Gratitude for my home

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Gratitude can be a great way to change perspective on things. For example my house sometimes feels like a bunch of maintenance, bills, responsibility and ties to a town I’m not sure I want to be living in.  It seems as though there are always dishes that need washed, the grass needs watered and mowed, there is cat hair on the carpet and furniture, and the list goes on and on.  Focusing on that makes me feel drained and trapped.  It makes me resent the things that I feel I need to do or ‘should’ do.  Even reading those last few sentences makes me feel worse.  When I apply gratitude, my whole outlook on it changes.

I have to consciously remember sometimes how much I have to be grateful for about my house.  There are the tall trees that shade my front yard, my fenced-in backyard that is private and spacious with my grass and fire pit and large wooden deck where I like to sneak out for a few minutes of sunshine when I take a break from working.  Inside are my bright, white walls that always seem so clean and cheerful and are home to various pieces of my artwork.

There’s a room for each part of my life.  My office that houses all of my vital business tools like my comfy office chair.  My drum/yoga room where I get to relax and have fun.  The bedroom, the kitchen, dining room and living room.  Each providing places for the important things in my life: rest, cooking and eating yummy things, spending time with those close to me, and doing those introvert things I love like reading, writing or pacing around talking to myself and thinking.

The things in my house reflect my taste, my personality, my history, the places I’ve been.  I am thankful for having places for all of my favorite things.

Then there are my amazing neighbors who are always willing to watch my cats when I travel and check the mail.  Going a little further out are my friends in town.  It’s a sleepy sort of town, but it’s a good community and there are a lot of cool people around.  Going even a little further out are the places nearby that I like to go: the river, the bike trail, the yoga studio, the Magdalena Mountains, the Manzano Mountains and the expansive desert.  I’m surrounded by amazing, gorgeous places.

Things go much beyond the physical aspects of my house too.  I like having a place that is mine, a place that I feel secure, where I make the rules, and where I get to drink hot tea and sit on the couch and read or write with my cat curled up at my legs.  A place that has sheltered me for the last decade of my life, setting the background for challenges, for people that have come and gone from my life, for learning, and working, cooking and cleaning, failures and victories.  It’s my place in the universe, waiting for me when I venture out to explore the world.

Then too, there are the comforts and privileges: hot water, electricity, heating and cooling, a fridge and stove and the fact that I am fortunate to be one of those people on this planet that has a comfortable, safe house.  It’s easy to forget that I really am lucky to have these things.  Although frankly, I don’t like to get caught up in thinking I’m supposed to be grateful for these things when I really just take them for granted.  It’s OK to not be too grateful.  It’s OK to take some things for granted.  The point isn’t to feel guilty about doing that sometimes.

I still hope/plan to move in the not too distant future.  In the meantime, I’m grateful for where I am.  When I do move, I’ll probably be a bit sad to leave but I will be grateful for all of the memories and the time here.  I’ll be grateful for the things I’ve learned from my house: how to fix a toilet, use a drill, replace every possible part on a swamp cooler, fix leaky faucets and the list goes on and on.

These pictures make me think of home

(Click on thumbnails to see a larger version)

Looking back through all of my pictures over the last few years for pictures to go with this post, I realize that I have very few pictures taken at home or of my house.  Those that I do have aren’t really of my house, but are of things like my cats or Hoppy or parts from home improvement projects.  It makes me realize that home really isn’t about the structure.  It’s about the life that happens there.

Gratitude for my house goes further in changing my actions too.  With this sense of appreciation, I feel more inspired to take care of it, to tidy and clean and keep it nice.  Gratitude for my house made me change the title of this post from ‘Gratitude for my house’ to ‘Gratitude for my home’.

You may also be interested in reading about the power of gratitude and daily gratitude

2 Responses

  1. Wonderful! Beautiful photos of cats by the fireplace, and the mountains. Pictures of M Mountain are exactly what make me think of “Home” too!! I can relate to so much of what you write. I am going to miss these desert mountains most of all when we move away… In the spirit of being grateful, I must remember to enjoy the present moment, being mindful that I have had four wonderful years here and that these memories will last forever. At the same time I can look forward to the new adventures coming our way in the near future. Thanks for another excellent article! It is a nice reminder that I also need to remember to practice gratitude during those difficult times looking after everything at home, particularly my toddler and newborn! 😉 🙂

    1. Not that I have experience with such things, but I imagine remembering gratitude for young children makes a big difference. There is probably little in life that can be more stressful than a toddler and a newborn… but also nothing that could be more of a blessing!

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