This is a guest post.
Why when you get back from a vacation does it feel so great to be “home”? How can you have this connection to what is materially a set of walls and roof?
Where you live inevitably and undeniably becomes a major part of your life, so much so that your house almost becomes a family member to you. People’s emotions are tied into the places where they live – even a block of 1,000 uniform flats represents 1,000 unique experiences, each the stage to a different story, and each place a customized space. Whilst some people may love a tailored suit, a home is an experience many times more personalized. Even when we’re not at home, we’re usually investing time and emotional energy to keep that home up and running, and it’s something for which most people will spend almost half their lives paying.
Having a happy relationship with where you live will make a very large difference to your well-being. Your home surrounds you, and so the amount of happiness you can experience if you’re happy with your home is very significant. How can you work on this relationship?
Plants are a medium between humans and our surroundings – whilst they grow, live and die, they are symbiotic with the very soil under your feet. Growing your food means you can live using your own property – a feeling of independence that is becoming increasingly rare in a society that favours fast food and cheap mass-produced solutions. You’ll even save money whilst you watch life spring up thanks to your labor.
The kitchen is the room you can interact the most with. Taking the time to cook decent meals for yourself or your family means your movements around the kitchen will become fluent as you become increasingly in harmony with your surroundings. It’ll get quicker and easier to prepare the same meals as you learn more about how your kitchen works best – the feeling of then cooking in someone else’s kitchen is a quick reminder as to how alien you will otherwise feel. Your relationship with your friends and family will also benefit from this process – taking the time to talk is wonderful.
Envelope yourself in a room’s atmosphere by picking an album which suits the room and sitting in a comfortable chair to read, to write or just to listen. It’s the closest you can be to dancing with your house!
Consider renewable energy. It’s an unsettling fact that the light and energy for your surroundings are harming the environment, and the surge of guilt that many people have when switching on the heating or running a bath can be easily avoided. Small scale renewable energy, whether that’s solar power, a mini wind turbine or a heat pump, means you can generate most or all of your energy at home, and relax knowing you’re not harming future generations.
James works for a solar panels company in the UK, encouraging renewable energy use on a national basis.
Sunflower photo by Nick Ares