I began to wonder what is home to me. I thought about all of the places around the entire world that I’d love to see – even live. I realized…that’s not my idea of home.
I thought of all of the people in the world I’d love to get to know as well as those who I believe would be great neighbors. Those people of all nationalities who truly believe in family and the concept of family and would welcome all into their lives. Living alongside such warm, open, friendly, loving people would be such a gift to me; a real treasure.
But that’s also not my idea of home – entirely.
Then comes the types of buildings, houses, Les Maisons en francais. Cottage? Flat? Apartment? That’s what I’m in right now and have been in much of my life. I’ve been in a larger house for part of my life and it requires care and attention. Was I happy? Was that home? No. That’s the so-called “American Dream,” to own a home. Yet, I had it and it didn’t make me happy. I have a feeling it was due to other factors; such as circumstances surrounding the ownership of that home I won’t get into here. Mansions? Frankly, size to me doesn’t matter – mansions requires that I have a great deal of money, which I don’t.
So, for me, the size or type of building, most certainly, does not define a home.
Then come the fineries the home comes with – everything from the kitchen dishwasher to the size of the yard, gardens, garage for the houses that can be owned. Right now, I have two hands and a two-basin sink; that’s my dishwasher. If I had my preferences, I’d give my eye teeth for a dishwasher! Seriously, I would. Gardens I can make on the deck of my apartment; I’m just lazy right now and, well, the weather is turning where I am. It’s a bit trickier. But stairs? A garage? A large yard? Oh please!
Definitely not my definition of a home. Definitely not!
Kids? They don’t stay with you forever. Case in point: Mine are grown. So, for me, home is a place of peace, of respite. Now that my kids are all out on their own; one is about to marry and start his own family, I’m beyond happy to be on my own. If there were kids around, they’d better be of the variety to “give back.” That’s right – grandchildren or step children should I remarry.
But the issue of peace and respite for me is an important one for me. When I was married, the first thing my then-husband, a software engineer, would do is not greet me with a kiss or a hug. He wouldn’t even greet me at all. There was a “home office” with his computer for work and he’d INSTANTLY go “back to work” upon his arrival at home. Then, upon dinner being ready, is when I’d be greeted.
“Work stays at work” is now a rule for me; a mantra. If you must work late, fine. But don’t bring it home to a place of respite and peace. THAT is a key part of what a home is. Respite, peace, a place to re-center, to recharge and even to escape.
A home is more than a building. It’s more than the people you surround yourself with but they must love and support you always. And it’s more than where you’re located. But, most important of all? You must be able to find peace, contentment, solitude, love, a sense of being centered; of being present, where you can relax and recharge whether you’re alone or with another who cares for you.
Otherwise, it’s just a building in a place with no sense of connection to anyone or anything and provides nothing back to who lives inside, isn’t it?