In my culture on your 21st birthday you get the “key of the door” to your home (usually your family home), and theoretically that means you can come and go as you please, you have freedom!!! Unfortunately, we don’t realise it’s importance or it’s relevance till we get much older. Ireland is a nation of house owners, and good or bad we aspire to become a house owner as young as we can afford to. Although it has become increasingly difficult for young people to get onto the property ladder and rental seems to be the mainstream housing at the moment.
But non the less we all want to have our own home. A place to call our own, the key that opens the door to your peace of mind, your privacy, and your sanity. A place where you can close the door behind you and drop your bag , kick off your shoes , undo your bra and exhale.
Home means different things to different people, and also the meaning changes as we get older. For example, when my children were young my home was a place of madness, a miss mash of coming and going to football matches, music lessons, band rehearsals, kick boxing, dancing and drama as well as uninvited friends for dinner , usually it was my dinner they got. Various music being played all the time and I often referred to my home as being akin to Hueston Station. ( A busy train station in Dublin).
As they got older and left the nest, so to speak , my home became a place where the madness still existed, but only at the weekend. A place to drop in for tea and chats, a place to come to when things went belly up with boyfriends or girlfriends and space was needed before the make-ups were made and of course the odd Sunday dinner. For me it was nice to have quiet times…finally, but I must admit it was boring with nothing or no one to shout at to be quiet or turn the music down.
Now, my large family home has been sold, and I am keen to have a smaller place to call home. A place to hang my hat …..a base, small enough to keep clean and tidy. Big enough to have my friends to stay for weekends, or my grandchildren for sleep overs but that’s it. It’s not important to have “the house”. What is important is a place to call home, not the size or what’s in it, because there will always be love in it. A place where I can kick off my shoes, drop my coat wherever I want, watch TV till the early hours if I choose, drink wine every night with friends if I want .. because this is my home, my place. The door will always be open to my family and friends but it will also be a door I can close when I need to shut out the world.