Author Topic: Where is YOUR community?  (Read 4385 times)

DeltaBond

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Where is YOUR community?
« on: January 01, 2015, 06:40:23 AM »
Living the life of a mustachian can sometimes leave us with fewer people around to share our lives with.  My husband and I were talking about that and pondering where we might want to live in our retirement, and later in our old age.  A lot of people relocate, but making friends in a new place, finding that community that humans need and enjoy, seems almost impossible.  I sometimes envy those living the communal life with a lot of people around, all having the same goals, and in old age, it seems wise not to live life in solitary.

Where is your community?  Not to make this a religious thread, but I realize a lot of people find community in religious venues (I put it that way because there are people on here from all over the world, just saying "church" doesn't quite cover it all).  I currently don't have a community, and I'm feeling discouraged at my past failed attempts.

mm1970

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Re: Where is YOUR community?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2015, 09:47:29 AM »
We have found our community in our neighborhood, though it took a very long time - 10 years?

Our community was first grad school, but then they all left town.  Then it was work friends, but then they got busy with their kids and activities.  (Our kids don't do activities.)

Now it's the 'hood.  Other parents with kids on our street.  Plus, the 'hood has a number of families who have been having a potluck in a park (walking distance) for about 14 years.  Sunday nights.  We started going 2 years ago (found out from a friend).  During the winter we do brunch (just started that this year).  It's really really nice to get to know your neighbors that way.

I am not religious (and am atheist).  I'd say that's more common here in Coastal So Cal than other areas. So the 'hood group has a fair number of non-religious folks, plus a variety of others (Catholics, Jews, Buddhists, etc).  It's nice.

TerriM

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Re: Where is YOUR community?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2015, 10:01:43 AM »
Most of our longtime friends are from college--my husband and I went to the same one so we have friends in common.  They're all over the US now, but most major cities, we know a number of people.  These are our community.  I've picked up a couple of friends beyond that too, but for the most part, we're attached to those we met in college.

My husband also has his family as a community.  Very extended, very close-knit.

Rezdent

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Re: Where is YOUR community?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2015, 10:08:02 AM »
My community has changed over the years as my life has changed.

This posts reminds me of one of my all time favorite videos:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3qVPNONdF58

Sometimes you just have to keep looking for your tribe.

MoneyCat

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Re: Where is YOUR community?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2015, 10:29:07 AM »
My New Year's resolution is actually to be more involved in the community, so I'm working on getting more involved with our community at Church and also getting to know my neighbors better.  We got an early start on that by baking Christmas cookies for our neighbors.

teen persuasion

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Re: Where is YOUR community?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2015, 10:49:48 AM »
First, there's my family - big extended family in the area.  However DH and I moved to a county north of the family base.  We can drive to visit, but not that often.

Our small, rural town is our community now.  There is the group we know thru church, thru our kids' schools, kids' sports.  More recently I've begun working in the local village library and DH has joined a volunteer fire company.  There is a lot over overlap in those groups, but we have really expanded our connections in the community.

Join something you are interested in to find like-minded friends: animal rescue, library friends group, area beautification committee, business group, garden club, craft circle, choir or music ensemble, whatever.

choppingwood

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Re: Where is YOUR community?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2015, 11:02:53 AM »
About 5 years ago, I moved to a small town (under 1000) in Northern Alberta, a few years before I planned to retire. I chose the area because I like spending time outdoors and wanted to be able to enjoy nature and walking and camping. I did this a few years before I was going to retire, so that I could connect with the community. I've lived by myself for a long time, so I knew I would need to consciously make an effort to connect. I've done all kinds of activities since then that help me meet people -- I worked on the census, enumerated for an election, worked at a polling station for an election, joined a book club, gone on tours put on by the local university science department, joined a CSA to get weekly vegetables, go to the library, have and go to garage sales and generally chat with anyone I see when I am out and about. When I retire in the next year or two, I'll add lots of volunteer work. There has been some disconnect for the last two and half years, because I work and live in the city during the week, but people know me as someone who lives there. (When the postmistress tried to charge me for my mailbox, because she didn't think I lived there anymore, the assistant postmistress and staff pointedly ignored the firm instruction!)

Friends and family live across the country (and beyond), so there is an internet and phone network in my life as well, interspersed with some visits from me to them. 

I'm not on the receiving end of a lot of attention -- I generally do the contacts, including if I need help. But I don't worry about it much either.

scrubbyfish

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Re: Where is YOUR community?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2015, 12:29:32 PM »
Intriguing question, and I'm not sure how to answer it.

I have moved to "intentional communities" and found very crabby people that were not my tribe, and I've moved to relatively random spots and found awesome community. One instance that surprised me the most: I fell in love with a house, and bought it. Turned out, everyone around me rocked. More specifically, we had common values of: peacefulness (so lived outside of the downtown core), walkability (so lived near the downtown core), beauty (so lived in a relatively heritage area with heritage gardens), nature (so chose space with yards, and gardened them organically and strangely), and freedom (so chose lower cost homeownership to limit job dependency and did not require neighbours to become each other). None of that was outwardly identified, but I believe these were the elements that magically brought people of similar "type" together. We visited, shared tools, helped each other with projects, potlucked... There was room for everyone to be who they were: differences of religion, monogamous or poly, vegetarian or omnivorous, athletic or lazy, etc.

I moved from there to an "intentional community" that claimed to be about exactly those elements, but in which people actually imposed their religions, diets, etc, on each other, were super crabby (even violent), etc.

I've most recently moved to a village where people identify as nothing or, at most, "spiritual but not religious" as folks say. So far, it is gentle, spacious, mellow, kind, friendly. Lots like the first happy one I wrote about above, though with more art and, I would say, spirituality (i.e., soul focus) which feels like a bonus for me.

So, I think it takes a few brave goes. Jump in, try something out, if it's crap, acknowledge that and move on to the next go. I guess just like dating/relationships, when I think about it!

...religious venues (I put it that way because there are people on here from all over the world, just saying "church" doesn't quite cover it all).

For what it's worth, I use the word church and am not at all religious. For me it covers any space, event, moment that feels sacred to a person, so is not religion-specific. Personally, I could just as easily use words like mosque or temple, etc, in the same way.

mozar

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Re: Where is YOUR community?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2015, 06:45:16 PM »
I find that it is hard to find community in a large city. Once I moved to a small town I found community, or at least the potential for it.

DeltaBond

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Re: Where is YOUR community?
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2015, 09:58:39 AM »
Thank you all for your responses.  It sounds like a lot of completely different experiences, but the common thread, its not always easy.

I love the video, by the way!