Much like Schrödinger’s theoretical cat could have properties of being both alive and dead, I am at that point where my time can be simultaneously described as both “on vacation” and “a work night”.
I have had twelve good full vacation days filled with good friends and warm family. The holiday has been spent at home, at the gym, in movie theaters, in the back yard, at the beach and on bike trails. Every single list item that needed to be done on this vacation, has been completed as of about 10 minutes ago. The alarms are now set as tomorrow, I have to go back to work.
One of my rituals tonight is to transition from the orange backpack of “my time” to the red backpack of “work life”.
One of my personal weaknesses is my tendency to lose things when I rush. Most who know me are aware that I am always rushing. For this reason, I have to rigorously keep all my things that belong in my backpack, in my backpack, lest there be “going through the garbage at 10pm at night in Arizona trying to find my car keys”-style craziness.
The red backpack is for work. It is Mary Poppins’ carpet bag HUGE and allows me to carry my work laptop, my lunch and a few binders while being convenient enough to wear while riding my motorcycle. Over the years, I realized that it’s better to maintain a “home life” backpack that is separate and when possible apart from my work backpack. I also find value in the symbolic rituals of transitioning from one to the other. There is something invigorating about putting the red backpack on the shelf for several weeks.
What about you? Do you have any rituals that keep home and work life separate?