Home. We are learning that during a pandemic, "home" takes on a different meaning.
In pre-COVID times, home was a base from which to head out into and return from the world each day. A landing pad, a space to keep all our stuff, a place to gather with friends and family. And at present, instead of all that coming and going and gathering and dispersing, we mostly...just stay home.
Fundamentally, this pandemic has shown many of us just how lucky we are to even have a home to isolate in. It is a privilege to be able to keep ourselves and our loved ones separately and safely housed.
From a more functional point of view, many of us are getting creative and repurposing areas of our homes as we find somewhere to work, to exercise, to practice, to learn, to BE ALONE... All of this helps us see our homes in new light, and helps refine how we live in them.
But the simple act of staying home can brings its own strains. I posted the below quote on my personal FB account:
As one of the sicker ones, with loved ones who are high risk and friends working in healthcare, this is a beautiful sentiment to me. But when I shared it, a single friend of mine from the UK replied: “Unless you live alone. Then it doesn’t feel like love.” His comment highlights that staying home is a connector for some of us as we (mostly!) enjoy more time with our families. But it can be a disconnector for many who live on their own. So "staying home" is a sanctuary and a strain, sometimes both at once.
For me, as for many, this time has brought both challenges and gifts. I fluctuate between anxious thoughts about the future, gnashing my teeth to get back to an active life and sinking deeper into the comfort of simple, uninterrupted daily domesticity.
Through my worried moments, I have re-discovered the magical art of deep breathing - what a simple but amazing tool we own! I have learned the delight of leaving care packages on people’s doorsteps to show love. I can confirm that Marie Kondo may be onto something with minimizing items in your house that don’t bring you joy. (If I have to put the same thing away OVER and OVER again, at least it can bring me JOY!). Then again…