Walter Mitty Was Not Well Adjusted

William shared this post the other day.

The author is right; I do have a problem with this, intuitively.  Specifically, the dichotomy he, most likely inadvertently, employs with “keeping work at work.”

If your partner doesn’t know what is going on at work, or how you are dealing with it, all they will do is assume that you have a great job, and that nervous twitch you are getting runs in your family.  In my opinion, what happens at work needs to be spoken about.  As soon as you start going “Walter Mitty” on your family, get ready to start saying hello to a bunch of other things you get to just “keep at work.”

At its crux, the “leave it at work” motto ends up sucking big balls because you end up compartmentalizing parts of your life that make up the “whole of you.”  What else are we “not going to bring home” there buddy?  Face it; people spend at least half of their waking hours, five days a week, at work.  To leave half of your conscious life away from your family is undoubtedly an inadvertent message he wrote.

Want proof?  Look at how people drive.  The nicest most well adjusted people can either drive at egregious levels of the speed limit, and make traffic maneuvers with dangerous disregard for their fellow motorists, or the most meticulous anal retentive man or woman can drive  with blatant ignorance, constantly changing speed, or moving into your lane without checking their own blind spot.

Those drivers are doing exactly what he is saying, they leave certain qualities of their life…I don’t know where, but not in their car.  For them, driving simply is not a priority in terms of “good habits to employ.”

At the end of this, all I know is that I’m wishing he wrote his blog post better (maybe out of work newspaper editors should solicit their services to some blogs).  I don’t think that he means specifically, “don’t talk about work…ever.”  But, why could he not write his example better?  Hows about saying or suggesting something like: To keep your emotional breakdowns from taking control of you at home, make sure you keep your spouse informed of how you feel about your work?  Chances are that talking about it with them will not only make you feel better, but also give them a real connection to you other than the 3 hours a day you see each other awake.

Compartmentalizing your life is the entrenchment of cognitive dissonance.

I ask my colleague, Will, what do you think?


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