“Home is where the heart is.”
– “Home Sweet Home” –
“There is no place like home.”
These familiar phrases all refer to it, but what is home? To everyone it has a different definition. Some people have fond memories of home, others don’t, and some people have no place to call home. While researching and working this past month on the Human Trafficking article and meeting with Maureen about her work with the homeless population, I have really pondered the definition of home. It isn’t easy to nail down. Those girls trapped in the life of trafficking think they have a home, and those experiencing homelessness make their home where they can. I am very fortunate to have been raised in a happy, positive home, but I realize that isn’t the case for many people. If you don’t have fond memories of home – maybe you can work to replace them with some new ones. Start by defining what home is to you.
For me, here are some key elements to defining home.
1- It doesn’t have to be a physical structure. It is a mindset, and that is how those experiencing homelessness can still have a home.
2- It involves being loved. You may have spouse, children, pets, at your home that love you. If you live alone – you can still be loved by accepting and loving yourself.
3- It is a safe place – where you can vent, cry, laugh, etc. with no fear of being judged. Some people my not have this within their own family, but may have this with friends or co-workers.
4- It is a place where you are needed. When I had three children at home, I knew I was needed for an array of activities. I cooked, cleaned, chauffeured, taught, cheered, and loved on a regular basis. Now that they are all grown, I still want to feel needed. I still do many of those same things, though it is much easier to do for two.
5- Home should cause you to pause and enjoy life. I look back on the time I spent raising my children and realize I should have paused and taken in “home” more often. I should have appreciated the chaos of 3 children in 3 different sports on 6 teams, the times that milk was spilt and the many books I read at night – sometimes stopping too early. Those times are just memories now and I urge you to pause and mentally take a picture of these moments for they will be over before you know it.
There are many more elements that can be used to define home, but I encourage you to pick one element that you choose to work on in YOUR home and spend time this month focusing on it. It may be working with one of the elements listed above, or it could be a physical project you want to accomplish. Perhaps you need a closet cleaned out, some flowers planted, or the windows cleaned. Maybe it involves spending time with your children or fur babies. Go outside and spend some extra time on the swings; go to a park or toss the ball a little longer. Maybe you want to bake some cookies for a neighbor or just take some time to walk over and say hello. There are many simple ways that you can Go MAD (Make A Difference) at home this month. Pick one and do it!!
Please share some ways that you went MAD at home this month by posting to our Facebook page or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.