Many of the values and practices most of us try to promote at home - for instance order, aesthetic choices, comfort, safety, routine, love....... are actively discouraged or discarded at work, in care settings, in travel, and even in many leisure activities. Of course for some people their home is not a haven, and almost anywhere else is better, and that is another issue.
Many of the most difficult situations I have observed or had to address in organisations with which I have worked have been at least in part due to this separation. Environments, systems, thought processes and behaviours which would be unthinkable for most people in a normal domestic situation become the norm outside it. I have frequently seen bleak workplaces, frightening institutions, infantilised behaviours, lack of accountability, and bizarrely inefficient systems just accepted by thousands of people who would never for a moment accept them at home.
This is bad enough for everybody - at best a dreary blunting of enjoyment and performance, but often frustrating and diminishing. For many, though, it is much worse than that. For a child in care, a patient in a hospital, somebody incarcerated in a prison or a secure unit, or a worker who can see no way out of the situation they’re in, that split can prove damaging, life-changing, or even fatal.
We have all seen that the current crisis is making huge numbers of people question whether they want to return to work-places and travel routines now that they have tried working at home. It may drive a change in how we all look at that separation.
I am fascinated to pursue this theme, and to find practical ways of promoting my domesticity agenda wherever I can. I would be very interested to gather more examples and to hear from you if any of this chimes with you.
On a lighter note, I shall continue with two projects I have been footling with for ages - ‘Things to Eat’, and ‘Domestic Dialogues’, both inspired by my mother, who showed me the importance of home.