According to a study into the home lives of 2,000 British families by Origin, manufacturer of bespoke sliding doors, the key to achieving domestic bliss is eating four meals together per week, having more than one tablet and a Netflix account. Monthly trips to the cinema, a good coffee machine, fast Wi-Fi and a ‘treat cupboard’ were also deemed necessities for a harmonious family life. Managing Director, Andrew Halsall, says, “The list of things that people attribute to happiness at home is a mix of traditional processes, effort and the presence of technology and modern comforts.”
– Your Home magazine, July 2015
(This post contains affiliate links.) Is it just me who considers it a crying shame that, in our modern world, bliss and happiness are dependent to some extent upon material goods? Commercial advertising has brainwashed us. Are we not working increasingly more hours to afford short-term pleasures which simply mask the increasing lack of meaning in our lives? It’s a slippery slope.
For me, domestic bliss revolves around having time to spend with family – friends too, of course, but family first and foremost. A priority for me is living close enough to my family that we can just ‘drop in’ on each other unannounced and share the hum drum of our daily lives, being a part of each other’s lives and enjoying a meal together most days. Spending ‘quality time’ together is important to me too, which for me and mine is most likely to involve playing board games, dining out, taking road trips in my campervan and taking my dog on long country walks, perhaps with a picnic added in for good measure if the weather permits! A super book that is in vogue at the moment is The Little Book of Hygge in which the author, Meik Wiking, explains wonderfully how the simple things in life create happiness.
“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.”
– Kurt Vonnegut
It’s also important to me that everything in my life is impeccably organised. I just can’t relax if I’m trying to juggle a long to-do list in my head. (Who can?) A clutter-free and clean home is also a must so that I am always ready for impromptu visits from family and friends. I also find that a clutter-free environment has a huge effect on my state of mind and allows me to feel calm and peaceful. If you need a little motivation in this area, I’d really recommend The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo.
Material items don’t really feature on my list of requirements for domestic bliss but what I do rate is time. Of course, money is important to me in so far that I need enough that money itself is not a worry – otherwise I can’t relax and enjoy the time I have – but, beyond that, what I value above all else is time to spend with my family and I try to limit work to 2 or 3 days a week for that reason. It’s just a matter of priorities.
A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with – that’s poverty – but how efficiently we can put first things first… When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar.
– Victoria Moran, in Lit from Within: Tending Your Soul for Lifelong Beauty
What does domestic bliss mean to you?