|Work||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)|
|Date: Fri, 5 Jul 2002 11:46:02 -0600 (MDT)|
At RoseWind, I think Rob Sandelin's observations (Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2002 22:52:49 -0700 Subject: [C-L]_Time expectations in cohousing) are exactly right on. I'm part of the 1/4 who typically do a more-than-average amount of community-related work, and I'm really clear that it's up to me to not burn out, to cut back when needed, to take responsibility for taking on the tasks I do. And with only 1/4 of the membership participating only minimally, there is still enough energy to get the jobs done. We have no official requirement for participation, but when people are looking at buying in, I phrase it as an "expectation" that each person will participate in the ways and amount that they can, with allowances for health, family, travel, and all that. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Sharon's idea of a database to eventually get clear how much total work IS done (by whomever) is valuable information, though challenging to collect. Around here, any record keeping by individuals if very spotty. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ >I am willing to clean the common >house when we become residents, or participate in work days, but I'm not >sure that is the best use of the time I have to offer to any community. >I certainly agree that participation in the community is fundamental to >cohousing, though. While there seems no harm in farming out some chores, there definitely are community benefits to shared work. A recent work party had members of 15 households show up, and not only did we get a lot of extensions installed on our irrigation system (which could have been hired out) but we had many people-hours of conversation, cooperation, laughter, shared food and problem-solving. The 4 yr olds rode around with the tractor drivers, and "helped". I watched a toddler and supplied playdough for the older ones till they fell into the thrall of the tractors. We all had a good time. AND got the job done for little money. AND we feel some ownership of the results: "we" did that. Money would have bought a lot of the work we did on our common house. But then I wouldn't have the same sense of appreciation for Nancy's mural, Gitte's colored glass medallions in the wall, Doug's arches, Sandra's benches, "our" stucco and plaster work, my woodwork in the kid room, Pat and Don's sofas, Wendell's oak table, Michael's tile work, etc etc. It's a physical manifestation of our cooperation. In a more subtle sense, I think we also take care of things better when they are our own. When there is no maid to clean it up, you are perhaps more conscious of the mess you make. A local person recently asked me, "How do you like the cohousing? Does it work for you?" I realized they were asking because their best friend here is someone who participates very little, and doesn't feel a lot of satisfaction. As I reported that it was excellent for me, I realized that this may be a case where the more you put in, the more you get. Within limits, of course. But participation does bring rewards. The more I do things with people, the more connections I have with them, the more relationship I have with them, the more mutual benefits. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Acknowledgement is very important. I was once in a personal-development training where an elementary exercise had a lot of very "together" adults in tears. It was this simple: sit in partners, facing; choose an A and a B. A say to B "I would like to be acknowledged for....." and B simply, and only, repeat it back to them, with eye contact, saying, "I acknowledge you for...." Some people said things like "for getting out of bed this morning" "for exercising for 15 minutes this morning " and others said stuff like "for surviving rape and assault and raising 9 children single-handedly" or "for putting together a proposal that got a million dollars for a nonprofit". But however large or small the item might have seemed to an observer, for the speaker it was an emotional burden that it had felt insufficiently acknowledged. Even the utterly-mechanical feedback of "B" elicited release. Then B and A change roles. I wish some time we could do a check in here where each person just said "I would like to be acknowledged for...." and got a round of applause. But at least praise and acknowledge and thank whenever you can - it goes a long way towards cushioning the criticisms that come at other times, too. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ PS Four hours a month as an average contribution of time to the community seems a wild dream. That's one committee meeting of two hours, in a month, plus 30 minutes a week of something else, which wouldn't go very far. Or cooking once a month, and nothing else. Or reading cohousing-L and nothing else? The good news is that you get a lot of value for your time! _______________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org Unsubscribe and other info: http://www.communityforum.net/mailman/listinfo/cohousing-l
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