we've been discussing this notion of buying a farm with large enough buildings for several families every chance we get over the past week or so. imagining this or that aspect of it. talking about details of everything from how to construct it (should it be a company or what's called an andel in danish or something else?) to how it would work in practical everyday terms.
one of the things we envision is that although the buildings would support three, maybe four families living in separately, we would have one big kitchen that would be shared by all. because part of the whole idea is to get away from the notion that we need so much stuff. if we shared a big kitchen and passed around the cooking duties on a rotating basis, we'd make the burden lighter on ourselves and on the environment.
in discussing all of this, i've found myself thinking about how thinking shifts incrementally. the transition for being a single family in a single family dwelling to living together with several other families and sharing at least parts of the dwelling will be a big one. and how can we mentally make the leap--because that's what it will take to make the leap in actuality, right?
so i thought about the things i'm right now, at this very minute, willing to change:
- sharing the cooking duties. i find it difficult to be inspired to cook for three at times and think i would enjoy more cooking for a larger group, so i look forward to when it's "my" turn to do the cooking.
- sharing a car. i only find that i need the car a couple of times a week anyway, so i'm totally ready to be in a situation with a shared car. and as part of this, i'm completely cool with letting someone else decide what kind of car and all that jazz.
- having a big kitchen garden and truly embracing eating more locally. eating and enjoying what's in season when it's in season appeals. big time.
these are the things that are a bit harder to imagine changing:
- what if the others don't take care when they're using "my" beloved kitchen-aid appliances?
- do i really want to share my starbucks mug collection and my favorite red plates with everyone? on the other hand, do i want to hide them away and NOT use them on an everyday basis just because i'm unwilling to share?
- what if someone objects to the colors of paint i like and the decorating style i would choose (what if they want everything white!!??)
and these are the things i'm really struggling with:
- giving up my beautiful blue room. it's my sanctuary. it's where i'm creative. it's perfect (to me) in every way. will i have a similar space to call my own? is it too selfish to think you need your own space?
- i don't want to live without a bathtub again....7 years was enough.
- i love having a job where i travel, but is that actually something i can defend in light of what we now know about global warming? i will miss jetting across the world. a lot.
- what if we don't find the right people--people we can share this living situation with and who we can be friends with and feel comfortable with long term? and how will we know that they're that when we commit to entering into the project together?
- i'm really not ready to leave this house yet. i've got a lot of mental shifting work do there. but hopefully it's already begun and by the time it happens (perhaps a year from now), i'll be ready.
if you're already in the midst of such a project, we'd love to hear from you and what your thoughts and fears were before you entered into it and how you dealt with those.