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08/11/2022 10:48:23 AM


Sera Bonds, Interim Executive Director

Like many working professionals I struggle with maintaining healthy boundaries between my vocation i.e. how I make money and the rest of my life. As a proud Gen Xer, I count myself as lucky to have experienced a part of my career (I got my first email account when I was 27 and my first cell phone when I was 30) when it was expected that if you were not physically AT work then you were not working. It was also unacceptable, in the first decade of cell phone use to use a cell phone in public much less at a meal so, when I was out with friends, I was just that: out. Away. Unavailable for work. 

Those were the days in many ways. 

Fast forward to the early phases of the pandemic when we were at home for months on end, doing everything within the confines of our home. Work and everything else bled together and it was really bad for my mental health. I know I am not alone in this experience; that was so hard, wasn't it? 

During the first month of quarantine, in the spring of 2020, we started doing Shabbat earnestly for the first time in our household.  We baked challah every Friday afternoon, put all our devices in a lock box in the back of our house, set our phones to "away", and took a break. It enabled us to have a 24-hour period each week that was different from the others. It gave our week a bookend. It gave me permission to put my tech away, and our kid's tech, for 24 hours where our only goal was to rest. To rest deeply and it was medicine. 

This changed us as a family. Now that we are moving back around, out in the world, living with COVID rather than separate from it, we continue to rely on Shabbat each week to slow us down, to get us quiet, and to bring us together in our household in ways that does not include technology for 24 glorious hours. 

Shabbat also continues to change me as a professional. Some words that I use to guide my own professional relationships, including with the team at CBI and the cdc@cbi, are: boundaries are how we safely love each other. Professional boundaries allow us to be fully at work and then fully away. Both matter and are in service of us being the professionals that our jobs need us to be. 

I invite you to consider one way in which you can put your work away this weekend. One action that would allow you to get quiet, be more present to those you are physically with, and to rest. 

You deserve that. We all do. 

Wed, February 21 2024 12 Adar I 5784