We had plans to meet some new friends for a cook-out at a park just down the road from our home. We knew the weather would be a bit dodgy again today, so our backup plan was to head back to our house and cook inside. Sure enough, just as we arrived, so did the thunder, followed by big, heavy drops of rain.
So off we went to our home. And of course, by the time we got there, the rain had let up again, which was fine. The grown-ups went inside, while all five kids took off to play in the creek.
And that’s when I realized: we had just invited into our home our first new friends.
It was fun getting to know some new people and watching our kids make some new friends as well. For the past eight years at my last job, I really did nothing social with any of my co-workers, with the exception of the occasional lunch outing or retirement party. And I can only think of one instance in which I invited those co-workers to my home, and that was for a work holiday party.
But now, I am finding myself living closer to work, and living in a much more tightly knit community, in which my children are going to school with the children of co-workers, and I am running into people-who-know-other people-I-know on a regular basis.
It might be time to let down some of those walls.
Sure, there are some good reasons to maintain some healthy boundaries between work and home, but at the same time, I think I have something to gain from inviting some new friends into my home, even if we do happen to work on the same campus.