Today I actually managed to take a shower and put away the clean dishes. Also, I get bonus points for ALSO washing the dirty dishes. I didn’t take out a bag of trash yet, but there’s still time. Right? Our homes can so easily turn into representations of our failures, one dirty cup and molding apple at a time, especially when we’re depressed or (hypo)manic. We can become a wee bit housebound. Perhaps arrange our lives so we hardly ever leave the house. So let’s talk about loving life at home. Is it possible?
Here. Watch this for a moment and then continue to listen to it while you read:
Loving life at home is DEFINITELY possible.
Homelife can be nurturing and supportive. When you’re home, you can feel safe and comfortable. You can even feel, sometimes, cozy, delighted, and loved – even if you live alone. The trick is knowing what makes you feel safe, comfortable, cozy, delighted, and loved – and then arranging your life so you are surrounded by those things.
For me, I have four designated shelves just for different types of instant coffee powders. I have a cupboard for different hot chocolate mixes. I keep my slippers in a bin by my computer desk. I have a window that looks out at my garden. I eat dinner at home with my family several times a week. I keep sheet music by my piano and easy-to-heat frozen dinners in my freezer. I have a quiet room filled with books and I light candles and sit in a rocking chair in there. I keep a basket full of blankets by my couch.
These are some of the many things that make me feel safe and comfortable and loved at home.
So what are the things that comfort and delight you?
Let go of any social expectations. Do you like funny pictures of derpy bears? Do you like rag rugs? Disney video cassettes? Loud classical music? Fidget toys? Juggling balls? Origami paper? Office supplies? Writing desks? Make sure that you’re prioritizing the things that make you feel nice.
Then prioritize finding them in your home and then putting them somewhere where they are convenient to use. If you don’t have them, acquire them at a price point that is comfortable for you. You’re creative. You can figure it out.
The point is, if juggling balls make you happy, they’re important. Your happiness is important. Put some juggling balls on your computer desk or by the desk or by your bed (or in all three places!) and juggle to your heart’s content.
If you don’t know what delights you, investigation is in order.
A few years ago, I had a wellness coach. She asked me what I liked. Simple question, right?
I had no answers.
I had spent so much of my time honoring the likes and preferences of others that I hadn’t figured out what my likes even were.
It took me a few months. I thumb-tacked a list on my wall: Things I Like. Over the next weeks and months, I slowly added things to it.
- I like to watch squirrels leaping from branch to branch. They’re funny.
- I like campfire songs.
- I like slapstick humor.
- I like little knit dresses. and sandals and boots.
- I like drinking coffee in the morning and listening to bird song.
- I like to play nature sounds in my house.
It was disheartening and illuminating how long it took to figure these things out.
Launch your investigation.
You won’t be loving life at home if you don’t know what you like. Thumbtack your own list to the wall. Then just be aware. Notice when you feel relaxed, rejuvenated, inspired, amused, nurtured, or contented. These are the things you like. Write them down.
Then make it easy for those things to happen. Create opportunities. Put objects in convenient places for their use. And remind yourself of the importance of prioritizing these pleasures. You need to fill up your well of reserves before you can be of use to anyone else. Being selfish and taking care of yourself is the only rational thing to do if you want to be of service to others.
Tell me in the comments what you discover.
You might have to come back later, once you’ve figured out a few things that you like. Your list of things you like might be helpful to someone else who needs ideas. You might inspire me when I need a little bit of extra energy to get going. We need to help our community, and we need to help ourselves. This is how we get ahead. This is how we improve our experience of life little by little.
If you know what you like and prioritize it already, I am so proud of you. Share your methods with the rest of us. If you have no idea where to start, ask in the comments. Maybe we can help you try some new ideas. In any event, let’s brainstorm together. We need it, we deserve it, and so do our families and communities deserve it – because our gifts and personalities are invaluable to the world.