Alastair, Emma & Mary
Here are some thoughts from the team about what home means to each of us.
What is home? Most of the time people pause and say, “I’ll get back to you on that.” Their answers are varied and revealing:
“It’s wherever I belong.”
“I’ve never found it.”
“It’s a particular landscape, a constant that doesn’t change and that I can return to.”
“I wish I knew. I’m still searching.”
We’re interested because the idea of home, and feeling at home, sits at the heart of Creamer & Co’s work. In business, people want to be part of a team or organisation where they can be themselves. If you can bring more of yourself to what you do, you are more likely to do your best. Being allowed to be yourself is many people’s definition of being at home. Our cultural transformation work is all about creating that feeling of being at home at work.
Having boarded at school from the age of 8, it’s no surprise that home is often a place which I leave to come back to. And it’s the returning that I appreciate all the more, whether that’s after the daily commute, a business trip or holiday. Sensory triggers play a huge part in this. They are constant indicators as to whether I’m at home, coming home, close to home or homeless (travelling). A piece of music, the slant of light in the mornings, a cup, the smell of a room…
My definition of home revolves around three needs: it must allow me to be myself (a place of safety, comfort and beauty); to re-charge and re-group (a place of energy); and to get inspiration (a place of stimulation). I cherish my physical home and those close to me, but I realise that being at, say, a music festival or losing hours in my garden, also feed me in important ways. I’m always interested in where people get their energy and ideas from. That’s prompted me to think about the combination of sources that work for me.
Home is safety from familiarity, where the bogey-man can’t get me.
Home is strength from love and connection.
Home is the ever familiar view as you drive off the motorway.
Home is the twists and turns the road makes to take you there.
Home is the diagonal stripes mown into the lawn every weekend.
Home is the feel of the carpet on my bare feet.
Home is the smell of absence when returning from holiday.
Home is where I go when I close my eyes.
Home means Ireland, where I was born and raised. It is always a joy to return to my ‘home-home’ as we Irish abroad call it. When I go back to Ireland, I refer to England as my home, so I have two homes! But there’s such a strong, gravitational pull to Ireland. It’s where my roots are and where my culture is and I can’t argue with that. Nothing makes my heart sing for home more than the journey towards it, flying over Dublin Bay in a window seat looking out through the inevitable grey clouds, at the flat, cold Irish Sea, spotting the outline of Dun Laoghaire harbour.