one lesson i will take to the grave.. patience. i have had many other opportunities in my life to learn patience like being a step mother, working with the public in customer service, and being a supervisor for a large chain store. but this... this is something all of it's own. living in a community has many benefits, being more cost effective is pretty high on the list, but it also comes with sacrifice.
the temperature outside is currently well below zero, it's late morning and the guy i share my room with just went to bed. there's two people in the kitchen, one in the shower, and the laundry machine has a line up. typical for a stat winter holiday, everyone is home and it's cold outside. so i sit at my computer and wait my turn for whichever becomes free next.
when i first stumbled into the community lifestyle, i didn't have nearly as much patience as i do today. i was stubborn, and if i didn't get my way i'd sooner leave than try to think of a solution. even when i moved in here, i was constantly on the lookout for another place, something i could afford alone or with one other person. i didn't see myself living this way again as i never seem to plan for it, and when i do try to plan for it, it doesn't seem to work. so from now on i just go with the flow, and see what happens.
anyhoo.. patience. i seem to have grown some. living with a bunch of people isn't for everyone, it definitely requires a particular mind state. here in north america we are so conditioned to believe that we need so many things to live a proper life, and a bunch of space to keep them in. we're so used to being individually packaged in our very own little boxes, kind of together but really separate from everyone and the world around us.
for a while it was bothering me that i had to share my room. this certainly isn't the first time, for whatever reason i can't go anywhere without a crowd. anyways, i was starting to get really annoyed with my roommate and pushing him to start looking for his own place. i was irritated that i couldn't have some time to myself before bed, some quiet time by lamplight to read and unwind. i was bothered that all of the space in our room was taken up by two giant beds, and we didn't have any space to just exist and relax besides the always crowded family room.
one day we got in an argument. we don't usually fight, so it was an eye opener. we realized that we were arguing about things that we had the power to change, we just had to communicate our concerns so that we could come to a compromise. space was a big deal for both of us. the first change we made was to the arrangement of our bedroom furniture.
we work and sleep opposite shifts, but we're both always home for supper time. since we sleep at different times of the day, we decided to put one of the beds against the wall and share the one. this gave us more space to use for hanging out when we're not in bed, and somewhere for me to excercise when it's too cold to do it outside. also if we have company and the livingroom is too crowded, we now have space to seat our company in our room. it's kind of our way of coping with cabin fever, making ourselves someplace to be when it's minus a million degrees out.
as for privacy and alone time, he has it pretty good and didn't have much of a complaint. most days he works afternoons or nights, and sleeps in the early day, which is when i'm at work. we made a comprimise that when it's almost time for me to go to bed, i get some alone time in the room to relax and simmer down. for the most part he'll hang out downstairs until i get up at five for work, and then he will take his turn with the sleep space.
problem solved..! for now. well you know.. as solved as it can be. i feel a lot better about sharing the space than i did before. and as it turns out, it sounds like party one is done down in the kitchen, so it's my turn to make something to eat. woohoo! lunch!