Embrace Being a Homebody

I’m trying to talk myself into enjoying being a homebody.   Obviously Covid-19 has made me one with our self-isolation beginning in early March.  Seven months in and I really miss my “out & about” activities and connections with others.   But I am trying to focus on the positive (putting Positive Psychology into practice), so embrace being a homebody it is! 

Here’s my vision of a homebody:

  • Gardening and growing your own vegetables. I do like gardening.  It’s just that I tend to have a black thumb, forget to water, and don’t really like the normal weeding/maintenance.  This week we worked on redoing the driveway (it needed a better base), putting in a side yard path, and filling in some more plantings.  I like the feeling of accomplishment. Not that I want to have multiple yard big projects!
  • Cooking.  I am cooking more and trying to do one new recipe each week.  I have had a low percent for repeat, though.  (That’s a nice way of saying they were failures.)  And most are not very gourmet either. I’m still on the “protein and starch”  (new way of saying “meat & potatoes”) and maybe a veggie (or salad) approach.  Or a one pan approach.  I’m not pushing myself to use new ingredients, more veggies (have not bought any fall squash!), complicated techniques, nor perfecting a signature dish.    Can I even claim cooking as a hobby?
  • Crafts.  I have not picked up my new cross-stitch even though I have it on my to-do list.  Other crafts have had a similar fate – jewelry making, origami, rock painting.  Lots of intention and no follow-through.
  • Clean, clutter-free house.  I live with someone whose philosophy is “every horizontal surface is designed to be piled upon”.   And then there is the challenge of the half-move – boxes of things we don’t know where they will go because cabinets and bookcases have not been moved down.  Am I embarrassed when people stop by to visit? Yeah. (Luckily with Covid-19 I can avoid inviting them inside and take them around to the patio!) I’m starting to realize I will never live in a home that looks magazine worthy.
  • Jig saw puzzles.  Yes, I started the pandemic strong (in Ohio), doing a few 1000 piece puzzles.   Now the same puzzle has been on the puzzle table (here in Florida) for over a year.
  • Reading.   Here I do OK, because I’ve always liked to read.  I tend to like happy endings though and so much current literature does not have any closure, much less a happy one.   I really dislike when I turn the page looking for the next paragraph and the book is over! So, it’s back to “light” reading – romances and detective novels!
  • Exercise.  You would think I could get in the habit on this element, as there is lots of available time right now.  But I’m hit and miss on my daily movement and I’ve fallen into no routine at all.  I see other (homebody) folks doing daily walks/hikes but cannot seem to figure out how to motivate myself here!
  • On-line connections. Some of my friends talk about regular zoom connects with friends and family – playing games on those calls, long conversations, sharing meals, even family photo projects.  I’m intentionally planning one on-line connect per week, usually with wine – my new whine & wine.  Just one, but at least I am doing it. I am also taking on-line courses.  Not intensive courses, not on multiple topics, and not learning new skills (no language, flower design, or painting), but I am signing up for a new class every time I finish my latest one.

I recognize I’m being hard on myself, and doing a lot of Compare & Despair.  But I do not feel like I am quite yet embracing being a homebody!   However, putting it down on paper has allowed me to recognize the things I am doing to embrace being a homebody, including daily journaling, daily crossword, regular yoga, an attempt at regular blogging, and spending more time outside enjoying nature (including seeing some sunrises). 

I’m thinking my vision for “what is a homebody” might need to be modified!  How would you define it?

Picture credit: me. A sunrise this week.

20 thoughts on “Embrace Being a Homebody

  1. Hi Pat – I’m giving myself permission to not feel that I have to be “productive” – I felt like I was trying to justify not working by having things that I do each day that show others how busy and occupied I was. Now I’ve come to see that it really doesn’t matter what others do to justify their time – some like to be really busy, some like to do nothing…..I’m somewhere in between – I’m loving my daily walk, I do some adult colouring – very “zen”, volunteer once a week, have a coffee date and maybe a weekly exercise group – but mostly I just enjoy not being on a timetable, not being answerable to anyone else, and I refuse to compete with the do-ers because I’m not one of them and don’t want to go down that path. I hope you find your happy medium, but it won’t be through forcing yourself to do things for the sake of being able to tick them off the list xx

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    1. I had to laugh because I love to tick things off a list. But I get it about the comparing to others… and that is something I struggle with. Or what I think is the “expectation”. I will keep working on that…

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  2. I have always been a homebody but enjoyed having the freedom to go out when I wanted and where I wanted. This virus has changed all that. I still love to be home but I am exhausted with wearing masks, with worrying about contracting something that could kill me.

    High five, I had the same jigsaw puzzle on my table for 6 months. Then I decided maybe I just didn’t want to work a jigsaw puzzle bad enough to do it. And I gave myself some grace, boxed it up and put it in a Little Free Library in our neighborhood. Maybe the puzzle and the cross stitch are not what you really want to be doing right now. My husband gave me paints and an easel when I retired. I have been retired 7 years and I am just now feeling semi-comfortable about painting. It had to be on my time, and had to be something I wanted to do. You will find your ‘thing’.

    I think you have to find what works to motivate you. I heard an interesting podcast today about the 4 tendencies, as discussed by Gretchen Rubin on The For the Love podcast. Rubin provides quizzes on her webpage to help us identify our tendency which “can help us set up situations in the ways that make it more likely that we’ll achieve our aims.” One of the reasons I do bucket lists on my blog is to publicly share my goals as a step toward accountability. Today I ran because I shared on my blog that I want to run 6 miles a week.

