Boundaries – On Separation

Walled fields in the English countryside.
Tim Jones [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
We all construct walls around portions of our lives.  For some of us, this may mean living in the broom closet and hiding our religious identity or it might simply mean that we wear our pentacle necklace under our clothes when going to work.

I’ve not had many boundaries around my religious ideas.  In fact, one of the only times I’ve actually been asked about my pentacle was by a woman who was curious as to what jewelry I was wearing while it was under my shirt!  Granted, I have the benefit of having lived in more plural areas of the country where religious differences are considered par for the course, but still I struggle with boundaries.

A friend of mine doesn’t have a Facebook account.  She’s worried about boundaries between her public and private life.  She fears that someone else will post something about her that will be locked forever in the memory of the Internet and be found years hence to be used against her.  It’s a valid fear.  My parents — especially my mother — often admonish me to be more conservative in what I speak about online and attach to my name, but I find such a boundary too difficult to maintain.  It’s far easier to simply be myself regardless of the situation and to accept the consequences of sharing myself perhaps more openly than others do.

But there is a boundary that I worry about most.  It’s not a metaphysical boundary or even a magical one.  It’s time.  I’m an early-to-bed sort of person.  I’m regularly ready to hit the sack around 9PM if not earlier.  Perhaps it’s partly due to my dogs getting me up two or three times a night, but once I complete my work day, I’m often pretty much ready to eat dinner and zonk out.

I wonder, though, if part of the problem is that I think of my leisure and spiritual time as been some how separated from the rest of my life.  This might be related to the fact that I’m a telecommuter so I have to separate work and life fairly carefully or I could end up losing my job!  Even considering this, though, the cognitive separation between things that interest me — or even the cognitive separation between spirituality and fun — is a boundary that I need to work on as I move forward.

To begin to cross that boundary and bridge different parts of my life, I’ve begun to try and recite the morning devotional of the Solitary Druid Fellowship as often as I can.  It’s hard for me, especially since the day begins usually with the letting of dogs out and the eating of breakfast.  Thus, I have to remember to step out of that daily routine once I return to my office — which also contains my altar.

And that, perhaps, is the boundary that needs to be dealt with:  routine.  My routines are fairly strong but I’m not entirely happy with the things that I’m doing with my life at the moment.  There are things that I’m quite proud of, but I don’t get to spend a lot of time on them, and it always seems like the primary amount of my day is spent on work, meals, and sleep leaving only a few precious hours for other tasks.

But, in an effort to break down my routines and to inject some difference into my life, I’m trying to revive two things from my past that I lost when I moved from Illinois to Massachusetts.  One is a gaming group of some kind, even if it might be online, and not all that Pagan-y.  But the other is the creation of a social group for Southeastern Massachusetts Pagans in the hope that by meeting some of the locals that I might find a way to re-connect with myself as I connect with others.

What boundaries do you find in your life?  How do you overcome them?


  • Fantastic post. I feel the same way about the time boundary. With work, commuting, and that constant roll over of necessary functions, its hard to find time for the things we actually enjoy and want to do. I’ve been working on this area as well and have found that by shifting my focus from one hobby to another daily actually allows for more experiences. This may seem like a pretty intuitive and simple solution to a problem, but being OCD, it wasn’t an easy lesson.