Last week, I happened upon unexpected traffic on my way to the gym. Three lanes were being funneled into one, bringing every vehicle to a dead stop. I was in the middle of returning a Marco Polo message to a friend (I may have been rambling) when a successive slamming of metal caused me to look in my rearview mirror. A work van was squealing toward me, swerving hard to avoid colliding with my rear end. There was nowhere for me to go, and all I could do was brace myself and hope for the best.
Fortunately, I was spared. I took a deep breath. But a deep breath couldn’t undo those few seconds of tense anticipation. I was so unsettled my bones ached. The Barre class I’d been looking forward to didn’t matter anymore. As soon as I could manage, I made a U-turn and headed home, taking notice that, had the work van not missed me, I would have been the fifth vehicle in a nasty pileup.
My instinct to return home surprised me. We were renovating bathrooms, and I had tolerated dust and drop cloths, toilets and tubs in places they do not belong, ladders and contractors, and all manner of noise for weeks. Being at home and working from home had been challenging, but despite the temporary disorder, it was still home.
This was an important realization, because I have a complicated relationship with home, even when it’s in order. I love my home, no question. The rooms are situated and styled for both beauty and utility. Each room has an intentional palette suited to accommodate the room’s purpose. The furniture—my great grandma’s writing desk upstairs, the repurposed table in the foyer that used to be a sideboard, my standing desk that was rescued from an office dumpster by a friend who knew I’d use it—has history or story, form and function. Home has all my things, all my comforts, all my interests, each of them in order. Home has all my favorite people. Home is endearing.
But home is also where tasks cycle through states of finished and unfinished by the hour…Finish reading here.