our relationship to our spaces

I’ve always felt that a home is way more than our physical surroundings. It is more than a place to store your stuff and take a shower.

As much as I love to pour over beautiful interior (and landscape) design magazines, books and blogs, I appreciate that what I’m really absorbing is a story. It’s the secret behind staging a home for sale, which we recently did for our house in San Francisco. Potential buyers walk into your house and can imagine their lives there.

“staging” a home for sale allows potential buyers to imagine their own stories there

So it was no surprise when psychotherapist Esther Perel discussed the emotions she felt when she packed up and moved away from her office of many years. Moving from your personal space is more than just packing up your stuff. It’s packing up your life, your stories.

In the last year, in the endless video calls, we have allowed colleagues and strangers into our private, personal sanctuaries. She recognizes that our boundaries have cracked open. Working from home is really working with home.

There’s a profound change occurring in our relationship to space. 

Esther Perel

“Working with home means all of our roles are overlapping at the same time, often in the same place. For me, my roles as therapist, mother, partner, CEO, supervisor, and friend are overlapping at my kitchen table. Everything bleeds into one another; it’s a dissolution of boundaries,” she says.

In a previous post, I reflect on the role of a front porch as a personal threshold between your personal sanctuary and the outside world. Even before COVID and lockdowns, we were all struggling with the intrusive of technology and the always-working mode. From Slack to WhatsApp to social media notifications, we have a constant stream of interruptions and intrusions in our days and nights. The proliferation of video calls (remember when we could just have a regular phone call??) have continued that trajectory.

It’s important to figure out ways to create personal, private boundaries. What is outside? What is inside? How do I define the threshold between them?

Photo by MUILLU on Unsplash

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