Dreams of serenity and contentment at home

Published 8:51 am Monday, August 25, 2008

One of the headlines in a story about Jennifer Aniston in Good Housekeeping was “Transform your home into your personal sanctuary.”

HGTV is always transforming rooms into personal sanctuaries. According to the magazines and TV shows, your home is supposed to reflect who you are and be a place of restfulness and quietness. I read the stories and make plans for my personal sanctuary and anticipate the moment I can relax in that sanctuary.

I would like my home to be a place of restfulness and quietness. I would like to transform my home into my personal sanctuary. The problem is that I live with a husband and a dog, and I don’t think Sambo has any idea that my home is supposed to be restful and peaceful. I want to buy into the headlines. I want to come home to a house that is tranquil and serene.

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However, most of the time I come home to a house where there is much work to be done. I think tranquility and serenity takes work. Nowhere in our magazines does it mention all the cleaning you need to do to get to the tranquil and serene stage.

My husband might feel home is tranquil and serene. He has no problem heading to the golf course after work and heading to the couch after the golf course. It is not that he is lazy or ignoring our house. He just doesn’t see all the work that I see that needs to be done. He sees the clutter and clears the clutter, but I see what is underneath the clutter. He can let it go and relax.

I have friends that have similar dreams of serenity and contentment. Unfortunately they have a hard time getting to the serenity when there is so much work to be done. They could learn a lot from other certain people in their lives.

I always have good intentions when I finally see my home after a long day of work. I always plan on sitting quietly with soft music playing in the background and a good book in my hand. Or I may see myself meditating in quietness and visualizing soft clouds floating through the sky while I am sitting by a calm lake. I see myself so deep in meditation that I imagine the breeze on my cheeks as I calmly wallow in peace. And then I walk in my door.

I may sit down. First I have to brush the dog hair out of my way. As I sit Sambo needs my attention. He is saying “Mom, Mom, will you play with me?” My gaze lingers over the white fluffy floor where Sam has taken off his coat. Not exactly the fluffy clouds I had dreamed of. Yes, it is time to get Mr. French, my Roomba, out. Then I glance at the countertops and see that they need wiping. As I am glancing at the countertops that need wiping, my gaze lingers on the pile of mail that needs to be dealt with. The list goes on and the thought of tranquility has walked out the door in search of someone else that actually believes the magazines and TV shows.

These magazines and TV shows need to come with a warning. It is this: This show has been edited to hide the housekeeper and cook who lingers off of the camera so the mood of peace and tranquility can be created.

The person who shares my house asked me why I don’t do more things for fun after I get home from work. Do you remember the part that I mentioned previously about seeing clutter and not seeing dirt? I wonder what would happen if I chose rest and tranquility over floors, dishes, clothes, dusting, weeding my flowers and amusing Sambo when I walk in the door after work?

Now, if you are the male part of the household, I am not picking on you. Many of the men that I know have got the rest and relaxation down better then their wives. I am envious that the men have mastered the peace and tranquility of their home. We women need to learn from the men. We need to learn how to relax and spend a couple of hours after we leave our jobs playing. We need to learn how to find the couch and the magazines and ignore the clutter and the dirt. We need to learn how to ignore the, “Mom, Mom will you play with me.” Maybe we need to teach our pets how to meditate, and we can meditate together. If you have kids you could teach them to meditate too. We need to learn from the men in our lives the key to a peaceful and relaxing home. After all, remember the saying, “Every man’s home is his castle.”

I must go. It is time to meditate. The only peaceful room I can find right now is the bathroom. I will turn on the water, close my eyes and pretend it is a waterfall in the mountains. I will fill the bathtub and pretend the little froggy matt on the bottom of the tub are real frogs swimming in a lily pond. I will be peaceful and content. Oh, wait, I have to clean it first!

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction, any references to actual persons (such as husband) living or dead is purely coincidental.

Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send e-mail at thecolumn@bevcomm.net.