Living and Working, One Place or Two?

As many of you, I have today off from work for President’s Day (though technically it is officially designated as Washington’s Birthday. See here for an interesting fact check about this holiday).  In recent months I have spent my days off getting ahead on grad school applications, GRE studying, other random writing projects, going for a run, and of course, drinking lots of coffee from my favorite local shop. I consider my time spent running and drinking coffee as time spent enjoying my town. (And as you can read in Friday’s post, I do try to make an effort to always enjoy where I am).

For whatever reason, the town is currently undergoing sidewalk repairs. To me, this seems rather silly in the chilly February weather, but I suppose they have their reasons.  While walking home from the coffee shop this morning, I realized that I tend to always walk the same way, unless something changes my routine.  Today it was the sidewalk repairs. I also walked a slightly different way to the coffee shop this morning, but I’ve walked that route at other times. However, on my way home, in order to avoid the concrete dust and the drilling noises, I cut down a different street and through the library parking lot, essentially one block down that I normally walk. And, as silly as this sounds, I remembered that it’s sometimes fun to take a new route.

Maybe it’s just me, or does everyone tend to stick to the same routes? In college, I never did. I always liked to walk home from classes or work or practice a new way and wander through the less traveled paths on campus. And on road trips or bike rides, I love traveling down unknown roads. So why would that change now, here? I’d guess that it is because while I live here, I do not work here, meaning most of my time is not spent here, walking around. When I am in town I walk the routes I know I like and past the stores because there is always something interesting to see.  Call me a creature of habit.

This self analysis reminds me that I am one of those people who would love to work in the town where she lives. Of course, factors such as walkability and a short commute come into play as well, but mostly working and living in the same would give me the greatest connection to where I am, and maybe that would solve this geographic commitment phobia (maybe).  Not everyone wants to live and work in the same place – many people want to get away and keep those parts of their lives completely separate. Not me. Being a preservationist ties together every part of my life and makes me want to keep that strong connection. It all reflects back to people having pride where the live – sense of place, quality of life. You can’t escape this discussion.

I’ll come up with a plan for the next adventure in life. What about you? Does it matter to you?