Nearly every day, upon arising from sleep, I think of making my bed. Nearly every morning, I make the bed. On the mornings I don't make the bed, I almost always carry with me nagging anxiety and disappointment. Every time I climb the stairs to my room, to enter it or passing by, I gaze through the opening upon the rumpled sheets and disheveled pillows and berate myself for not following through with intention. The bed in its disarray asks me "Really, sir, what was your intention for the day? What else will you leave unfinished?"
The bed does not literally speak, I know. If it did, I would have greater problems to solve than mere rearrangement of sheets. Ones that might involve doctors and analysis, and at this point in life I would rather not stray into that territory. But the bed does say something to me. Made, it gives the satisfaction of knowing that I have accomplished something, however small, in my day. Unmade, it exists as silent reminder that I have been lazy or unfocused or simply inattentive. Each state is a small seed, planting something in my heart of hearts that guides my actions for the remainder of my waking hours.
You may scoff at this notion, and I would not blame you. "It is a bed, man, not a plan for your life's work!" and the logical me would agree with you. There are many days when the logical me can put such daft notions aside, sink its teeth into the flesh of the day and consume it for all its worth. There are days when such consumption is necessary, if anything is to be accomplished.
Consumption is not the end of our actions entire, I must say. Some days reflection is required, an asking of "What are my intentions for the day? What do I hope to do, for whom, and for why?" These are questions that appeal to the emotional me. The answers do not necessarily demand us to struggle under the burden of reason (and make no mistake, reason as a state of existence is sometimes a burden on our animal minds) in order to make it through our day. But these questions must be engaged, I believe, if I am to fulfill the intentions I carry within my heart.
Intentions. We all have them. We all follow through on them with varying degrees of success. We all hope (at least, I hope we all hope) that we have done what we said we would do. The trap inherent in this is that too often we mistake the having of intentions with the fulfilling of intentions. We congratulate ourselves on meaning well, and we rely on the presumed good natures of those we claim to love, or want to love, that even if things "just didn't work out" when in reality we just didn't bother ourselves to follow through, they know that we meant well. Human nature, I suppose, to take the easy route if we think someone will always cut us slack. Or that life will always cut us some slack. Things undone for too long, in life and love, will come back to haunt or hurt us.
This haunting is perhaps is the kernel of my anxieties, the driver behind my need to make the bed. A tangled blanket, a pillow on the floor, become avatars of the rippling chaos of my subconscious mind. I sometimes don't have the energy to dispel them even when I know it would be good for me. It takes an intention realized in an action to quell the ripples and set my heart on the right path for the day. This is why I so often force myself to make the bed: I calm the chaos and prime my mind to fulfill potential for the day, rather than congratulating myself for having created a 'to do' list which may end as mere desk ornament.
Again, you may laugh and point at the seeming silliness of my need to make the bed. Again, I take no offense. I realize that sometimes (to paraphrase Freud) a bed is just a bed. On the bad days, I berate myself for being attached to this notion of bed making. I can only note that on the days I do make the bed, I get more done. I feel stillness. I feel more open to love. I am not always fortunate to experience more love as a result, but I do know this: being still and open to love goes a long way towards keeping me from paving the road to hell with my own good intentions.