Creating a Home

A friend who has been through many moves once
told me that, as a kid, she could not feel settled in a new place until she had
arranged her room exactly the way she wanted it. That process of establishing her
“habitat” was a necessary and crucial ritual of every move. Her room had to be
a secure place, a refuge, a safe haven where she could retreat and feel stable
in the midst of all the change.
Physical environment is an important dimension of
home. Many of us tend to associate feeling at home with being comfortable and
safe in our immediate surroundings. Particularly when we have to deal with
change and transition, having a stable – physical – home where we can relax and
be ourselves is a valuable anchoring mechanism.
I am thinking of all that now that finally we have
found a place to live – that Perfect-Enough Home that has struggled to fulfil
all the assorted requirements I mentioned in one of my previous posts. That
house will technically be ours as of early summer and I want to make sure that it
will be as much of a home as possible – for all of us, but especially for the
children. They will go through enough change in their little lives – the fist time
they have ever had to go through that kind of change – and I want to provide them
with that safe haven my friend talked about; that “room of their own” that is
familiar and comfortable and stable.
It’s not just for the children that I want to do this.
Our own lives will also be uprooted and most likely chaotic and hectic for a
while; having that sheltered place where we can retire and find some peace and
a sense of balance will be essential. Even if we will only be there two to three
years (that’s how long our contract runs), it has to be a real home. There is a
bit of a purely selfish aspect to it too. I’m the type who struggles with
feeling at home anywhere and I know I’m going to have a hard time with this
move. I’m just trying to make my life a little easier.
So creating this home is a crucial process for me, but
it is also a process I am going to thoroughly enjoy. As in the home search, here,
too I have certain basic parameters. I want our living area to be comfortable
and cosy so that we are able to relax there as a family, but I also want it to
be spacious and welcoming so that we can have friends over. I want to give the
kids a lot of freedom to decorate their rooms and play areas so that they like
being there. I want my office to be my writing sanctuary. I am expecting many
guests, so I would like a guest room that is inviting and comfy. Finally, I think
that building familiarity and continuity into this new home will be important
for all of us, so I will try to “transport” elements from our current
home, both literally and in terms of atmosphere.
While the craziness of packing and moving is still a
few weeks away, I am enjoying doing the research, reading interior design
magazines and books, perusing websites and checking out stores. I have enlisted
the help of some good friends with great taste and more experience than me.
This should be fun.
Is creating home important to you? How do you go about doing that? Is it mostly fun or duty?

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