A House vs a Home
What all makes a home?
Thoughts on staying home for 35% of the last 52 weeks.
Hey there! This is Week 49 of my blog series where I keep myself accountable by keeping an online journal of sorts. You can read the beginning of this story — Why I quit my job to study, volunteer and travel.
During the last week, mom was supposed to attend the Vipassana meditation course that I had cajoled her into. However, early yesterday morning I got a call from her informing me of her ill health. We rushed to Bangalore (from Mysore, a 4 hour drive) and quickly took her to the ER.
After a few medications and a lot of tests, the hospital announced her fit to go back home. Phew, it was nothing serious. Dad and I spent a lot of time bonding and learning about each other during the 3 days mom was away. But it was only today that I realized that I had spent the most amount of time at home in the last 7 years!
That meant a blog post of what home really means.
1. Satisfaction / Food and Beverage —
Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory famously says that the best way to make someone feel better is to give them a hot beverage.
The aroma of coffee is something that I (and a lot of Indians) wake up to and have woken up to ever since I can remember. It is a ritual in itself. Sipping a hot beverage (coffee in our case), while we organize our thoughts, feel the warmth of the cup transfer on-to our hands while taking it all in, moment by moment. It is almost meditative.
I think a home is one where a hot beverage is readily available or the ingredients for it can be found in a moment’s notice.
But will just a brew suffice?
Of course not!
It is about the brews AND the munchies :)
By extension, a home is one where all three meals are made and wait for you on a regular basis. Whether you ask for it or not. I know my mom has been doing it every since I was born, for the last 27 years without a break.
3 meals a day, a different dish every day. No public or earned leaves. Let us take a moment to be grateful to these lovely angels that guide us through each and every moment of our lives. ❤ you Mom and Dad! (Writing this after having a huge blow out with her is extremely tough xD )
Brews and munchies. One cannot exist without the the other. They complete each other. If you can cook and eat/drink what ever you want then you are in a complete home :)
After having a homely dinner, I can safely say that nothing is quite as satisfying as a well cooked meal.
2. Feelings / People and Emotions —
There’s no point living in en empty castle. Is there? Think about it.
Maybe you’re recluse. But do you wanna stay away from EVERYone? Really?
I would rather stay in a small house with my favorite people rather than in the best house with no people. Operating word, “house”.
People, not ordinary people but family make a home. The funny thing is, if you spend enough time with anyone (and you’re not an idiot) they become family. I can vouch for this because I’ve been the recipient of immeasurable hospitality in the homes of people in Mumbai when I couch-surfed at 2 of my friends’ places during a 3 week stint of my gap year.
These are people I already know from a month long mountaineering course but letting me stay for 3 weeks? Now that is insane. But it was true. We warmed up to each other, had long meaningful conversations, cooked together and learned about each other’s perspectives and lives.
The same goes for our room-mates. We either absolutely love them or we loathe them. Remember, these are extreme emotions that we reserve for those closest to us. Ergo, they become our family ❤ I know I’ve met some of the most amazing people in my life because I lived with them. From giving me immense food for thought, teaching me how to play the guitar, get over my fears and embrace the power of equity investing it is fair to say that a lot is owed to my roomies!
Last but definitely not the least, our actual families! We reserve our peaks and troughs (emotionally) for them but that doesn’t mean we love them any less. A “Good Morning, Darling” or “Your clothes are all washed, please keep them inside.” goes a really long way. With people always comes emotions. Our emotions are like colors, they’re as varied as the spectrum of colors. The people in our home will show us different shades as progress through life with them. It will make sense to remember that we want them in our lives because of who they are and what emotions they portray.
People and all of their craziness makes a home!
3. Energy / Song & Dance —
You decide your home’s energy.
If you’re anything like me, your place will be buzzing with music 24/7. No? Really? Wow. Maybe skip to the next point then?
If you’ve not skipped to the next point, I’m glad. (High five!)
I cannot work, study, read or hang out without the sound of the beat. Music is an important aspect of my home’s personality. It’s nothing fancy but my Bose SoundLink III’s do a pretty decent job when hooked on to my laptop. We’ve had a few parties here because what is music without dance right?
Dim the lights, turn up the volume and let the drinks flow! It’s party time! :) Which means,home is one where we can regulate its energy by regulating the music! ;)
4. Warmth / Person or Book —
Have you heard yourself saying, “I can’t describe the feeling. But it feels like coming home.”
That emotion or feeling is warmth. It’s warm, fuzzy, sustains forever and never-ever goes away. So familiar, it comes to us every time we think of going home, book tickets or even meet our favorite people. Warmth is the reason I used to come back home every weekend for almost all of the 156 weeks that I worked at Bangalore.
Our source of warmth can be a person, an animal or even a fictional charecter from a book / TV Show. We chase it, we love it, we can’t live without it.
Your mom’s look when you see her after a few weeks away from home. That hug from your lover after not being able to be in touch during travel. Your dad’s eyes when he’s bidding you goodbye at the railway station or the airport. These are classical examples of warmth.
Our home is our happy place. It is our source of warmth. From our family, our love, animals and of course our library! ❤
5. Freedom —
I’ve intentionally left this one open. Why? I’m glad you asked.
I’ve tried to make a list of all the pivotal aspects that aid in the home transformation. But it is very likely that I have missed one or a couple of points. This space is for you to fill that up for yourself.
Maybe I missed the fact that you need a huge fucking window and have a tonne of natural light? Your own bat cave? A place to park your convertible Ferrari? A bean bag? An entertainment or a study? A huge garden with 4 golden retrievers?
The interesting intersection for all of these things are that they’re YOURS! They help you BE more of YOURSELF. No pretending, no fishing for likes or follows. This is you at your authentic best.
Who you are when nobody is watching.
Realized how lucky I am to have such a wonderful home! Gratitude.
Only 3 more weeks to the 52 weeks and I would have completed writing my year of the blog.
Here is what all I did this week —
- Continued my Vipassana practice of 2 hours a day.
- Ended up spending today in the hospital due to a minor family emergency. Don’t worry, everything is fine. STOP FREAKING OUT. OKAY? Ok. Okay, cool.
- Finished my first week of remote work from Mysore. While at my TI stint, I craved fluidity, here I crave the structure that a Fortune 500 Company provides. Guess the sweet spot is in achieving the right balance.
- Got a tonne of feedback on how to make The Passion People Podcast better. Sat down and wrote it because writing things makes them clear.
- Published Episode 6 of The Passion People Podcast, I really like it. Maybe you will too?
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Follow me on this journey on self discovery and know what happens!