When I was coming of age in the early 1960′s the Beach Boys had a song, “In My Room” which I listened to over and over again (much to the chagrin of my parents, I am sure). It was the first time I can recall consciously thinking about my environment and what it meant to me. A teenager desperately needs a place to “be” – where they can figure out who they are and muse about any number of important things (such as pondering the merits of a lip gloss, world peace, or that night’s activities).
Later on, I found that when living with husbands and children, I lost my identity related specifically to my space. I made so many accommodations that my personal style went out the window. Home became mainly utilitarian.
In working with families, I often see this dynamic in action. Life is so busy, there is little time for reflection on the home as a personal haven – a place of refuge where you go to recharge your batteries, to relax, think and BE.
I believe that every family member should have some personal space that speaks to their soul . . . whether it is their room, an office, or an outdoor space that they can claim as their private refuge. This space should have tangible meaningful personal icons to ground, inspire, reassure, nurture. The icons are unlimited and individual to each person.
We all need a cozy spot . . .
When I was growing up in Los Gatos, California during the late 1950′s through the late 1960′s, the mostly upper middle class community (now probably trending towards upper class), also had very significant middle and lower classes.
I went to school with several kids who were downright poor. Housing was affordable at the lower levels, which is a phenomenon that has all but disappeared from the current housing market.
One of the advantages of having a cross section of housing available was the flexibility to move. In the current market, both buyers and renters have to make more thoughtful decisions about where to live. You can’t experiment and try “downtown” for six months, or “the mountains” for the following six months to see how that might suit your taste.
As a Realtor, this is frustrating because so many people are unable to enter the market.
And as a Feng Shui practitioner, I can’t simply suggest that someone move if their current housing obstacles are too daunting.
I personally miss the texture and variety of different classes in the same community.
At current prices, you have to be very confident about your move because, out of necessity, you are going to be there for awhile.
No longer can young people rent apartments with hardly any cash. In my twenties, I rented a huge two bedroom apartment in a nice neighborhood for $125 per month. It had hardwood floors, and they even allowed me to have a dog!
“Don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone . . . ”