My partner and I somehow found ourselves discussing keys the other day, and he revealed that he's always kept his work keys separate from his personal keys- and was shocked that I don't. He had some good reasons, to which I could only sputter, "But... but they're all your keys! Your keys are your keys!"
In his mind, I think, your work keys are not your keys- they belong to your work, and should be kept separate and treated professionally. In my mind, if you give me a key, it's mine until you take it away. Granted, I've never had nearly as many work keys as he does, but I always have at least one. My key ring currently holds my house key, bike key, car keys, gym key, and work key. When I grab my keys, I'm grabbing all my keys. If I leave the house, I want to be ready for anything. Perhaps I need to stop by my job after-hours to pick up my paycheck, or maybe my boss asks me to stop in to take care of something. If I kept a separate keychain for each job and my personal life, I would never have all the keys I need with me... and they'd probably all be lost anyway.
But beyond logistics, I think of my keys as a command center. They've always been the magic wand that grants me access to vehicles, garages, bikes, elliptical machines, mailboxes, apartments, a flower shop, a library, a candy shop, a cafe, and a series of houses and apartments. They're always at my side, ready to open up the world to me, and with the exception of one Thanksgiving when I ran to catch the bus without thinking and locked them in my apartment behind me, I've never been without them.
Enough about me! How do you deal with all the keys that life deals you? Do you have separate sets for all different aspects of life, and if so, how do you make sure you always have the right ones? Do you jumble them all together in one big janitor knot? Or do you have futuristic homes, cars, and workplaces that no longer require keys, allowing you to stroll right out the door unencumbered?