The Gift of a Peaceful Home

The Gift of a Peaceful Home

Gift giving has become more challenging for me over the years, especially since I try hard to avoid mindless spending. With this in mind, what I have done over the years as my brother is a grown up now, is I write him a heartfelt card, put it in an envelope and put in some cash.

The end of 2019 is particularly special, not only because it’s Christmas season but because my brother finished his post-secondary program. As being the only older member of the family left, the Mama and Papa inside of me felt really happy and compelled to somehow find ‘grandiose gift’ fitting for the occasion. I still don’t know what this gift if supposed to be.

Over Christmas dinner, my husband and I asked my brother over dinner if he is happy with his living situation with us. Like in previous years when we asked this question, he said with enthusiasm “Oh yes! It’s so peaceful here!” To my relief, he seems happy with our situation at home.

That’s when it dawned on me, that having a home that is peaceful, that serves as a genuine resting place after a stressful day at work or school, is something to be cherished. Given our previous experiences living in other homes, a peaceful one is not always there.

What does that look like? I think there are a few factors that can help define it.

The things you hear. Of course, there is no such thing as a relationship without conflict. It’s also normal to expect that people have disagreements for many reasons, some for small things such as forgetting to turn off the light from the kitchen, or a couple having an argument about something serious. That being said, frequent sarcastic remarks and verbal fights that you can overhear from the main floor living room all the way to the basement, creates an atmosphere that is far from peaceful. Hearing arguments through your bedroom wall about important matters can be very unsettling.

The things you see. I try not to be too touchy-feely with my husband when we are in the common places in our home. But we do flirt, banter, and check in on each other with care and attention. I think, or hope, that by being happy and content as a couple, that there is no reason to use my brother as an outlet of my anger. I suppose there is truth to the adage “happy wife, happy life”. When my brother does talk to me, I’m ready to listen attentively and support wholeheartedly.

How things are managed. As kids with precarious home situations, the uncertainty is palpable. We worry about living in this same house next year, or even in six months from now. Our living situation constantly changed drastically with limited input or warning from us. The question of who and how will we be sheltered, is a dark cloud that loomed in our minds constantly growing up. The fact that now, my husband and I own our home, that we diligently maintain and improve it, that we discuss long term goals as a couple, I think all of these made my brother feel sure that things are stable right now, and that we are well-prepared to deal with emergencies if they do occur.

A peaceful home is something I’m more than happy to not only provide, but to maintain all day everyday. I think for many of us, the primary adult in a home, whether as the parent, or the homeowner, or the oldest one among roommates, this is underrated but definitely important. How we behave impacts the rest of the residents in our home, and by being diligent, considerate and actively caring for ourselves, the atmosphere of a peaceful home will benefit everyone who lives under it.

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