quality linens, but my sheets NEVER look worthy of display. I would never leave my pillow intentionally uncovered. Am I alone here?
I refuse to be pulled into the consumeristic trend to be constantly replacing perfectly usable items in order to maintain “a look.” I recently had this lightbulb moment. I realized that I had fallen prey to this concept, in other areas of my life. I wanted my house to constantly “look” a certain way. And when I was real with myself that “look” was the “un-lived in” look. How absurd of me! This realization has really changed my perspective on my home, my looks, my children. I don’t care that my recently finished floor is resplendent with scratches (though I sure am glad I didn’t stain it!) because each scratch means life was lived on top of my floor. It’s a FLOOR by golly, it was meant to be walked on, danced on, jumped on! I’ve tried to apply the same principle to my body. I’ll admit it’s hard to embrace the “cottage cheese” skin that now adorns my belly. But I certainly have no difficulty embracing the three little loves who caused that state of affairs, and I’m grateful for a body with the transforming potential to give life- despite its scars and changes.
When we focus on looking a certain way, it stifles our ability to live a certain way. I’m less restrictive of my and my children’s activities when we’re wearing our older athletic clothing- “Go ahead and slide down that dirt hill!” When I’m fixated on keeping my house looking perfect I don’t engage with my children in the same way- we don’t lie among the couch cushions on the floor and read stories on our backs- I don’t sit down and paint with them. And yet those are the moments that warm my heart for months even years, when I think back on them. A sparkling house gives me a temporary lift, but it’s fleeting- because well. Dinner must be made.