|Living in cohousing||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: juniperjojo (juniperjojoaol.com)|
|Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2006 08:23:04 -0700 (PDT)|
Liz, First, let me encourage you to let go of any "ideal" you may have about cohousing, the sooner the better. The *reality* of living in cohousing is always -- always -- different from everyone's ideal. This can be a shock to the system as people move in and realize that their ideal of living in cohousing is different from their neighbor's, and not infrequently leads to one or two families moving out soon after. For one thing, the challenge of living in cohousing is not the same as the challenge of getting it built. Getting built requires people with patience, vision, planning skills, and (most of all) the ability to navigate whatever bureaucratic hurdles are in the way. Once you have moved in, an entirely different set of skills is needed. Some people thrive on the design/build process, but fail to thrive on regular meetings to hash out an outdoor cat policy, or decide what the annual budget should be, or address the collision of very different parenting styles. And vice versa; people who HATED waiting to get built and talking about township approval and floor plans and where plumbing stub-outs would be in the basement and whether or not radiant heat is worth the extra cost and how to design lanes for fire access that don't look like highways often LOVE living in cohousing. These are the people who just enjoy knowing their neighbors' names and having people say hello when they go to get their mail and being able to get rides to the airport or borrow fresh ginger and regular community events. Living in cohousing is (to coin a phrase) hard work, and not for everyone. But don't let your disappointment over it not meeting your "ideal" distract you from appreciating the reality. Jenny Cook Great Oak Cohousing Ann Arbor, Michigan ... going on three years of living in cohousing, and still trying to decide whether I'd rather live alone in a cabin in the woods :)
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