I’ve spent a good part of the last couple of days helping my youngest daughter and her now fiancée settle into their new home.
It’s been a surprisingly enjoyable experience, reminding me of a time – long, since left behind – where everything is new and exciting.
It’s also an achievement, getting to the point in life where you can afford a place of your own and have the wherewithal to make it all happen.
With it, of course, comes stress and worry which I’ve also felt vicariously but less intensely than I would do if it was me.
Experience tells me that all the frustrations, delays and worries of setting up a new home will almost certainly be forgotten in the coming weeks and months.
Setting up your first proper home of your own is one of the key moments of your life, particularly when you’re doing it as an adult with a long-term partner.
It feels like my daughter has been working towards this moment all of her adult life, instinctively knowing what she wants in her home and what looks good.
Not as I first did as an 18 years-old student in my cramped university halls of residence cell. Biggest interior design decision I made then was which wall to display the now iconic poster of the tennis girl caressing her rather perfect bare bottom. How I loved that poster!
Now I get my kicks from assembling Ikea flat-pack furniture. Though I’ve not done it for many years now, deciphering the wordless instructions and avoiding the various wrong-way round mistakes, felt like second nature.
With no time pressures, and plenty of support from an appreciative daughter, I found the whole process highly therapeutic.
It felt good creating something from scratch, building something physical, seeing it transform from a box with hundreds of parts to something not only functional but solid, high quality and beautifully designed. I need more of that in my life.
It also felt good helping this young couple start out on one of life’s great journeys. Home is, after all, where we spend most of our life and where we should be our happiest.
“Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave and grow old wanting to get back to.”