In the first of my year-end series of musings, I talked about how my 2020 really started a year earlier.
Today, I want to “bring it home” so to speak by asking: What does home look like in 2020?
We’re all used to thinking of home as the place to come back to. The place that’s safe from the storms of life.
When we think of home, we remember the familiar slam of the bedroom door, or that annoyingly loud cuckoo clock hanging on the kitchen wall. You know, the one granny insisted we had to put on display because, well, every home should have one.
We find comfort in returning to a place where we’re not judged. Where we can put our feet up on the coffee table and just binge on whatever our TV remote would click us to and show us.
And as the ancient Roman statesman, lawyer, political theorist and philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero once said: “What is more agreeable than one’s home?”
But what about this year? This stunningly bizarre and still not-quite-done year?
Well, all those things we’ve taken for granted come screeching ever more closely to a halt right there at the core of our senses. Almost like that feeling I got seconds before my car hit the car in front of us (my son and me) back in June!
Oh yes, 2020 was (and still is) just like that. A car wreck.
It’s like everything coming home to roost. And I mean everything!
Work (from home). Calls (at home). Kids (constantly home). Homework (or the sexier term Home-based Learning). Claustrophobia (yours truly). Falls (my mom). Friends (lack of).
Every one of these became like a daily assault on my person over the course of this manic year. Who knew one little pandemic was all it took to make everything endemic? Every sense heightened a million-fold?
I used to think home was my escape until the children came. Which was fine. No complaints. Love ’em (it’s true my sons, really!). But when things got out of hand, which, with a couple of boisterous boys, is a daily affair, you could always get out where the world awaits, no?
Nope. Sorry. Not this year.
This year the world came in instead. Or to be more precise, barged in!
Sharing both physical and mind space with my mom, my wife, my kids. And me.
Into that private sanctuary we call home.
Blurring all lines and making it hard to maintain boundaries. Which was what I always thought home should be. Keeping out that which ought to belong out there.
Not in here.
I know there are many adaptable folks out there who take everything in their stride, even loving it. (Don’t you just hate them?!)
Don’t get me wrong. For sure there are days where I appreciate having everything I need right where I usually meet my needs – in the protection and familiarity of my own home. Heck I’m an introvert after all so of course I should desire this more than most, right?
Not like this. Each time the Zoom call chimes, or the emails come zinging in, or the son has another of his daily meltdowns, I just wanna put on my sneakers and run for my life. Yet I don’t. Of course I don’t.
I take a deep breath.
And I stay.
2020 has truly redefined for me what home means, and not always in a good way.
What about you? What is home to you in 2020?