Have you ever been surprised that coming home has not felt like the ‘good to be home’ phrase?
How do you come home from holiday? I’ve been on disastrous holidays where coming home was welcome relief to get out of the damp tent and home to the washing machine, a warm bath and my own bed. Other times the trip away was heaven, purely magical and a real break from the routine of normal daily life. This year the summer when we normally have a break was an unusual one. Due to life events and work projects being pushed into the autumn our intended last-minute holiday became an autumn planned break and the 6 long summer weeks became very empty.
We did go away for a weekend at the in-laws who live near the coast which was refreshing. I don’t know about you but time at the coast and near to the sea refreshes my soul. Do you find that? On the return though I faced the feeling of coming home not feeling like, coming home. After the disappointment of the summer, the constant presence and needs of the kids (which is an extra drain on an introverted parent), I found myself not looking forward to going home and when I did, walking through the door and being hit by all the frustrations.
All the frustrations of where we currently live came flooding in; the renting, the too-small bedrooms for the kids, the thin carpet (that my son fell on and cut his knee on the poking-through gripper rods, not ten minutes after walking through the door – cue the eye-roll). The peeling paint on the bathroom ceiling. The hurricane that had swept through the home in the frantic laundry-washing and packing hours before departure, and the lack of time for cleaning that the summer had afforded me. My exhaustion that had prevented me from wanting to deal with the clutter that had accumulated on all the surfaces.
How do you deal with that? Where do you begin? If money was no object then all of these niggly frustrations could be dealt with. I could buy a bigger house, hire a cleaner, have an exotic holiday in the most beautiful location and hotel. Would that solve my dissatisfaction? I want to think so – but deep down, I’m not so sure.
At any point in having a home, there is always that thing that needs fixing, the room that needs decorating, the space that just doesn’t work for the function it’s intended for. This summer there would always have been the children that spent too much time in front of screens and their presence/fights/requests/chatter when I just wanted to finish that thought.
And there’s the rub, there will always be life circumstances that dictate and influence your decisions and never truly afford you the freedom that you think you want.
So how to get through this? Because I can’t live with feeling irritable by all the frustrations, it spirals into exhaustion. Maybe these steps might help you too if you ever feel this way.
Be kind to yourself. I had a bath. While all the mess was still there. Ignoring the peeling paint on the ceiling. The bags needed unpacking, the house needed cleaning, but I just. couldn’t. deal.
Big breaths, space, time and relaxation.
Then, small steps
I unpacked, I focused only on my bedroom space, cleared the surfaces, changed the linen, went to bed.
Ignoring the frustrations, I could be grateful for the roof over my head, for the children that fill my life with love and joy. For the good times and memories that we did have this summer. That I get be creative, that I have a choice, at least in creativity. That God has the best for me.
I made plans, small creative first steps for when the children go back to school. I thought about some of the frustrations in the home that bother me and the ones that I can actually do something about. I ordered some new straps for the Ercol sofa that I need to fix. I can’t afford the cushion right now but I can get the straps. I made plans for the creative projects that I could attempt around the home during the next season.
I thought about the things about a break that make me feel refreshed; the sea, the colour blue, the slow days, time for reading. And how I could feel more at peace at home, how could I refresh my soul with the senses at home? I printed some photos as magnets to decorate my home with the good times. I wrote this post. I made something. I got creative on Instagram. I picked up books again.
Slowly I came back to thinking about the purpose of home and how time flies away. If we wait for when home is perfect before we do anything, share it with others, make it our own, we will miss out. Because the truth is, it will never be perfect.
Here’s to you, making a home wherever you are – you are doing a great job, loving your people, being creative, living out love. Keep on.
Also as thanks for reading this far, here’s a bonus!
If you’d like to print out some of your good times for decorating your home with, then I have a £5 code for you to use at Lalalab. I used them for printing some Instagram photos as magnets and they look great on my fridge. If you use the code I get credit to my account too so thanks for that 🙂
The code is: PG2559O0 – note that it’s O (letter) 0 (number) on the end of that code there! so confusing I know!
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