Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Domestic Renaissance

I have a confession to make.  Ever since the holidays ended and I started up with this Nesting series, I've been feeling a little guilty.  Guilty because focusing on creating a comfortable and secure home doesn't seem like "real work."  You'd think that after intentionally choosing to leave the "real work" of 9-5 banking a year ago for the precise reason of wanting more time at home that I'd be over my internal conflicts, but apparently they linger.

I took some comfort, then, in the pages of The Gentle Art of Domesticity by author and blogger, Jane Brocket, this morning.  In her introduction, she describes her departure from the "real world" of her professional career into something that was more fulfilling and authentic for her--domestic life.  She confesses to sometimes struggling (much as I do) with setting aside a formal career, but with several books, a successful blog, and a flexible, family-centered schedule, I'd say she has accomplished a lifestyle that many of us women only dream about.

I address this issue here at the beginning of Nesting because I figure that I'm not the only one who is drawn to the creativity and possibility of "home," and perhaps feels a twinge of guilt over that attraction.  We work the 9-5 because financially we must, or because that is the acceptable cultural norm, but how many of us would rather pass the time Nesting instead?  It can't just be me....

Jane Brocket reminds us that choosing a domestic life is "a conscious choice to do something 'old-fashioned' and 'quaint,' to choose not to buy and consume endlessly, but to make and create for a change."  I couldn't have written it better myself.  The opportunity--the challenge--to create is the primary quality that attracts me to this lifestyle.

I guess over the last year I've instituted a "domestic renaissance" in my life.  I wish I could say that I'm 100% comfortable with that choice, but obviously I still wrestle with feeling like I'm not doing real work.  My guilt, however, has not yet persuaded me to change course (again), and tromp back into the 9-5.  Instead, I'll invest my time in Nesting for awhile longer and see where that takes me.

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