Less than a month ago I assisted my young adult son to make a move across the United States for a new job. Although he has been out of my home for five years for college and a year of work, this was different. It seemed like I was really saying good-bye because he was outfitting an entire apartment with furniture, and because he is nowhere near home. I knew and felt that he would not be coming back and that he was well on his way going forward from here, which is a good thing.
One day, while he was at work, I went for my morning walk and something told me to just carry a credit card with my identification. After an hour and one-half of walking I came back near the hotel and decided to continue walking to the department stores nearby. I found myself in the bedding department of one, on the first morning of a huge sale. Without the annoyance of a handbag, I had both hands free to explore color options and coordination of bed linens, while trying to do so with a masculine tone in mind.
I was able to lay all types of samples out on a floor sample bed. Over two hours later I had the complete combinations and “look” that I thought he would like for his bed, which arrived the day before in the moving van with his other belongings. While it was not of a particular designer, I thought to myself, “Ralph Lauren would be proud of this look for my son.” Later that evening, my son and I went to the otherwise empty apartment to begin taking supplies over and set-up the space.
We made the handsome bed before we were ready to leave for the night and I turned to him and gave him “motherly words of wisdom”, as I thought about my departure in three days. I looked directly into his eyes, and said, “I don’t know how you are going to live your life….whether you will be a man of excellence in what you command for yourself in the years ahead. How you live after I leave is up to you. But, I do know that when you look over your life decades from now, you will be able to say that for one day I had an exquisite bed! In the morning after you move in, if you decide not to make-up your bed, that is your business! I have nothing to do with it. But, for one day and night in your adult life, you were a man of excellence and style.”
So often we think that living exquisitely requires lots of money and living in places like mansions.
How you treat something as simple as your bed is a metaphor for how you live your life. Where it is sloppy around the edges; when it is unkempt and anything goes…so are other areas of your life, and it represents you and your relationship to yourself.