Understanding the Purpose Behind Household

I’m sure by now, so many of us are really struggling with cabin fever. I wanted to talk a little bit about the concept of how understanding the purpose behind household can really help you find more activities to do for those of us who are at home looking for those opportunities.

Jeff, I want to get your reaction to this great article that was written by Steven Wedgeworth. I think it was in the Five Minute Father Facebook group that I found this, so thank you guys so much for posting articles in there. They’ve been awesome. But this was posted on [crosstalk 00:00:34].

I feel like people know what we love now. Who was it? Who was it that posted that article, and they were like, “I think this is a Jeff article,” or something? Did you see that one?

Yeah. Exactly.

I was like, “Yes, it was.” I still need to read it.

I see some themes here. Let me just read one quote from it and I’d love to talk about this a little bit. Steven Wedgeworth, he said, “We need to unite the concept of family with the concept of the home. The home is not simply the place where the family sleeps and recharges for its real work out there, rather the home should be the center of the family’s work, a center of productive activity and social cultivation. A productive home will be a helpful corrective against the lonely and isolated home many of us are now experiencing, and it will be a corrective to the experience of cabin fever, where one feels like they are stuck at home rather than truly living their life.”

I love this. There’s two or three things he does in this article that I found really helpful. Obviously, that connection between family and home is really helpful. That connection between home as the place where productive activity is done, we’ve talked a lot about that. The way he concludes this is, this is why we’re experiencing cabin fever, because we actually don’t think… That home is not the center through which we live our life, so we feel trapped, stuck, isolated when we have to stay home, as opposed to feeling like, I got so much productive activity. I can work for eight hours straight in and through the home in a way that is really great with my family. So few of us are experiencing that.

But I think this is a really awesome opportunity to try to level that up or create opportunities for that. I’d love to talk a little bit more about that, but Jeff, how does that strike you?

Yeah, I totally agree. I think a couple of things, one, let it be a barometer to tell yourself, excuse me, where you’re at. I think if you hear this and you do feel like you’re more in the cabin fever side of things, then understand that probably is actually trickling out into my philosophy of how I see home. Just use it as a barometer, rather than feeling like it’s right or wrong. Use it to just smoke signal where you’re at.

Then what I would say is, also understand too, that this is an enormous disruption that takes a long period of time to transition. Because there’s a difference too, between the home being the center of economic productivity and flourishing and family rhythms, and also just your home because of global pandemic.

Give yourself some grace, but let this just be baby steps on a vision towards maybe three years from now, five years from now, if that makes sense, rather than, we’re all at home for two months, this needs to be now the center of everything. That might not go well, might be a little bit too much pressure, but I don’t know what you would say.

Yeah. I think that’s a really good point that a lot of this is really adjusting our philosophy of home. That’s what we’re really hoping for during this season. It’s not like you can magically manufacturer or transition to a productive home in a few days or even a few weeks. But what you can do is decide if your philosophy was out of the home, out of the home, everyone is living individual lives outside the home, that’s where all productivity happens, and only rest and recreation happens in the home.

Like Jeff just said, like you said, that’s the barometer. If that’s what you’re experiencing, if you feel trapped and isolated in your home, then that dial is probably set really high in terms of the activity or the center of your family’s life is probably outside the home and mostly in individual activities.

But we definitely, as a family, we’ve had to think of a lot of additional ways for us to make our home productive. Our experience when the isolation hit was we had six teenagers basically in our house with 12 hours a day of productive activity that they could do and the school system, and even the homework or the homeschool stuff, was taking up two or three hours of that 16 hour, 12 hour block.

We started to create all kinds of productive activities for us to do as a family team, because we were philosophically already aligned with that. We had a lot of those opportunities already et up in the home, because we did a lot of business work and a lot of ministry through our house already.

But I like that barometer. If you guys want to really try to dial that up, I think that after seeing the way that this played out for your family, being trapped at home, it’s a really good opportunity to figure out if you want to make an adjustment there philosophically.

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