I heard this quote the other day as I was listening to my favorite podcast and it really stuck with me.
In the middle of any difficulty lies opportunityBy Albert Einstein
Immediately, I of course connected it to relationships, particularly amid this global pandemic we are all finding ourselves in. Talk about difficulty! For the first time for millions of partners, people are finding that they are having to learn how to live together, work together, and still manage a healthy, meaningful relationship.
I don’t know about you all but for me, I’m finding the need to obtain just a little more personal space. Don’t get me wrong, I love my partner and I love spending time with him. However, it does admittedly feel slightly overwhelming to not get that small break apart in the day where I am just me, able to focus on my own goals and my professional identity. Because we share almost every aspect of our lives apart from our individual careers, I feel somewhat protective over that time. It has become a bit of a difficulty to navigate.
But again, in the middle of any difficulty lies opportunity. So, I am still processing what that means for my relationship and actively searching for the opportunity but what I think I have come to find is learning more about mutual respect and boundary setting in the context of my relationship.
Boundary setting has become even more important during COVID. You need your own private space to do your work. You need times where you can step away from work and times where you can be “on.” When you are sharing your life with someone else, they need to be aware of the boundaries you set and practice respect, not pushing against those boundaries but finding ways to offer support.
We need to communicate with our partners and learn their boundaries when it comes to their virtual work space as well. For example, although you might think it’s thoughtful to make your partner lunch and bring it in to their office, they might find it distracting. What works for you and your partner in how you do your work might not align. I like to move about the house during breaks and frequently get up to stretch my legs. My partner likes to sit at his desk for several hours while he is “in the zone.”
How do you and your partner best work?
Are you respecting their work space needs?
Can you work to accommodate them more?
Does your work identity feel threatened or disrespected in any way or are you experiencing a sense of loss in that area of your life? How can you bolster a sense of competence in who you are in the context of your career during this time?
If you feel as though you have made some headway in navigating work from home with your partner or issues surrounding adjustment to COVID-19, share your insights below! Myself and everyone else could benefit from hearing them.