“Make yourself at home,” is a message of hospitality from the days when people outside of our households could come for a visit and stay awhile. Now, working from home can turn our houses into offices and virtual-meeting-backdrops that also house (even show) our sleeping spaces. Schooling from home can turn dining rooms into classrooms and leave no meaningful space for meals. Recess at home can take a toll on every family member. And a home that houses every aspect of our lives on a 24 hour a day, seven day a week schedule can cause our sense of home-as-my-haven to disappear.
Remodels, redecorating, and new furniture that supports each of the house-duties happening today are happening at frenzied paces. Waiting two to three months for deliveries of desks, appliances, and specialty furniture is common. Sales of used appliances and furniture are booming because of the new-item delays.
Home is the place memories are made (some good, some not). Home is a space for our lives to happen peacefully (we hope), healthfully (at our best), and joyfully (not that it is a daily musical in which we break into happy singing each hour). Home might mean grandma’s great cooking or pop’s whittling lesson. Home may evoke a sense of joy and wonder, or a sense of dread and avoidance.
Because of these dichotomies, home is being discussed on news-programs and written about in many publications in new ways. Deeper ways; uplifting and hopeful coverage; ideas for making things work; and in concerned tones.
Designer Gabriella Fuller, writing for Elle Décor in December 2020 says: “Our homes became our refuges – and our panic rooms.” The world feels more-full of danger and we want safe places to take refuge from the exterior seen and unseen threats, and from our own panic and concerns. Fuller goes on to say that how we design our spaces can feed our sense of well-being amidst the chaos of the world, and the panic or anxiety or fear or boredom or wanderlust we are feeling.
In the same publication, designer Danielle Colding says “Our homes are our sanctuaries. In the face of an increasingly hostile world, they provide a space to regroup and feed our battered souls.” Yet, recent and centuries-old history proves that homes are not always safe places from the exterior world, or even amidst the walls and people of our houses. Some of our friends, neighbors, and community members dread being at home so many hours a day because of what is happening inside. Being “at-home for safety” is not actually safe in every way for everyone. Schools and community programs are working diligently to fill the gaps of food, safety, access to computers for schooling, and more. In some areas, churches are providing services and in other areas churches are contributing to illness-spreading.
The people and places we turn to for safety may not be the same for each of us. Recognizing this means becoming aware of our own blessings and challenges and being aware of others’ needs and concerns along the way. Even if others don’t accept our offers to deliver groceries or needed items, they know we would. When people offer to help, consider saying “yes” so that you strengthen yourself and your community of support. And, when people need or want help problem solving, remember to listen first, then to offer ideas without any attachment to your ideas being used. Everyone has their own approach and their own unspoken, as well as spoken, needs.
As regular readers know, Nesting and NestingCards® are about doing our best to create safe, meaningful, good-memory-filled, and joyful spaces. I agree with Colding and Fuller “Home is a cause worth fighting for!”
Photo note: Gardening with Dad in my Minnesota youth was a happy time and place. To this day, I enjoy gardening and fresh flowers on my dining table - they are a part of my happy sense of home. Peg's Floral Impressions set make me smile and remember happy times. Floral Impressions by Peg Owens, NestingCards®
Nesting (the blog and NestingCards® the product line) is about the objects and experiences that create a sense of home. Without home, it is difficult to maintain health, find joy, or to be productive. Enjoy the NestingCards series of blogs on your search for and creation of a deep sense of home. Also, enjoy browsing www.NestingCards.com for fun, for gifts, and for joy-spreading possibilities. ~ Jana
NestingCards® is a registered Trademark, United States Patent and Trademark Office.