Wednesday, July 28, 2010

intentional living?

So yesterday I was reading this article {after my interest was sparked by this} and started thinking. Mostly about my Carbon Footprint {mines about 5...  please don't ask me why I don't recycle... that needs to change ASAP - so embarrassing!!} and my role in saving the environment. If you read my blog, you know that I love my Mother Earth... and I love community, very much.

This all started a few months back when I was watching Wife Swap.... I know, I know.... lameee. Anyway, one of the wives lives on a Commune and I was so intrigued that I started fantasizing instantly. So for some reason, I started looking up Intentional Living Communities the other day {they're not called Communes as much, anymore} and was really surprised to see one in my area.

Before my husband freaks, I do want to say that I'm not 100% sold on the idea of moving out of the community and disconnecting from the mainstream completely. Plus, they told me that I couldn't bring my dogs... so that right there was a major turn off. But I did like some of the things I read. It kind of made me think about The Beach {one of my favorite movies, no matter what anyone else says!!!} and my idea of Utopia... and how it may actually exist outside of a movie screen.

Everyone working together for the greater good, sharing work loads and money, raising children together. No 'mine' or 'yours'. Ugh... my heart flutters at the sound of that! This is something that I talk my husbands ear off about, and he pretty much thinks I'm crazy.  But I'm ok with that, because I realize that this isn't for everyone. But if your honest with yourself, don't you see the appeal in lifting the weight off your own shoulders and dividing it up amongst a community that supports you?

I do think that an Intentional Living Community sounds a little intense, and sadly I'm not ready to give up my social life or ability to throw house parties. But!!! There are ways to start a "commune" where you make the rules. Basically.... it's like going back to college and picking roommates. Everyone pulls their funds together, buys a house with separate bedrooms but a common living room and kitchen, splits the bills and chores, and comes together to make all of the house decisions. This is what people are doing now, and I'm pretty sure the economy has a lot to do with it. It's sooooo much cheaper and efficient to split everything with a group.

I'm just wondering if, as a married person, I could handle this lifestyle. On the surface, I think that I could. I think that I would enjoy the strong sense of togetherness as our neighborhoods begin to fall apart and we start losing touch with families living as close as next door. I know for a fact I would enjoy dividing responsibilities. The idea of sharing a garden and a compost pile... I love that {Richmond has several Community Garden's spread all over the City and this brings a ginormous smile to my face}. But would I miss my space? And I wonder how important having my own stuff really is to me. That's something I don't think I could imagine until it was no longer there. More importantly, is it really necessary for a married couple to live in house by themselves, or could we benefit by living with several other people who share similar goals?

What do you think -- is it possible that Utopia could actually exist?

p.s. - what's your carbon footprint?

p.p.s.- does anyone have some simple ways to recycle in an apartment building? How could we hide the bins so that our loft doesn't look cluttered?


  1. I think if you were able to pick who lived in a house with you that would work, but not being able to pick and choose .. I feel like you would end up with a slacker or two. I mean, it's human nature. Some people are going to put more effort in than others and those who don't put in as much effort will be labeled the slacker(s). And then you'd have people you just didn't get along with.. got under your skin.

    One of my close gf's and I have discussed buying a larger house with our husbands and living together .. raising our families. But at the end of the day, I wouldn't want them to see my inner monster that my husband has to see and put up with. I wouldn't feel comfortable, fully, like I do on a Sunday evening laying on the couch without a bra on.

    I like having one on one time with my husband and I don't think I would get that if we lived with other people.

  2. p.s. - our carbon footprint is 41 tons. just crazy!

    Could you put a few recycle bins outside of your door? Or inside a cabinet? Or what about in the area right when you walk into your loft?

    You could always mention to the Loft CO. that they should implement a recyling program for the entire building. I'm sure you wouldn't be alone in the cause! :)

  3. our city is great because we put all of our recycling in one bin, and the city sorts it for you. so i have one trash can and one recycle helpful!
    on the thought of communes-- i can't imagine not having lots of personal, quiet, alone time. even when i had college roommates, i had little places i escaped to everyday to have "me" time and just sit quietly.
    now that i'm married, i don't leave the house, i just go to my sewing room or bedroom for a little quiet time.

  4. ive heard of community living besides "communes", theres one that this guy Shane Claiborne talks about on his site,
    and ive heard of some married folks living in that style too, it could work, if both parties agreed....

    also.... i have a post on my blog today ALL about YOU!!! :)

    have a good thursday!

  5. I am a new follower thanks to Kel from on the brink....and I'm so glad to have been introduced! Your boxer is adorable! I've got a girl, Jada, and she can be such a little stinker! lol! Your 'About Me' has the quote, not all whoe wander are lost.....that's one of my faves!!! I am very much into recycling and reducing my carbon footprint as well, and the idea of the Intentional Living Communities is great. I've seen something on television about this and think it's a wonderful idea, but I would have to keep my pups too! It seems as though we are kindred spirits! My recycling, luckily, is hidden in my laundry room. I have four trash cans (the blue ones with the recycle symbol on them) each for paper, metal (aluminum), plastic, and glass. This has made it much easier on me and my roommate and fiancee (they are starting to recycle everything!). It makes it that much easier that our town provides recycling bags and all you have to do is put your recyclables out with the trash and they will take care of it for you! Sorry this was such a long comment, but I am now a follower! Thanks to Kellie for the intro! Nice meeting you!


  6. I think the idea of a group living together sounds amazing. Kind of like the real world or something. ; ) I think it would be hard a married couple to be limited to your privacy...and if you were ready to have kids you would have to make sure that is something everyone in the house is ready for. You wouldn't have YOUR choices anymore, every decision would really have to be run by the group. Like a family. And isn't that what we all fought so hard in high school to get away from and have "freedom" weird how that is almost what we crave as we get older.


speak your mind! always!

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