    But others are motivated by different things to impact change. I am going to take a tendency quiz to see how I can better realize my goals. You might look into the idea of these tendencies. Maybe we could both write about them together on our blogs?!

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    1. Leslie, I love the term “gave myself some grace”.

      I had seen the Four Tendencies but had not taken the quiz yet. I was surprised with where I came out and need to understand it better. I totally understand the accountability of putting things out there. I am not very good with keeping commitments if I only have myself in the picture. But I’m looking at my Fall Action Plan with some “grace”!

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  3. I’m a bit of a homebody (well, maybe more than a bit) but that doesn’t mean I sit around and watch TV, eating bon-bons. There really is a lot to do at home (your list is a great indication of that) that doesn’t include zoning out. We all are hopeful of a future when we can get back to our “normal” lives but, in the meantime, don’t be so hard on yourself.

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    1. Janis, I know I was being hard on myself, but it actually helped to get it out there (becoming aware of my feelings) and now I can focus on the things that are working for me.

      I’ve never been a big TV watcher…. I’d rather loose myself in a book. Challenge is not to snack while I do that – not bon-bons… salty or cheesy snacks are my downfall.

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  4. You are indeed being tough on yourself. I work full time from home – and did before covid – so my issue is more around forcing myself to go out when I’m not working. Stick to the simple dishes – there are plenty of creative express style recipes that won’t stress you out. It’s absolutely not worth it if it stresses you out…

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    1. Jo, Thanks for the encouragement in cooking. I do tend to avoid lots of ingredients in recipes or use of equipment I don’t have. I find pleasure in chopping and prepping ingredients, so I often default to some type of stir-fry. Still looking for a sauce that can be my go-to! I’m looking forward to doing some soups, stews and chilis this next couple of months.

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  5. i think a homebody is simply someone who enjoys his/her home. I am definitely a homebody. I have a niece who calls me Martha Stewart. I don’t aspire to be like anyone but I do want my home to be a place that nurtures and rejuvenates me and it does. I think it stems from my frugal nature and also having to cope with cold weather in NE Alberta. I’d much rather exercise at home or outside than join a gym. Many household/yard tasks double as exercise and contribute to a sense of personal satisfaction. I’d much rather eat something I’ve prepared myself. I get ideas for new dishes from magazines and cooking programs. Nate Berkus is an interior designer who says your home should rise up to greet you.

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    1. I like the idea of personal satisfaction from household tasks and will definitely think about them like that now. I have friends who also rival Martha Stewart (in my eyes) and I admire their ability to make their homes nurturing and delightful. Not me, but I can enjoy my water view and continue to have fun with cooking – at least hubby does eat the failures with minimal complaint!

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  6. All of the above for us, except crafts. (We’re all thumbs in our house). And like you, we’re trying to embrace the situation, but I have to admit it’s going to get harder and harder as winter approaches and settles in..

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    1. Tom, Since we have done very minimal outdoor social gathering (and none indoor), I think for us, winter will just be more of the same. Luckily, we are planning to spend most of it in Florida, so outdoor walking will still be an option…I definitely need to implement an exercise routine and take advantage of that.

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  7. Welcome to the club of missed intentions! You sound like me and all of our friends- we commiserate about what we could do but haven’t, not what we could be doing in the “normal” world. I have found the New York Times food app online and one of the search terms you can use is “easy” and “one dish”; search for those that limit the required time to 30mins (though of course it will take you longer as they don’t include all the prep times). You can also check the 1-5 star ratings. Melissa Clark is one of my favorites- she can’t seem to do a bad recipe.
    Regarding husbands and clutter- we must be married to the same person (HAH! BIGAMIST!) Though a lot of his mess I relegate to the garage and he hasn’t seemed to notice it yet. I think exercise could help and when you bump in to friends you can just walk with them (one of you on the sidewalk, 1 of you in the road,etc) which will help time go by quicker.
    At this point I no longer assume that we will get over the pandemic before end of the year (which year you may ask- Hah!)

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    1. Thanks for the Melissa Clark link… I am definitely going to explore it. Oh my, another “horizontal surface pile maker”? He’s got the garage, his office and has spread into the family room and even kitchen island. In our old (current) home, the living room was off limits to him and was my only non-clutter space. Our new home (moving soon), there’s only one living space (versus living room and family room), so I have so idea where my clutter-free area will be. I am hoping to be over the pandemic next spring…. wishful thinking perhaps!

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  8. Hi, Pat – I agree with Retired Introvert. There are no right answers and we need to give ourselves a break. I believe that most of us are now spending more time at home. Noone that I know has this worked out perfectly. Thank you for another thought-provoking post.

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    1. I never envisioned retirement having so much at-home time – I envisioned so much more out and about experiences. I know (hope?) that adventure time will return. So now I’m going to focus on reading, cooking, exercising, and on-line stuff. I might never convert to being a full homebody, but I can embrace some of its elements.

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  9. You’re definitely too hard on yourself. Like with anything, it’s easy to assume everyone else has it all figured out. I love being home but I am even hard on myself when it comes to what I accomplish. I’m trying to create a healthy routine – more exercise, less screen time – but there are some days I just want to play games on my iPad. Later in the day, I regret my decisions, when I run out of time for my hobbies. There’s no right answer and we all need to give ourselves a break, especially as we deal with this never ending pandemic. We’re retired after all! It definitely makes dealing with all this a lot easier.

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    1. I know I’m being hard on myself. It’s always helpful to have someone also tell me that, too. I am so glad someone else is playing games on their iPad! I’ve found I’m spending more and more time on the computer or iPad. And yes, being retired makes dealing with the pandemic much much easier versus so many others. I feel guilty complaining at all!

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