by Nancy Casey
Every day takes a toll on you. You use up calories that have to be replaced in the form of food. Sleep and leisure time are required in order to refresh both your mind and body. If you wear the same clothes day after day, the results aren’t pretty. You must also bathe. You have to keep all your stuff somewhere. You need a place where you feel safe. These are types of things that constitute “home.” It’s the source of your daily rejuvenation.
In an imaginary perfect world, people live in houses that somehow magically provide all these things. But that’s not the way the real world works. You have to provide these things for yourself. Or team up with other people so that you can have them in your life. And you don’t always organize these things inside your living space.
For instance, there are many ways a person is assured of having clean clothes. Perhaps you do laundry in a washer and dryer located next to your bathtub. Maybe you wash your clothes in a creek. Or perhaps someone takes care of all your laundry for you and the way you get clean clothes each day is to open a drawer.
Clothes are only one part of the system you have organized to present yourself to the world. Think of your hair, your teeth, and your fingernails. What else have you organized around yourself so that you appear and feel like a functional human in the world?
What organization does it take to keep yourself properly fed? What parts of the system operate inside your living space? Do parts of staying well-fed take place for you out in public?
What about your stuff? Where do you keep it? How do you find things? When you go somewhere, how do you make sure that you take everything you’ll need with you?
How have you organized your home so that you feel comfortable and safe there? Does that involve certain pieces of furniture? Locks on doors and windows? How do you make your surroundings pleasant to you?
If you share a living space with someone, that involves even more organization. How have you worked out who does what? How do you keep from interfering with each other’s needs and requirements?
Today when you write, describe the pieces of that big system that is “home” for you. Focus on the way it is and the way it works, not on the way you think it ought to be. If there are aspects of your home that are unconventional, this is an opportunity to celebrate your ingenuity and originality.
Criticizing yourself as you describe “home” is absolutely forbidden. If something is lacking, tell what it is and explain how and why you wish it was different. Do not describe it in terms of some failure or another on your part. Instead describe how you are doing your best without it.
When you have finished writing, be sure to put a date a title on the page. Here is an example of what someone could write.
Where does your writing practice figure into your home?
Nancy Casey teaches writing classes at the Recovery Center on Thursdays. Check the calendar for classes and times, or just drop in. All are welcome. She coordinates Recovery Radio, which airs on KRFP 90.3 FM in Moscow, Thursdays at 1:05 PM. Recovery Radio needs on-air and off-air volunteers. Call the Recovery Center 208-883-1045 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.