For years I did not understand why my husband was so short on the phone when I called him at work. At work one day I had a sudden epiphany when one of my children called me: the gear shifting process takes a few minutes. I couldn't integrate the compartments.
Those separations or compartments were easier to understand than the ones I deal with now. My situation has changed and so has the need for compartmentalization. I still think of myself in one compartment as a single or widowed female. My attitudes and associations are directed toward my needs as a woman alone.
The second compartment in my life includes my housemates. I invited my daughter and her daughter to move in with me after my son-in-law died suddenly. Carol, my daughter, is disabled and she requires a lot of assistance. My granddaughter Sarah attends college and lives with me too. We have some juggling to accommodate all the needs, and we are not yet a smoothing functioning machine. Maybe with time and practice that will improve.
My private activities include writing, building and flying kites, making bread, attending church functions, and research for writing and information. These are a sub-categories because they aren't always compatible. I research things I don't intend to write about. I attend church functions I don't enjoy. In this part of the compartmentalization there is a fluidity that brings some things to prominence and allows other to fade. Kites and writing may join for a while, and then separate again when the poem is finished. Making bread and going to church dinners may join hands but not form a permanent bond. Genealogy got put on the back burner, but it will have a spotlight again. Some things are fun to share, and some are too personal.