things we inherit



there are all kinds of things we inherit for our homes: a table from a grandmother; a chest-of-drawers from an aunt; a set of old chairs from a friend who is moving across the country. these are all tangible, visible things. there are also the things we inherit for our homes that are not so tangible-- the belief that there should never be an unlit wick on a candle (from my mother), or the notion that there should not be reading materials in the bathroom (from my grandmother)-- many benign intangible beliefs about home keeping that we can decide to keep or to dispel.

but sometimes we inherit intangible beliefs from our families that really affect our ideas about our own home keeping in ways that are not so benign. i have a friend with a really nice home-- a home that represents his interests and his activities-- it is comfortable and nice and fun to be in. yet he has the sense that it is a mess-- a sense that comes from his upbringing-- that his work and hobbies spread out over the dining room make it a mess and that somehow he is not as good at home keeping because of it. when he had people over for new year's eve--however-- the projects were put away and his dining room was beautiful and ready for company. so clearly he is doing well in the home keeping department-- making his space work for his life's different activities on different days.

it is important to separate those intangible beliefs we inherit from the way that we really live-- to have faith that we can find our own comfortable process with home keeping-- and that it can be really positive and good-- even though it might be different from that of our parents.

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