Sometimes I hear my clients talk about wishing they could go home again. What they mean by going home can mean many things. For some women, the home they long for is their childhood family home: a place of comfort, safety and without the cares of adult life. Of course, for many people, their childhood home was not warm, loving or safe. For them, a sense of home was created later, well after leaving their family home. Home can be a place you lived for many years or decades, a place in a comfortable or exciting geographic area and usually a home shared with loved ones. For most people, home means a place where they have created a wonderful group of friends or have family members they care about.
We may leave the place we feel most at home for many reasons: a new job opportunity, retirement, to be closer to adult children and grandchildren, downsizing, a partner’s health needs or just because we want a change. The older we are, the more difficult it seems to be to establish ourselves in a new location, feel settled in a new living situation and especially, to make new meaningful friendships. It is not uncommon for that process to take up to two years.
Sometimes women miss their old life, their old friends and their old home environment so much they seriously contemplate moving back. But can we ever really go home again? There may be enough there when you return that you get to experience “home” again, at least in terms of geography, weather, familiarity, and comfort with the people and stores and businesses—those that have not changed. Of course, the longer we are away, the more things have changed in our absence. As the saying goes, you can never step into the same river twice.
The return may be very comforting or extremely disappointing. Sometimes we return to a place we really felt at home only to find that the new place we now live has become where we feel at home without us having noticed. I do believe that we can create a sense of home in a new place, but it takes effort and consciousness and intention. We must work at it. Our new home will never feel the same as our old home and our new friends can never replace our old friends., but home is as much a feeling as it is a place. We all want to feel a sense of being at home no matter what our age is or where we live. Let’s talk about our feelings about home.
- What was the place and when was the time in your life when you felt most at home?
- What is the biggest move you have made and what was that experience like? How long did it take you to feel at home in your new life?
- Do you feel a sense of home where you are currently living? Is there anything that would make your current situation feel more like home?
- Talk about what makes an area or house feel like home to you. How do you create a feeling of home?
- Is there a place to which you wish you could return that you considered home? What do you think it would be like if you returned? Do you think you can ever really go home again?