Here is an article from the New York Times by Marci Alborher entitled, “Blurring by Choice and Passion,” in the “Small Business” section on job shifting. She begins by writing about growing up and the blurring that seemed to take place between the life and work of her parents, who owned a string of shore-side motels along the Jersey shore.
She then writes about her shift in careers from being a lawyer (as a protest against her parents’ blurred lifestyle) to being a journalist, and finds that she has returned to the “blended” or “blurred” work/life lifestyle. As she writes, as a blurring or blending takes place, it has a lot to do with how much you enjoy your work – seems obvious.
“But somehow, I have found my way back to a life with few boundaries.
And I rarely complain about it. Whether you see yourself as a workaholic
or as someone who merely blurs the line between work and play has lot
to do with whether you like your work… Could it be that blurring and blending are the new work/life balance? …In
addition to entrepreneurs like my parents, blurring is rampant among
those who fashion a career out of a passion…”
Yet, I wonder how an effect balance is reached and kept that mitigates
against burnout or obsession? It can be hard to keep oneself balanced,
at least that is what I find in my own life.
Yes, my work and life are just about completely blurred and blended. Perhaps that is the nature of being a priest, where the passion for God’s people and Kingdom is blatant. I find recognizing (really recognizing, not just knowing about) that place of healthy work/life balance and staying there is really tough. That became painfully clear during my self-evaluations during my recent CREDO experience.
I just finished watching a video from 60-Minutes on the Millennial generation and their life/work habits and attitudes, entitled, “The Millennials Are Coming.” From this video piece, it could be argued that the whole generation (in the aggregate, of course) has developed a work/life blurring/blending lifestyle. I wonder what the percentage might be among the whole population of those who are actually able to do this sort of thing? Consider, also, that this video what shot before the economic downturn. I wonder what might be said, now? Extended adolescents and moving back home with the parents may only be compounded.
But, I want to pick up on this idea of life/work blurring and blending. I’m wondering how this might transfer over to our efforts in finding new ways of translating the enduring Faith to emerging generations and the emerging culture. The concept of blurring life and faith – one’s everyday life experiences with the reality of one’s faith/religious life – might be something to consider and expand. If this kind of concept caught on, there might be fewer attempts to compartmentalize one’s life, thus alienating huge parts of one’s life – actions, thoughts, and beliefs – from what goes on any given “Sunday morning.” The reality of the Life in Christ, the ability to live out as fully as possible Christ with us, should reflect a complete blending and blurring of life/faith.
If the trend of life-work blurring and blending is the new norm, will it be easier to convey the life-faith blurring and blending that really is a better understanding of the Christian life? After all, such passion certainly is a descriptive of those whose lives reflect the image of God in profound ways. To be the imago Dei, how could there not be a blurring and blending of life, work, faith, play, relationships, and all else that we encounter?
The CBS, 60-Minutes video from 2007: