Daily Archives: August 17, 2010

All things are relative, it would seem.

I do not consider myself to be particularly domesticated, or particularly tidy. So, it’s been a bit of a surprise to discover my landlady considers me a paragon of virtue in these departments!

Most of the four and a half decades of my life have been spent in circumstances where almost every thing I did or didn’t do domestically was commented on, or criticised.. at both ends of the domestic scale. There’s rarely been any moderation! I’ve lived with people who considered me excessively domesticated, and who were forever telling me to sit down and relax, I’ve lived with more people who have considered me a complete slattern, and would re-do anything I’d done. I particularly recall a period of time when what I did in the way of household cleaning was checked up on, as it was doubted I could be cleaning “properly” in the time I was spending on it, and my reputation had, apparently, gone before me.

It has, I’m afraid, made me hyper-sensitive to anything that may be construed as criticism of how I tackle domestic tasks… it’s not something I like about myself, and it is something I try to retain a reasonable perspective about, and at times, I fail. It’s led to several incidents of Bother this year. The Great Personality Clash of the past year started over an incident of telling me how things “should” be done…

For me, one of the  joys of living on my own has been the pottering around in my own space, being as domesticated or undomesticated as I please. Creating my own home, for the first time since my early 20s is being a real joy.It’s been a very big part of what has helped… it’s helped me to realise that what I needed most of all was a place to call home, not just somewhere I was living for a time, not somewhere I was sitting lightly to, ready to move on to the next thing, or place, but somewhere where I belonged. Not somewhere where I was creating a safe space for other people, but somewhere where I was creating a safe space for me.  Because, so often over the last twenty years the two haven’t gone together. In creating safe environments for others, I had failed myself.

It’s meant I’ve been deeply possessive of my physical home for a spell… I’ve not wanted to let other people into my space. Either mentally, emotionally, or physically!! Something about not being able to be at home to other people until I was home to myself… which has only really begun happening in the last month or so.

So, now I need to start the next step of letting other people across the threshold…