I ran into three of my past and current clients at the grocery store yesterday. The grocery store just blocks from my house.
On my way to church or to the pharmacy I pass by another church, one with a large overhanging porch. Every night there are people sitting there, all wrapped in sheets and blankets.
As I was walking home from the pharmacy this afternoon, I passed that place and reflected back to an exchange I had just before leaving work yesterday. I went to talk with someone, as they requested, minutes before I was due to leave. On realizing that our discussion was going to take longer than I had, I asked if I could defer it until the next day or if they would mind speaking with one of my co-workers. They got really upset, a “what good are you to me” kind of upset. But I have learned that if I do not set boundaries, I could very easily be there all day and all night working with people.
It hits me every day: I get to go home. I go to work, spend eight hours working with people to find housing, deal with past (and current) trauma, or overcome addictions, and then I get to go home to my warm home, cook a meal I want to eat, and then curl up in my bed. I get to go home.