I like being at home, and it has always been that way. It makes it very handy now that I am a full time caregiver.
It always amazes me that people spend insane amounts of money on a house, then work hard to get away from it. From going out to to going shopping to going on vacation, there is always going, going, going, and not so much staying, relaxing and enjoying.
I guess go is the thing to do, and I am part of a minority of people that sees the beauty in maintaining and enjoying a home-based lifestyle. Contrary to popular belief, reducing the amount of going and increasing the amount of staying has benefits.
Sticking close to home certainly saves money, since just about any going out will require spending money. But saving money is not the most important benefit.
The biggest payoff of pulling back from the speed of a fully plugged in modern lifestyle is what it can do for your spirit. Philosopher and social critic Søren Kierkegaard wrote about the individual vs. the crowd, why we conform, and the power of the minority.
"One can very well eat lettuce before its heart has been formed; still, the delicate crispness of the heart and its lovely frizz are something altogether different from the leaves. It is the same in the world of the spirit.
Being too busy has this result: that an individual very, very rarely is permitted to form a heart; on the other hand, the thinker, the poet, or the religious personality who actually has formed his heart, will never be popular, not because they are difficult, but because they demand quiet and prolonged working with oneself and intimate knowledge of oneself, as well as a certain isolation."
Things like Black Friday don't motivate Linda and I to leave our home. But that doesn't mean we live in total isolation all the time. We have wonderful neighbours close by, and we enjoy our infrequent trips into town to conduct business.
We live in an interconnected universe, so it is impossible do anything in complete isolation. What we do at home, and in our heads, has far-reaching effects. A butterfly flapping its wings affects the weather on the other side of the globe - imagine what our minds can do.
Christopher Alexander is an unconventional architect who has started a movement to help regular people reclaim control over their built environments. What he has to say about creating beautiful buildings that improve life can be related to building a beautiful home life.
"This is a fundamental view of the world. It says that when you build a thing you cannot merely build that thing in isolation, but must repair the world around it, and within it, so that the larger world at that one place becomes more coherent, and more whole; and the thing which you make takes its place in the web of nature, as you make it."
There is nothing inherently wrong with going out. We are social creatures. But perhaps a certain isolation would help restore some balance. Slowing down and enjoying a full, uninterrupted home life can save money and make life more meaningful.
When we make our homes and our selves more coherent and whole, we take our place in nature and improve the world at the same time.