“Oikonomeia,” that is, the “nomos of the oikos,” or the management of the house (hence
“home economics” is redundant, etymologically speaking) is what I’m thinking of as my hubby is painting a blue border around one of our home’s entryways and as I’m researching lasagna gardening for the garden my hubby’s planning out for the backyard.
Folks older than I am and who are experienced homeowners told me that being a homeowner would become a daily part of my life. At first I said, “But I do that anyways, like vacuuming and taking out the trash and washing the dishes and doing laundry.” They only smiled and said, “You’ll see.”
After a month of being homeowners, I see now. I quote a recent letter from my mother-in-law: “Congratulations on your new house. I am sure that you will find yourselves busy beyond belief taking care of it — changing it to meet your needs and satisfaction. There is nothing more exciting than making your own space. Make it a good one.”
Between my mother-in-law, my mother (who, during my engagement, told me not have a wedding that was “pathetic”), my own gung-ho, damn-the-torpedoes-full-speed-ahead way of doing things, and my perfection-to-a-fault hubby, we’ve had plenty of impetus to make our home a good one (not to mention the additional motivation of the Housewarming Party tomorrow at our home). In one month we’ve spent more time, money, and energy making this house feel like a home than we’ve spent in the first month of any place that we’ve lived in in the prior ten years, where we were renters. Running a house is very much like running a state or running a business; it’s a little bit of improvement, every day, mixed in with maintenance, every day.
Even though my parents are partial to large houses, I’m glad that mine is as small as it is, considering that it is three bedrooms / two baths — I’m not a very good multi-tasker (as I’ve mentioned earlier), and so I go for easy, one-shot household projects that I can start and end in a day or two. That way, I can go to the next easy, one-shot household project. For instance, my hubby thought about that blue border earlier this week. What with work and training, we couldn’t act on it until later this week. I bought the materials on Thursday, he began the painting last night, and he just finished the second entryway just a few minutes ago.
Of course, now we have a little less than gallon of Mediterranean Blue paint. Seems a waste not to use it — anybody local needing dark blue paint? 🙂 Actually, I may use it on furniture projects, like getting a cheapy piece of furniture from, say, a garage sale or a Thrift Store or Goodwill, and experiment with painting it.
See what I mean? I would *never* would’ve thought about doing that when I was a renter. Now all sorts of domestic hobbies abound now that I’m a homeowner, and it all revolves around managing the home and making it a good one. Oikonomeia. Household management. As a friend of mine once said, “Welcome to the middle class.”