Wednesday, December 7, 2011


It’s December and at our house that means that we’re celebrating the Advent and Christmas season.  Our daughters, Kristin and Kyra, have been very persistent about urging us to get all of our decorations up.  Every evening since Thanksgiving, they asked us when we could get started.  Finally, the lights are up, our tree is decorated, and we’ve brought out the candles, towels, and tablecloths that bear those familiar hues of red and green. 

If you looked at the usual state of my daughters’ bedroom, you might be surprised that they have been paying such attention to creating this “holiday feeling”.  They aren’t normally so tuned in to their surroundings!  These rituals and the feelings that they produce obviously mean something special to them.

All of this “homemaking” led me to ponder about different kinds of homeowners and what drives them to invest their energies in their physical environments.  For simplicity’s sake, I’ve categorized them into three basic types.  Do you recognize yourself or anyone else in any of these descriptions?

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” – This kind of homeowner has a functional view of their home, and is happy as long as everything is working.  This person doesn’t ask a lot, and doesn’t invest a lot.  If something is in need of repair, however, they can be counted on to get things fixed so that everything is back on track.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – This homeowner is skilled at risk management and wants to protect his investment.  This person probably makes sure that the gutters stay cleaned out, replaces worn shingles, and powerwashes and seals the deck from time to time. 

“My home is my castle” – This homeowner wants their home to be a welcoming, relaxing space that reflects their values and style.  This person might invest energy and resources in remodeling or decorating their space so that it fulfills their vision of what they want their home to be.

Chances are, you might find yourself in all of these categories at different times.  What about if you transferred these descriptions to the issue of your health and well-being?  If you consider your “self” as your home, what kind of “homeowner” would you say you are?

Do you invest in your health mainly when something is “wrong”?   Do you intentionally avoid risky behaviors, get recommended check-ups and screenings, and try to prevent illnesses from occurring?   Do you develop healthy practices that support your vision of optimal well-being, helping you to flourish and giving you the energy to contribute your unique gifts to the world?

When it comes to investing in your Self, your health, and your well-being – what kind of owner are you?


  1. Ooh. Clever analogy from house to body, Julie. :-)

    I'm somewhat of an "Ounce of Prevention..." person -- bordering on being an "If it ain't broke..." person -- when it comes to the house; probably because I've never looked at my home as a financial investment.

    But in regards to my body, I'm squarely in the "Even if it is broke, think twice about fixing it." category. Possibly because I have the mistaken idea that focusing on my own health shows conceit and narcissism. In my extended family, we just 'shut up, and buck up'.

    Hope I don't pass that on to my kids.

  2. Thanks, Tad. I think we have a lot of the "stiff upper lip" approach in our family too, and that philosophy certainly has gotten folks I know through some tough times. I also hear the part about wanting to avoid conceit and narcissism -- that is a familiar theme in our family and goes along well with stoicism. Along the way, I've learned that those approaches only get me so far. When I neglect my self-care, I run the risk of pulling everyone else down around me, and I certainly am not being a good steward of my gifts and talents. As they say, "when mama's not happy, NObody's happy!" :-)