Small Changes

This is a woefully short post.

Or perhaps wonderfully short.

I had the beautiful experience last night of rocking my two boys to sleep, one after the other, and feeling fully present. I wasn’t trying to hurry and get it over with. Just a few months ago though, it would’ve been a different story, reading blog posts on my phone to try to pass the time.

Minimalism and meditation have been the two biggest catalysts towards this shift.

When you’re constantly analyzing the stuff in your life—physical, mental, and emotional—and shedding the things that don’t add value, you have more time for the most valuable things—which aren’t things at all.

When you practice being fully present in the moment on a daily basis, it starts to become a habit.

Don’t underestimate the power of small changes. It may feel like nothing’s changing, but when you look back in six months, you’ll be able to see just how much can come from the smallest positive changes.

The Well-Made Bed

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We recently put our house on the market, and as anyone who’s ever tried to sell their residence knows, it’s a tremendous amount of work. It takes seemingly countless hours to get a home whipped into house-showing shape. Throw a toddler and a baby who’s recently started crawling into the mix, and I’m amazed we were able to get the house ready at all.

But I do appreciate the good kick-in-the-pants motivation it gave me to really get the house in order—not to mention sparkly clean!

And the best part of it was that every night, I got to crawl into a beautifully made bed. Before, I had gotten in the habit of not making the bed at all. Or at best, pulling the sheet and comforter up over the pillows.

It looked neat.

But hardly inviting.

But when I started to look at all the aspects of the house with the eyes of a potential buyer, I started researching tips for making every room look more inviting.

One of the main things I found I could do without spending a cent was change up the way I was styling the bed. I started with actually making it the right way every morning—what a concept!—and carefully folded back the comforter and sheet so that you could see a few inches of each layer. I had an extra pillow in storage so I threw a pretty pillow sham on it and added it to the stack of our normal sleeping pillows. To top the look off, I added the cozy touch of a hand-crocheted blanket that was a cherished wedding gift. I spread it across the lower half of the bed. Voila! Texture!

But then our house sold. Now what? Would I fall back into the habit of letting the bed’s appearance be an afterthought? It’s true, the goal was accomplished. But I had enjoyed coming to the serene invitation of a beautifully made bed every night. I nearly think I slept more restfully in it. And why should I only make the bed presentable for those who weren’t even using it? Wasn’t it far more important for it to be a welcoming sight for those who actually sleep in it?

So I’ve decided to become disciplined in this one small habit. It may not seem like a big deal for some, but I believe it’s the little details of life that make the everyday a little more elevated.