Assay: The first line in Gertrude Stein’s Paris France is “Paris, France is exciting and peaceful.” For a moment, I was surprised by this pairing of words — but then I realized, it’s not really surprising. Paris is exciting and peaceful.
I’d been thinking along these lines about my home (no surprise, I spend a lot of time thinking about home these days, while I’m working on my next book, Happier at Home). I have what seem to be, at first, paradoxical desires for my home.
My home should calm me, and energize me. It should be a comforting, quiet refuge and a place of excitement and possibility. It should call to my mind the past, the present, and the future. It should be a snuggery of privacy and reflection, but also a gathering place that strengthens my engagement with other people. By making me feel safe, it should embolden me to take risks. I want a feeling of home so strong that no matter where I go, I take that feeling with me; at the same time, I want to find adventure without leaving my apartment. My home should suit me, and also suit my husband and daughters. But as I considered this list, I saw that these weren’t, in fact, contradictory desires. I want my home to be exciting and peaceful.
To think that a home must be either exciting or peaceful is a false choice. (It’s surprisingly easy to fall into false choices, I’ve realized.)
How about you? If you had to sum it up in a few adjectives, what kind of home do you want to create?
* There’s all sorts of great material on My Life Scoop — “tips for a connected lifestyle.” And some of my favorite bloggers post there, too.