And so, after 6 months, we are moving again. Our landlords are returning unexpectedly from overseas and asked us very nicely to move out so they could have their family home back. We asked them not so nicely to pay for everything and they eventually agreed and so here we are, moving again.
Which has got me thinking again about the topic of “home”, which I tried to define in this post. When I wrote it, the house didn’t feel like home at all, and when I got the phone call asking us if we’d consider moving, I thought “Yeah, why not, it’s not like this is our home, we’ll find another house”. And yet in the few weeks since then (yep, we move quickly!) all I seem to have been able to think about is how much that rental house does feel like home now.
I’d say it’s taken me about 6 months to settle in. And by “settle in” I mean get a routine going, feel comfortable going about the activities of daily normal living that make you feel like life is pottering along happily. I’ve got my supermarkets [a- close and cheap] [b- the only one that sells the rolled oats I like] and [c-nice bread and earns us Airpoints]. I’ve figured out which bread to buy, where to get a takeaway coffee (an even more complicated algorithm consisting of options a-e) and where I go to hide on my child-free days to get free internet and do some work. We’re only moving 5 minutes away and so none of that will change, but moving still feels like an upheaval.
And so, when I suddenly felt unexpected pangs of “Oh but this place feels kind of like home now” I asked myself the question WHY? I started with “What will I miss?” Well, the trampoline and the cubby house for the kids for a start. So we’ll buy a trampoline if the kids miss it that much. And we left the world’s best cubby house in Sydney and got over it. We’ll buy/build/create another one. The spa, which we poo-pooed initially as an indulgent luxury, we actually love, as it seems like such an indulgent luxury! Well, there’s a (currently non-functioning) spa at the “new house”, which we’ll ask the landlords to get working. And we’ll have to leave it when we go back to Sydney anyway, so it’s not the be-all and end-all.
So I started to think instead of all the things that annoy me about the house- the chopped-up living space, the smallish kitchen, the loose door handles, the stupid French phrases stencilled on the bedroom walls (which would be wanky even if you were French, and these landlords are not!) The new house has much more living space downstairs and a much nicer flow to it, which will suit us much better. That started to make me feel happier about moving.
We went away over Christmas and coming back to the “old” house, it felt nice when we first walked through the door to be “home” but after a few minutes, I realised it was being back with the convenience and familiarity of our own belongings that felt good. But then I thought it wasn’t about “stuff”….
And so as we gradually make the change to the “new” house, I’m coming to realize that home isn’t about a house or a corner shop or a supermarket or a selection of cafés or a cubby house, although those things help. I think it’s really about being with the security and comfort of those you love- with them, you can make anywhere “home”.
*And yes, I do realize that song is about a guy who doesn’t have a home, well not as I’ve tried to define one, anyway.