Who are these people and why are they appearing on my yoga blog?
These are two of my housemates, Rick and Heather, and my husband, Daniel. We’ve been engaged in lengthy discussions about the purchase of a new refrigerator and freezer.
There are six of us altogether, living under one big roof that covers three separate suites, plus other areas that we share in common.
We decided 10 years ago to do retirement differently from other 60-year olds and so we came up with a long range plan for buying a country property, building a house on it, and moving from the city.
Many people think our living situation sounds interesting and intriguing, but can’t imagine doing what we’ve done.
It hasn’t been easy. Imagine all the sacrifices, compromises, and work it took to pull off what we’ve done and still remain the best of friends.
Take this refrigerator/freezer purchase as an example. There were probably a few hours of conversations, measuring, research, and sketches that went into getting to a final decision – which, remarkably, turned out to be a full consensus.
Can you imagine the more weighty conversations we had about where we should purchase our property in the first place, how we were going to manage money, and what sort of house to build?
It’s been a remarkable and rewarding journey. You can read all about it on Heather’s blog.
Tonight’s a sad/happy night. Sad because our dear housemates, co-proprietors, and companion travellers on life’s journey are leaving for their native Canada.
Heather and Rick have what many aspire to: a toehold in their homeland and a toehold in their adopted country. Every year when the Aussie autumn chill starts to segue into winter, they fly off to Vancouver Island for the North American summer. Ostensibly, they are there for family but it doesn’t hurt that the weather is at this time mostly clement.
The happiness of today relates to Heather getting her blog and book launched. Heather says:
I’m thrilled to announce that Shedders, my book about our adventures in setting up our “intentional community” here on Mitchells Island, is now off my desk and ready for public viewing.
Here’s the link: http://shedders.wordpress.com/
Shedders is being showcased in a serialised format so you can read it in easy instalments.
You may be familiar with our story, but in my book, you can find out where it all started and what adventures happened along the way of our grand plan to live together (warts and all!).
Heather’s book has 2 years of thought, writing and editing in it, and is full of the warmth and inspiration of the author. Lots of people think about writing a book. Heather’s done it. I love the story, but hey, I’m one of the characters.
Here’s us celebrating tonight at The Three Nippers, Diamond Beach. (Maybe iPhone self photos should be banned?)
@Diamond Beach Restaurant
If you’ve ever poked around on the “Yoga Suits Her” site, you’ve seen that I live in what I call a small community. We are three couples, all in our sixties, living under the same roof.
Our situation is unusual. Mostly people are polite enough not to raise their eyebrows when they hear what we’re up to. But they are very curious. The obvious question is why any one person or couple in their senior years would want to share with others .
Here are a couple of interesting links that might shed a little light:
For our part, we worked out that to fulfil our dream of living on acreage in the country, we needed to have close friends along for the ride. Moving to a new place and into new life is a shock no matter how much anticipation there’s been. It makes all the difference to have had our close friends with us for sharing the joys of this new life and for having support with the challenges and dilemmas of transitioning.
Some of the questions that we were asked revolve around food. Who does the cooking? How many refrigerators do you have? Do you all eat together? How do you handle the shopping, cleaning, money? What happens when friends or relatives of one couple come to stay for a time?
We didn’t have answers to all the questions we had about how we were going to manage when we started out. It was just too hard to try to figure everything out. Eventually, we got to trust each other’s good will and our ability to communicate well, which meant that we could work things out when they weren’t working.
I wouldn’t move back to the city and I wouldn’t change our living situation. It’s been a blessing far greater than I could have imagined. I feel like I’m living my dream.
Anyone who regularly reads “Yoga Suits Her” will know that I speak glowingly about my life in the beautiful surroundings of Mitchells Island. (If you read my posts via Facebook or Twitter, you may not have seen the photos of our homestead. I recommend a squizzie on eve yoga.com. You can also read the story of the small, intentional community we’ve set up here.)
Usually I’m a pretty positive and happy person, I think, in the midst of our island paradise.
But last night I sorely tested myself and the merits of all my wonderful yoga philosophy when I was at a cocktail party (yes, alcohol does pass my lips) and spoke my mind, revealing a provocative personal opinion. I didn’t get a good response, or not the one I wanted, and my mind and mood went into an accelerated, aggravated tailspin.
I had a devil of a time getting myself out of the hole I’d dug, but my social graces are so ingrained that I managed to muster the necessary veneer of friendliness, so that I could see out the evening.
Once home, I dropped down into a miserable state again, feeling ashamed for having been outspoken and at the same time justified in my stance, however poorly expressed. I tried on blaming my husband; he’s too smart for that, though. So, I stewed in my woeful juices for a while until I started to take responsibility for my thoughts and actions. This is good yoga practice, I believe.
Gosh, it’s hard! Not blaming the other, and not blaming yourself. And yet, it’s so very powerful the way personal responsibility can open up insights and let one claim the less desirable parts of the psyche and personality.
I made it through this crisis by shining a light into some shadowy places and by opening up to the loving support of Rick, Heather and Daniel.