As Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz, “there’s no place like home”. L Frank Baum was very right when he wrote this. You cannot beat your own environment with your own belongings and beloved nik-naks. The times that I have been away, whether for a weekend or a week, I have always been relieved to get home.
Before I met my husband, I lived alone for a few years in my own flat. The experience of living alone was lovely. I could do what I wanted when I wanted to. I could spend all day in bed, I could eat in bed, I could walk around naked, I could bath with the door open. I could put music on and relax in the bath with a glass of Lambrusco light, any stronger and I was really quite ill. I could go for a drive at midnight and I could talk to friends to early hours of the morning, then arrive at work the next day after just a few hours sleep. I really should have treasured these years whilst I was living them. Why didn’t I? I was too busy worrying about what might not happen. The worrying was for nothing as a few years later I met my husband and now have my children that I worried I would never have.
The silence of my flat and the knowledge that it was up to me if I read all evening or put the soaps on. I went through months of leaving the television off, and worked my way through the works of Dean Koontz and Stephen King, laying on my beloved red settee which now lives outside in our cold summerhouse covered in kids toys.
My life has completely changed now with our three-bed semi-detached house, a husband, two kids, and a garden. If you are reading this and right now live alone, treasure it, as all too soon you meet a man that completely changes your world. Then your life becomes forever busy and your time is not your own. You are suddenly not only doing your own washing but washing little clothes too and deciding on cloth or disposable nappies. (Somewhere I have a photo of my cloth nappies on the washing line but that was in 2015 and I can’t find it right now.)
Your relationship takes on a whole new phase as you are now mummy and daddy. You long for bedtime as this is the only time when the house is really quiet. There may still be times that you bath with the door open if you forget to lock it and a child walks in. However, you will often now find that you have an audience when using the toilet. If I want to be guaranteed no audience, I know I have to go to the bathroom and lock the door. The downstairs toilet does not lock and the kids will often just walk in. Even for things like wanting toast. They can’t just wait until I am finished.
Unless your children enjoy tidying up, your house changes from organised mess to complete mess. I cannot keep up with them, everywhere I look there are abandoned toys. The number of times we have asked them to tidy after themselves. They don’t and why should they? They are 5 and 7 and they have mummy to do it for them. We need to either move house, build an extension, or just accept this is it. There is no space to accommodate everything and I am useless at parting with old toys especially if they are still played with occasionally. I dream of having a playroom where we could put it all.
Despite the mess and noise though, I would not change it. This house is our mess, our clutter. It is our home, not a palace. I’m sat typing this and I should be tidying the kitchen, the little voice in my head is telling me to get my priorities right. The truth is I could spend my day tidying, but by bedtime there will be a mess again. The postman does not help when he delivers junk mail that then needs to be shredded or looked at. That’s in the “will look at later pile”, really not good.
There are afternoons when I work from home and I am glad I can. Despite everything, my home is my happy place. The times when I am here alone and can appreciate the silence and everything around me. My stuff, my belongings, I am grateful for what I have got. Plus working from home means my kettle and the tea and coffee are right in front of me and I don’t get disturbed so I can be productive which is a good feeling.
So in the words of Roman Philosopher, Pliny the Elder, “Home is where the heart is” meaning that a person’s love, affection, and fond memories will be tied to the place that they live. Or Elvis Presley’s well-known song and version of home.
This was in response to Lorna’s word prompt of Home on her blog Gin and Lemonade.