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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Your mother does not work here

A friend and regular reader recently asked a pretty good question: what's the point in making a bed? As someone who makes his own bed everyday he's at his home, I have my reasons. But more along those lines, I think there's something that comes with the discipline you choose to keep after you've moved out of your parents' house and the discipline you let fall to the wayside.

In my case, I like to make my bed everyday because it looks nice and tidy during all the hours I'm not sleeping in it. Nobody has told me to make it, and since straightening everything and folding things back in takes an average of a whopping sixty seconds per day, the "chore" fits neatly into my daily routine. However, when I'm staying at my parents' house (aka, the house I spent almost twenty years living in), I fall back into the habit of never making the bed.

Something I think is imperative for people trying to find their way as an adult is to live without Mom and Dad. Just the mere notion of paying rent, fixing things, and cleaning up after yourself is a valuable lesson for those that have always counted on the parents to take care of everything.

But I won't lie: there was a point during my first few months of living without my parents where I realized I could do whatever I pleased. Luckily for me that didn't involve staying up all night, skipping class, or drinking excessively. Rather, it was choosing to not go to a home football game on a Saturday night. It was choosing to wake up on a Saturday morning when I wanted and doing whatever I wanted (which, like a lot of my life now, involved watching movies, playing video games, and surfing the Internet). Instead of thinking this was rebellion, I take the side of an astute observer I know: it was growing up.

I think it's important for parents to instill a sense of routine and work ethic just for the sake of getting little things done everyday. I don't judge friends or family who don't make their beds, but I definitely judge myself when I don't do it myself.

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