I once attended a party where a question was playfully put to me: of what use would you be in an apocalypse?
My answer? I could make a dingy place more homey. I could create some sort of comforting nest amongst the rubble. At least that would be my impulse.
Maybe my fascination with home and homemaking began when I was a kid watching Looney Tunes. Remember when the camera would travel into a hole in the wall and therein was a family of mice? The scene always stayed with me: the tidy and cozy home with little beds made from empty match boxes and an empty spool of thread for a table.
Whether it's student apartments in old run-down Victorian houses or the home I share with my family today, my impulse is always to establish some sense of beauty, comfort, ease and harmony. To make things cozy.
For me, a home is more than just a shelter from the elements. It's a haven. When we return home after a long day at work or after a long trip, a home should embrace us like a warm hug, not fill us with overwhelm.
I feel pretty strongly that the goal of homemaking not be about competition, status, self worth or done for the sake of appearances. For me, homemaking is about creating beauty (because beauty heals us), comfort, hygiene and safety. It's about supporting our bodies and our routines.
I'm also well aware having a home is a privilege denied to many and I often think about the some 100 million refugees and homeless people in the world.
Yet I'll never reject homemaking or dismiss someone's love of making a home beautiful as a shallow pursuit.
Even though having a comforting home is not everyone's reality, it should remain an ideal.