How often have you heard the phrase – home is where the heart? A home is much more than a house. It is a place where we either live with those we love or those we love, visit us in our home. A home is where we feel comfortable, where we feel we belong – a place where we become emotionally attached.
Downsizing your home
If you happen to be downsizing, you may not be able to fit all your furniture into your new home. I heard of a woman who moved into a 2-bedroom villa, in a retirement village who took everything with her from a 4-bedroom home. It was overwhelming. Downsizing can be traumatic as there are things, such as furniture and other belongings we may need to part with – all the things that made the place where you live, a home. There are also decades of memories. Therefore, a disconnection to “home” can happen.
Moving to a new house
When we moved to Toowoomba and bought a new home early 2016 it took a while for me to see the house as home. Yes, I was comfortable, and yes, I was with the person I love, but the emotional connections were missing. My One & Only (O&O) and I had strong connections to our life in Maleny and our home there. Yes, so much to love, the space, the green hills, the countryside, interesting people and shops, cafés and my Princess Chickens. However, we decided to move to a smaller house and block of land and closer to facilities (without the trip down the mountain). Now, we have all the shops, facilities, an entire city on top of the mountain where we live. It was not until the removalist truck drove down our long driveway in Maleny that I felt the pangs of sadness and disconnection. Very soon all our possessions were in the back of a truck. We had a journey ahead to find a new home.
How do we become emotionally attached to our home?
Establishing emotional connections in a new house can take time. We had lived in another house in Toowoomba when I worked in the City on two separate occasions, but we always had our home in Maleny to return to at weekends. I grew up and went to school in Toowoomba, so the familiarity of places and faces were welcoming. My O&O had connections to Toowoomba through friends. Yet, it took a while for us to adjust to the change and settle into our home.
The first year we were busy with renovations. Little by little I felt more emotionally connected to our home. The emotional attachment then intensified due to a holiday. On our return, I realised how good it was to be home! Yes, it took time for us to feel at home, in the place we now call home, a place where our heart is – Toowoomba.
The City of Toowoomba
If you do not live in Toowoomba it is a great place to visit. As you drive up the range to Toowoomba (700 metres above sea level) take notice of the colour and mood of the mountains. These are forever changing. My O&O wrote a book about George Essex Evans, His Life and Family. He then wrote another book that collated all of GEE’s poetry. GEE wrote a poem about Toowoomba titled The Mountain Queen. If you visit Webb Park, east of the CBD, on the escarpment you will find a monument to GEE inscribed with verses of his poetry. On one side you can read the first stanza of his poem about Toowoomba, it reads:
Dark purple, chased with sudden gloom and glory,
Like waves in wild unrest,
Low-wooded billows and steep summits hoary,
Ridge, slope, and mountain crest,
Cease at her feet with faces turned to meet her,
Enthroned, apart, serene
Above her vassal hills whose voices greet her – The Mountain Queen.
Making a house a home
I have all the things I love around me, paintings and pictures on the walls, memorabilia and furniture from decades of my life and my O&O’s. We do not use all the rooms in our home, all the time, however I get much joy from looking around and inhaling the aroma of the room and the memories, mostly when I am dusting! I am sure to do more of this as I get older, that is, walking around and enjoying the memories I bought with me into the place we now call home.
Music is also another important feature of feeling “at home”. There is a connection between music and memory. Music takes us back in time, back to our stored memories. Listening to our favourite music can draw out the memories and connect the past to our present environment.
Other ways you can make a house a home is to buy a few new artefacts, things that you love. It is time to create new memories, to join the old with the new. A home is where we feel comfortable and secure. Once we create a home, that is is where the heart is.