Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been travelling away from home a lot recently, maybe it’s because we’re moving to a new house soon, who knows. But over the last few days I’ve been in a reflective mood considering what is it that makes a house a home? I always want to add value to your life with my blog posts so I generally stick to sharing information, tips and recipes. But I think, and hopefully you’ll agree, sometimes it’s helpful to stop doing and take sometime out to reflect so we can move forward in a more positive direction.
Hopefully this blog post will inspire you reflect on your own home but if that’s not where you’re at right now, I hope you just enjoy reading my own personal reflections on this subject.
“Wherever I lay my hat – that’s my home”
This was the attitude I used to have towards a house. If my stuff was there it made it my home. It was a place to sleep, wash, store belongings and sometimes (but probably not enough) relax. I didn’t spend a huge amount of time at home as I was always out being ‘busy’. But I did take pride in my house, I kept it clean, tidy, organised. When I bought my first flat I took great care and pride choosing the things I thought a home should have. I decorated it the way I thought a home should be decorated and made it functional for me. I knew how lucky I was to have somewhere of my own to call ‘home’, but in retrospect, I don’t think it every truly felt like home.
Two things changed my view of a house and home:
- I met someone who taught me about love, passion and being myself
- I developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
“Home is where the heart is”
Meeting the man who is now my fiancé was a huge wake-up call to the fact that I didn’t really know who I was or what I wanted. I’d spent most of my teenage years and 20s trying to please others and live up to expectations. But now here was someone who loved me for me – faults and all – and who pushed me not only to find, but to live the life I wanted. Together we bought a new flat and invested time, energy, sweat, tears and probably some blood doing it up to reflect the people we are and the life we want to live. The furniture is mostly items we’ve bought and upcycled ourselves, we’ve put in a new kitchen and bathrooms, we’ve chosen paint colours and we’ve added our own personal touches which give it real character (I think!) There have been disagreements and arguments along the way but it’s all been worth it. Together we’ve built a home filled with heart.
“There’s no place like home”
My Chronic Fatigue Syndrome made it, at times, difficult for me to leave the house as I was terrified of not having the energy to get back. I became a real homebody because I felt safest at home. And even though I spent longer at home I started to appreciate all the little creature comforts and learnt how to truly relax at home.
I also learnt to let go of my need to have everything ‘perfect’, ‘clean’ and ‘in-order’. I simply didn’t have the energy to keep on top of it all and it was too much to ask my partner to do it all. It was probably partly that perfectionism which triggered my CFS but that’s another story!
“Home is not a place, it’s a feeling”
More recently I’ve started to let go of a lot of the physical possessions I’d been holding on to – see more about that in this post ‘can less give you more’. Now more than ever I realise that a home is built from the love and dreams you create inside it, not the physical items that fill it. I love the home we live in now because it really is a home. It reflects our personality and brings me joy. Now we just need to pack up those feelings, bottle the love and bubble wrap the dreams to make our new house our home.
Watch this space as I’m sure I’ll be sharing more the move and creating our new home!