The Importance of Home, Especially in Times of Transition

June Gardens

Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than any magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.  -Charles Dickens

Countless acquaintances and many friends have asked how the past month has been, and how my family is handling the huge changes we’re facing moving from Europe back to Ohio in the United States. We lived in Prague, Czech Republic, for nearly four years for my husband’s job. During that time, we grew in so many ways as individuals and as a family. We traveled extensively by car (25 countries), we saw as much and absorbed as much and enjoyed as much as we possibly could. It was a unique phase of life, one of opportunity for which we all are grateful. But now that we are back in the States, I find myself thinking on matters of the heart. I thought I’d share about the transition here …

June gardens

Growing up, my family moved all over the US, from the deep south to the northeast and back and around again. I have mixed memories, but try to index back to the positive and consistent things I had: my brother and our dog. My mother coped by yelling; the more we moved, the more frequent the outbursts, unfortunately. My father coped by working; the more we moved, the more he worked, unfortunately. I always vowed I wouldn’t move when I was an adult. I wouldn’t do that to my children. But the longer I’ve lived the more I’ve come to realize a more important factor above whether or not a moving van takes our things to a different location. That most important thing, especially during times of transition, is the importance of HOME.

HOME needs to be a safe place, where we can be ourselves and be accepted for being ourselves, without fear of criticism. HOME isn’t always a place, as in a house, but it is a mentality that can and must be carried throughout hours and days. HOME is a treasure.

A few of my values about the importance of home:

  • I believe in treating each other with kindness and respect.
  • I believe in listening, helping when needed, offering a long hug when someone is hurting.
  • When someone does something we don’t like or appreciate, we don’t lash out, but instead still treat each other with kindness and respect.
  • When we’re hungry or tired or irritable, we share how we feel and take needed space, but we still treat each other with kindness and respect.
  • When we’re angry, we count to ten and use words to help articulate what upsets us, and still treat each other with kindness and respect.

Of course, these are values that are often broken. You can bet that these don’t always work or help, even the mom :), but at least we all know the core value we share at home: that we all are human beings struggling to make our way through life who belong to each other and support each other, and believe in treating each other with kindness and respect.

So, to answer the question: How is the transition going for me and my family?

  • Well, we’ve been living in a hotel room for the last several weeks, and will be elated to soon be in our new (used, of course) house.
  • My sons are keeping their chins up, making friends, acclimating to a much more rigorous school with much more challenging homework and are still smiling … most of the time, and I must add, with the help of a generous dose of basketball.
  • My husband is a saint who packed up the house, sold the cars (both in a very adverse country), and traveled for work to finish up projects all over Europe in the meantime. I love him dearly and deeply. I can’t wait to have him home.
  • The dog and cat have been living in a pet hotel for the past several weeks, and we’ve been visiting them daily for walks and snuggles.
  • And me? Well, I’m ready to have a writing chair and time to sit my bottom in it on a daily basis. My work-in-progress novel is calling. I believe the time and mental space will come, soon. For now, I’m enjoying the US again, immensely.

As with the rest of life, every day is tough and challenging, and people can be cruel. It happens, often. Believe me. But, the transition and move is going well. Moving can solidify a family and home. It is, I believe, for us. I attribute it to a solid foundation of love, built with kindness and respect, that make up a safe place called HOME.

Published by Jennifer Lyn Art

About Jennifer Writer Author Photographer Artist Corporate Marketer Happy Wife & Mom World Traveler Grateful.

10 thoughts on “The Importance of Home, Especially in Times of Transition

  1. The same sense of home is critical in times of other change too, not only physical location or locale. Well said and welcome back stateside!

  2. Hey Hang in there girlie! (You don’t know me but I found your blog while searching about Prague where I took my daughter a few weeks ago! we wanna go back)
    I did the same thing…went from North England back to ….drum roll please…Arkansas. I suffered from Lack-of-sunshine depression (notice I did not say seasonal..tee hee) while in England but did cherish my experiences there…My children where 8 and 5 and one child had developed Juvenile Diabetes while in England..So whole slew of re-adjusting to even the medical system here. I am from Pittsburgh originally so where in OHIO are you? anyhow…and I could write forever but I won’t…We are now back in ATLANTA which I much prefer over Arkansas….My son does not remember much about England but my daughter holds that experience in her heart and made some wonderful friends there…Your children will be the resilient ones probably..You will have some cry days…weeks…Let it go but get outside! plant a garden! play with puppy dog!. before you know it, it will be summer and you and the children can just lay on the grass and watch the clouds and talk about stuff……Wear sunscreen! Home is up to us….”the mom and dad” but especially the MOM and I am proud to say I have been a HOME-MAKER my entire married life. 24 years! Ciao!

    1. Anne, thank you. It sounds like you know just what the situation is, and have great advice to share. Home is up to us — you’re so right. Thank you for stopping by and sharing!

  3. I struggle with this notion of home…. I think it is where you feel you belong, and that definitely changes over our lifetime. It involves having the people you love,if not close then in your heart. It is about caring for those elders who helped you grow. It is about being a force in another’s life.Loving the land you are in and the opportunities you see and appreciate. It is about being in your skin and enjoying that place,that phase, that person you are or who you may become. Where I smile, feel warm and safe or challenged and happy….I guess home is a state of mind more than anything else.
    I’ve lived in one place all my life, didn’t travel to other countries until 7 years ago. Yet my daughters are comfortable being scattered across the globe and manage to stay in touch and part of my life let alone their 90 year old grandpa.Perhaps it is the act of making a life where ever the world brings you, and in this lucky age of instantaneous communication. Cheers. Good luck… I’m sure your home will develop and be full of other places and memories forever.

  4. I cannot even imagine transitioning like this in the middle of the school year or any time for that matter. You’re kicking butt Jennifer!

  5. I so enjoy your posts, Jennifer. You always manage to convey a sense of being grounded, even in the midst of travel or upheaval.

    I particularly love this line: “HOME isn’t always a place, as in a house, but it is a mentality that can and must be carried throughout hours and days.” For me, home is our family (including the dog) and the care we take of each other.

    Good luck with the settling in!

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