I quipped in a recent post that there are three distinct school districts in operation under the roof of our home right now. Last week I needed to retrieve something from the East Williston School District, the APA Style Manual 7th Edition that was in a small bookcase next to my bed. I heard a familiar voice coming out of my wife’s computer. Let’s call him Tim. His name’s not Tim. But the voice was very familiar to me. I didn’t hear what he had to say but I was curious.
When Danielle came down to the Jericho School District at lunchtime, her commute has been reduced to about 7 seconds, the walk downstairs from the upstairs bedroom, I asked her if she had been talking to Tim, a friend of mine. She said that she’d been in a Zoom meeting. We left it at that. Being educational leaders in neighboring school districts, we have developed the habit of steering away from matters that might infringe on the confidentiality of individuals with whom we share relationships.
This has me thinking about the intersection between our professional lives and our personal lives, an essential question that has long held my attention. To what extent are the persons we bring to work, the same as the persons we are at home? And, vice versa? During the curious psycho-sociological experiment that is the global pandemic, this dynamic has never been more on display. Some of us, working from home, with our families within arms reach, are now both our professional and personal selves under the same roof. Families are confronting the work lives of their spouses, dads, moms for the first time. The reverse is also true, many overworked professionals are presenting to their families some version of themselves 24/7, and hoping it works. What to do?
Is the work YOU and the home YOU the same? Who’s the YOU that is in your house 24 hours a day? I’d love to hear how you’re answering these essential questions.