“There’s no place like home” repeats Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, tapping her little sparkly red shoes . Here I am in Oz and I’m so aware that home is where I want to be. When it’s raining on a cold Sunday afternoon home is where the hearth is warm and the kettle boils ready for tea. When your feet ache from shopping all day home beckons with the opportunity to rest up on a long sofa. After a wonderful evening with friends my bed invites me to languish cozily under the covers but it’s important to get out.
We are all homing pigeons, each of us stack up memories that revolve around our homes and families. We can be ourselves in the privacy of our own homes. Our kitchens reflect our tastes, our decor reflects our personalities and our lifestyle is reflected in all our interior choices. Homes are unique, intimate and wholly our own space. We can hide from the world, we can rejuvenate, we can rest and recuperate, we can prepare ourselves and gird ourselves for our next challenge.
I enjoy new experiences but love the sound of my key in my own front door and the welcome of familiarity and homely aromas. The known view from the windows and the contents of my cupboards consolidate and reinforce the connection between house, contents and the dweller – me! There really is no place like home. It is hardly questionable that when we are ill or tired we seek our home and loved ones including our pets, childhood meals and cultural comfort foods.
The wizard of Oz is a film where Dorothy had the ability to go home apparently all along – I feel like Dorothy some days – I want to go home, to relax in my family’s company, cook and banter. I often think it would be convenient to tap my heels to travel but life isn’t Hollywood or a fictional book. Maybe my life is more like Paul Young’s song lyric – ‘Wherever I lay my hat that’s my home’?
It’s important to get out…
The challenge, particularly for wheelchair users and carers, is to be versatile, adaptable and keep engaged socially. Social interaction boosts my confidence, boosts my self-esteem and recharges my energy levels. I feel that getting out of the house energizes me, being involved, taking part in activities and joining in is the best therapy. To be occupied and participate within friendship groups or within my community is rewarding, fulfilling and worthwhile.
I enjoy being home but I make an effort to accept invitations, make social arrangements and engage in my local and the wider community because the interaction sustains me and my psyche. I take care of myself by ensuring I get out of the house, then it’s especially good when, like Dorothy, I return home!
Beastie – wherever she lays her head it’s comfortable!