From: DCS (
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 1999 17:21:27 -0500
I may be getting in on this conversation a bit late, but my husband and
I (as well as others in the neighborhood) are hot and heavy into the
whole idea of just quitting, or making complete changes. We haven't
adopted any doctrine or had any meetings (unless you count discussion
over brew) but there are a few things I think are worth mentioning.

First, it's because of the high-stress, high-pay job my husband has that
we could afford to move into cohousing in the first place. Cohousing is
in some ways an expensive venture because of the unknowns in the
process. In usual suburban developments, there aren't as many unusual
circumstances, so it's just plain easier and cheaper to get through the

So, without the middle-class income (upper middle-class income, I guess,
I'm not familiar with those statistics) we couldn't have floated
ourselves during the 11 months of the intensive financial commitment to
move in.

Secondly, however, now that we are living here, the higher-income seems
less necessary. Our mortgage payment is very average, almost below
average, for the area, and we drive older cars that are paid for, and we
find we eat out less now that we are here. I guess cohousers who've been
doing this a while understand about the kind of clarity of vision and
purpose, perhaps a reprioritizing, of values we've always given
lip-service to, but now see that we've put ourselves in a lifestyle that
means we can actually live by our values. 

The insanity of my husband's job was always evident, and we paid
lipservice to that as well. But now that we are here, now that we sit on
our front porch and talk to people about all sorts of things, for some
reason, the insanity of his job seems heightened and the call to get out
seems louder, almost a scream.

We've done a lot of numbers crunching lately, and we think we can do it
this year - he will quit his job and stay home as a dad and husband, and
I can find a job (or a career) that I want to do and that doesn't take
over my life and our family's life. 

I've been interested in the simplicity movement, and in living on less.
But I'm not interested in voluntary poverty (that seems excessive to
me). It seems that balance is the key.

Of course, I could tell you the wonder story of one of our households,
where they both work from home, very accomplished in their field, split
all the childcare, and love to be with each other and their kids. But
I'll leave that to them, if there subscribed to this list...
I'm looking forward to the change.

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