Re: Re: starting it alone (was Risks)
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 06:18:41 -0800 (PST)

On Dec 8, 2004, at 7:54 AM, Lynn Nadeau wrote:

There is no "only" way to do cohousing, and there are infinite varieties of intentional community. See the FIC Directory, for examples. The result
may not look like some cohousings, but so what? If it gets something
happening, go for it!

I agree with Lynn. The other thing that happens is that groups change. There are no guarantees when ti comes to people or life circumstances. All you can do is go for what makes sense to you at the moment. Get as much information as you can, protect yourself from being over committed in terms of time or money, and go for it.

One of the big eye-openers for me from the time we moved in to 4 years later is how much people's involvement in the community has changed. Some people who were very involved in the design phase are now gone or peripheral to the process. Others whom I thought were just coming along because they spouse was involved have become very involved and their spouse has almost dropped out! Some people I thought would be really fun community members turned out to be just daffy and incapable of dealing with governance agreements at all.

I'm much less tolerant of process, process, process than i thought I would be. I thought meals would be my favorite thing -- I hate them. Hate is probably too strong a word since I don't go but the noise, the late serving, the endless (and delicious) starches in everything. I find buffet serving the most logical and sensible kind of serving (and always used it at home) but we do set the table stuff that drives me bonkers.

Groups and individuals in response to groups grow and change all the time. If you want more predictability, a long development time will probably feel better to you -- spend years getting to know people. But in the end, you just have to go for it and be both open and clear about who you think you are and what you think you want. That will change too.

The A-1 thing like about cohousing is (1) knowing all my neighbors, (2) having all my neighbors know each other, and 93) the more casual social contacts that having common spaces fosters.

Sharon Villines, Editor and Publisher
Building Community: A Newsletter on Coops, Condos, Cohousing, and Other New Neighborhoods

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