Day 18? The house.
So I don’t have one.
Not really, no. Nothing is ever that simple. We have an apartment, in a good area, with enough space to create margin for us but not so much that its overwhelming or difficult to clean. We lucked into the place years ago and we already know that we’re going to stay here until we buy a home– if we ever do.
Its that whole pesky millennial student loan debit thang, compounded by the stagnant job market and earnings thang that economists keep tweaking about. And we could leave it there, if we chose. Right sized, right budgeted space.
I am, however, going to take this reflection in a different direction. Living in an apartment is, to a certain extent, already a minimal experience. You can’t change the color on the walls, or the walls themselves. You can’t change the kitchen, or update the bathrooms. All the little and big projects that eat up homeownership are non-existent. You can clutter up the space, no doubt, but you can’t change the space in a lasting way.
Its easier, in many respects, but its also not homey. I don’t find comfort in white walls and tons of blank space. Its not how I was raised, its not what I’m comfortable with. I have several styles I love: French Country, Italian country, Arts and Crafts, Art Deco. None of these are cozy in the hygge sense (and I have thoughts on that too).
We can hang pictures, and we have, along with a few icons. One of the books on my summer reading list is The Little Oratory, so I can figure out how to make a dedicated prayer space in this place. I have thoughts but none of them are coherent. Thing is, the house or apartment or townhouse isn’t a home without a certain atmosphere; without it, you have a showroom or a hotel, but not home.
So what makes the apartment homey? Could be the pillows and blankets, could be the lighting. I hold on to books and certain nostalgic pieces, which isn’t very minimalist in the contemporary sense, but does strike me as very Catholic. We should remember where we came from, we need to remember our ultimate home and destination. Its a weird headspace to be in– finding detachment from possessions while surrounding oneself with beauty and things that will assist in mindfulness and the ultimate goal.