It’s 7am. Emily is in the shower getting ready for the day. I am in our room making the bed. First comes straightening the sheets, then straightening the comforter, then finally the pillows.
I start with our sleeping pillows laid perfectly at the head of the bed.
Then the firm striped pillows are laid over the sleeping pillows.
Up next is the gigantic silver decorative pillow.
After that is the velvet-y feeling pillow laid in front of the silver beast.
And to round out the display, the small bird pillow is laid next to the velvet pillow.
7 pillows in all. Every single morning. Every single one of them with zero function except for our sleeping pillows.
Early in our marriage I used to think it was utterly pointless to do this. The bachelor in me didn’t understand what was wrong with 2 perfectly good sleeping pillows laying claim to our entire bed. For a long time I didn’t even get why we made the bed at all just to unmake it at night. But as time marched on I started to understand. The pillows make our bed look complete. They make the bedroom look nice and tidy. They add color and decoration to the room. But most important?
The pillows make Emily happy.
And if having 7 pillows on our bed makes Emily happy, that’s enough for me. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about the pillows. And rarely are things in our day to day lives about the pillows. They’re about the simple act of doing something for others just for the sake of doing something for others.
Grabbing coworkers coffee just for the heck of it. It’s not about the pillows.
Apologizing to a friend after an argument even if you don’t think you’re wrong. It’s not about the pillows.
Parking a few rows further from the store to leave closer spots for others. It’s not about the pillows.
Calling or writing family just to let them know you’re thinking about them. It’s not about the pillows.
When I’m constantly thinking about whether or not doing something benefits me and me only, it’s very easy to let the day get the best of me. Because things are never going to benefit me and me only. If instead I can focus on what I can do to make someone else’s day even a tiny bit better, I inherently receive the benefit of feeling good about it. And when those thoughts of “me me me” start to creep back in, I can step back, take a deep breath & remember – It’s not about the pillows.