My Word for 2013: Home

I began 2012 living in an RV somewhere in Texas and ended it living in a rental in Pittsburgh. It seems like ages ago that we were wandering around the country, discovering a new adventure every day, but a quick look at the archives reminds me that it was just a few months ago that we gave up our nomadic life in exchange for the keys to a duplex in Squirrel Hill. It is both a little surprising and perfectly fitting, then, that I keep coming back to the ideas of home and resting and breathing for my immediate future.

Living without a permanent address had some interesting and paradoxical effects for me.

On the one hand, I came to see my family as my home. I drew closer to my husband and my two kids, and they to me. That gave me a new sense of freedom, because I know that I can be “at home” anywhere that they are. It also created a new dependency that I hadn’t experienced before; I find I’m much less comfortable when I’m without my people for too long.

On the other hand, the longer we roamed, the more I craved a community to call our own, a physical place with a zip code and mailbox and walls upon which to hang pictures. My family may provide a sense of belonging, but I wanted that family to be part of something larger than the four of us.

And, so, we chose a location we loved and told the United States Post Office that we were home. But, as it turns out, it has been a little harder than I thought it would be to be at home and make a home. We’ve unpacked, but we still live, in many ways, prepared to pack up and move again at a moment’s notice. This is eerily similar to how I felt as a kid, when my mother and I made many moves under the cover of darkness, setting up a series of new homes in between tearful reconciliations. Except my husband is not abusive and my kids have nothing to fear; there is no reason for them not to know the stability of home.

I’m not sure why I’m trying to justify my desire for home. I guess I feel like homemaking flies in the face of many of the values I’ve clung to in recent years. Homemaking requires accumulating some things, which makes me feel guilty and shallow. It also seems frivolous and superficial, and I never again want to be someone whose entire worth – financial or otherwise – is wrapped up in the trappings of a house.

But man, I really want to nest.

And I want to rest. And I want to breathe more slowly than I have for the past couple of years, and I want my kids to breathe more slowly, too. I want them to set down their packs long enough to stretch out their limbs and run free, knowing that everything will be right where they left it once they return. I want them to stop being afraid to settle in, because some of the very best parts of growing up come from believing you’re never going anywhere.

So, my word for 2013 is home.

To me, that means I’m setting my intentions on family and on a place. I’m resolving to rest more, to be more than I do. I’m giving myself permission to feather the nest, and reminding myself that being comfortable in the here and now is a worthy endeavor.

What is your word for 2013?

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  1. daniel says:

    First off, I really like how you have so many links to your other blog posts. It offers proof to your interesting story and journey.

    My “one word” for 2013? I had never given it any thought and will have to do so.
    daniel’s most recent post: Phamily Foto Phriday 12-27-12 or Beatles Week 2012 Day 4 “It’s All Too Much”

    • Miss Britt says:

      I always worry it will be annoying to the reader, but I find so often what I’m writing about today is just building on what I’ve written/experienced in the past!

  2. Megan says:

    It’s wonderful to view every experience you have as a life lesson – and great that you share it.

    My word for 2013? Change.
    Megan’s most recent post: Merry Christmas

  3. Megan says:

    Or maybe Evolution. Yeah, I think I like that better.
    Megan’s most recent post: Merry Christmas

  4. Sheila says:

    I have said this every year for the last five years or so and it’s always bitten me in the ass but seriously, 2013 is going to be my year.

    My word for 2013 is “SELF”.

  5. Liz says:

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with enjoying both nomadic and nesting lives. As humans, we’re built to adapt, which means we can do either, or both.

    My word for 2013 is “focus.”
    Liz’s most recent post: The Next Big Thing: If Juliet’s Father was a Nazi

  6. Naomi says:

    I get what you’re saying about home. Settling, nesting, resting and just being. We are having our own ongoing discussions about this in our own family … yikes.

    My word for 2013? No idea. I need to focus in on that though … so much going on and so many potential words/themes/directions.
    Naomi’s most recent post: Box 53b

  7. Sulagna says:

    My word for 2013…let me think…Yes, it’s “blogging”. :P
    Sulagna’s most recent post: 20 New Year Promises You Should Never Make Your Husband

  8. Momma says:

    Gotta tell you, we’re delighted with our new-to-us home here in Prince Edward County, Ontario! So happy we chose it, but, we too had to feather the nest.
    “I’m not sure why I’m trying to justify …………seems frivolous and superficial” Don’t be so hard on yourself. It isn’t all or nothing.
    I find that this time, we are even less attached to our acroutements. They are, after all, tools to make a house a home. And, yes, most of our ‘stuff’ is recycled, except for upholsered pieces. (don’t wanna take a chance on bringing bed bugs into our home.)
    Love this time and place in our life, but this is “for now”. We both sense there’s more to come. Our poor kids are tearing out their hair because of our adventuresome spirit.
    Can’t think of one word for 2013. Maybe “gratitude”

  9. Karin says:

    Excellent post. We didn’t Roma around the country, but 2012 was filled with ups and downs in our house too.

    The challenges have made me appreciate my family, good friends, and the little things in life.

    Here’s to an excellent 2013 for everyone!

  10. Y’all seem to have a lovely home at that.

    I’m not sure what my word for 2013 will be, but I’m thinking “wellness,” since I spent half of 2012 miserably unhealthy.
    Father Muskrat’s most recent post: happy new year!

  11. Quality. I’m at an age where I don’t need more from myself or anyone else. I need better.
    Nancy at Spinning My Plates’s most recent post: Looking back

  12. Maria says:

    Found your site via NVR Guys and so glad I did.
    Kudos to you Britt! Homesteaders did the same thing, journeyed slow (painfully slow) most had a specific destination in mind but many dropped out along the way to start communities where they found themselves.
    So, maybe you’re a modern pioneer? :-)
    Maria’s most recent post: Head Tilt

  13. [...] love that I began my year of “home” with a family art project that actually ended up on the walls. I love that I can see each of our [...]

  14. sandra says:

    I’ve always liked the idea that having roots, and a place you can really call home, gives people the security to — as the old saying goes — have wings. And there’s nothing at all wrong with being comfortable in that home. :)

  15. Karan says:

    Hi Britt,
    Just found your blog and am enjoying it a lot. I am from Australia and I just wanted to make you aware of a blog here called Down to Earth about home and being a homemaker. It is well worth a look


    Here are some lovely words from Rhonda, the author -
    If you haven’t already discovered the power of your own home you are in for a delightful and beautiful shock. Come closer and let me whisper in your ear, because if everyone knows this, it will cause a revolution. The work you do in your own home, by creating a warm and secure place for yourself and your family to live in, will enrich you and make you a different person.

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