A Remedy for Home Blindness

Our homes are designed to be reliable. We don’t think twice about our faucets running, the lights turning on, or our junk drawers filling up with knick nacks and loose screws. When we do take notice in something, like a creaky door hinge or a loose door handle, it merely becomes a part of the living space and envelopes itself into the indistinct daily house music.

As time goes on, a genuine appreciation for our home fade over time as we grow old with it. The philosophy is called home blindness, or Hemmablind (the original Swedish word). It is an idea of blissful ignorance, mainly related to the home but also in relationships, academia, and the workplace.

We might not think of it, but our homes are a living, breathing organism beyond the architecture. It’s a place to build memories, share delicious food, dance to music, fight, bathe, shower, sleep, and share the love we have with our loved ones.

Growing up, I longed for a new setting and a different life outside of my hometown. I lived through issues of National Geographic, Discovery Channel documentaries, and any travel specials that aired on PBS. There’s a universal human truth that applies, we are never quite satisfied with what we have in our own backyard.

When we are traveling, we are constantly pushed out of our comfort zones. Whether it’s fighting jet jag, navigating subway systems, asking strangers for directions when our phones fail us, we are always alert. We have no choice but to take initiative and fully engage with the surroundings to make the most out of the travel experience.

After coming home from a trip, I immediately notice the clutter in my home. I notice the number of books on my bookshelf that were left unread, the pile of receipts on my desk that needed to be thrown away, and the plants that were neglected. Not only do I recognize the neglected things, but I also develop a newfound appreciation for the small things: the comfort of my bed and quiet that surrounds my neighborhood.

Traveling and coming home allows me to be more aware of how I can make my space work for me. Even though my house is not perfect, and I’m sometimes blind to the beauty of it, it’s still mine.

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