No Rules; Just Sleep
One of the most exciting parts of adulthood is making your own rules. You no longer have a bed time, there's no one there to tell you to eat your green beans, and you don't have to be told when to come home. Now, obviously, adulthood isn't a total free for all - there are still obligations and deadlines, consequences, and decisions to be made, but like I said, there aren't exactly formal rules. However, for the sake of sanity, I have found solace in one rule: beds are for sleeping.
This rule is actually less about what beds are for and more about what they aren't for: working, eating, or working (yes, I said working twice). The no eating in bed is more of a leftover childhood habit. I wasn't allowed to eat in bed (except maybe popcorn at a sleep over), but other than that, it was a No-No. I can see why. The crumbs get all in your bed, there's a risk of spills and such, it attracts bugs and pests. It's more of cleanliness equating to mental clarity thing. The other thing beds are not for is working. I've tried to break this - on a snow day when it was very cold in my drafty apartment, and it just doesn't work; I just want to fall asleep when I try to work in bed. Your bed should be where you go to find solace from the day's stresses, not where you go to try and fix them.
So what does make that space - your little corner of the universe - so perfect?
Choosing colors is important. These should be colors that you, well, like, for starters. Brighter colors are welcoming, inviting, and happy. Darker colors wrap around you and lull you into sleep. I went with the coral and navy combo that would give me one of each. Originally, I wanted a Pottery Barn bedding set, but when I first left college, I had other, more pressing, priorities for my money, so I went with the Target version. Someday, I'm sure I'll upgrade to a higher thread count, but honestly, these have been great. While we're on the topic of bedding, let me just say this. You're an adult now; buy a second set of sheets. This way, you can change your sheets without being forced to wash them the same day. My collection of many throw pillows has grown in the years following my college graduation. Oddly enough, most of them came from Walmart, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, or the sale section at Target. You've just got to be willing to look.
The headboard is actually a creation of my mother's. During its first life, it was fixed to the wall of an Arkansas motel. However, it is now an upholstered beauty with nail head trim and a white wash edge. I do not have a foot board, but rather a bench covered in the same fabric with the same nail head. Want to know the secret for not having to pay an arm and a leg for simple fabric? Buy a drop cloth from Lowe's instead of that muslin at the craft store. Behind it, there are three boards held in by screws. These three hold the headboard between the wall and my mattress.
Another thing that helps my space be set apart from the room around it is the excessively high risers it sits on. In college I always had my bed somewhat elevated, so it only made sense that I would continue that now. this leaves me with plenty of room to store items under my bed and puts a bit of space between myself and the floor. As a bonus, my bed risers plug into the wall and then have two outlets and two USB plugs, so never again will I have to fumble with reaching behind the bed to plug in my phone.
Finally, there's the gallery wall. This took me quite some time to put together. Each of them are significant to me. The French language, which I find beautiful, and aspire to one day speak. Posters and the composite from the sorority I helped start my junior year of college. My degree, from a school I wanted to transfer from after 3/4 of my first semester. My first ever license plate, special framed items from high school and college, Hobby Lobby finds that just jumped at me. Monograms. Each thing reminds me of something, inspires me to do something, or comforts me. Like the heart picture frame that was a gift from my great grandmother. It now guards my dreams as I drift to sleep, as she often guarded my dreams from the nay-sayers and encouraged me to go at whatever I was pursuing. Some of the pieces are my own creations - specks of glitter woven into the mundane pattern of framed words; the best metaphor of my life.
The important thing is to create your retreat. It doesn't have to be expensive or fancy - remember, my throw pillows are from the sale section at Target, but it does need to be a place that calms you. A place that allows you to enter in and find your own peace - through prayer, or meditation, or concentrated thought...whatever works for you. Growing up comes with the freedom to make your own rules, but it also comes with the ability to create your own retreats from the harder parts of adulthood: that job you're struggling with, student loans, homesickness. Whatever it is, you have a chance to create the space that will wrap you up in warmth and joy.
So what about you? What restful places have you created? What rules have you had to set for yourself in adulthood for the sake of your sanity?