How to Grow Old while Increasing Liveliness

Huh? Does that title sound like a contradiction? Read on.

Reader Cynthia and a friend visited a few weeks ago, and were inspired, not just by the GANG garden, but by how we are working together in these two homes that border the garden and that constitute what I call “the founding pod” in the Green Acres Neighborhood Ecovillage.

BTW: I’ve decided that the growing borders of any ecopod can be perceived as any house within shouting distance, or a stone’s throw, from at least one of the houses in that pod.

I ticked off for them some of the benefits of living with other people, especially as we grow older: first, of course, is economic, it simply costs less to live. Another way of looking at this same benefit is to call it resource sharing (by taking in two housemates, I automatically dropped my energy footprint by 2/3!). Then there’s the benefit of both companionship and its shadow-side, which forces me to become more flexible by adjusting life-long habits to housemates’ needs (especially difficult for us older folks!) Plus, in general, I’d say, we experience an increased liveliness in the atmosphere, especially when our household is multigenerational, as here: two older women, Rebecca and myself, in adjacent homes, each living with two young people in their 20s — all of whom are conscious of the ecovillage lifestyle that we are beginning to inhabit, who want that, too, and whose attitudes not only compliment ours, but who often take the lead! Rebecca and I benefit from their energy and inspiration; the young ones benefit from our long experience and patience, our knowing that whatever is worth doing takes a long time.

So, you might say that our multiperson ecopod vision goes way beyond what this New York Times article talks about. On the other hand, at least this MSM article that Cynthia sent me today broaches the idea of older ones no longer wanting to live alone.

Looking for a Housemate, Not a Mate in Later Life

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0 Responses to How to Grow Old while Increasing Liveliness

  1. CindyW. says:

    Yes, Ann – I’d say yours is the only “outed” ecovillage pod of which I know (there are undoubtedly other shared households and some even w/permaculture or similar features – Syracuse NY comes to mind). I am trying to share my copy of that video you recommended locally – “All Together” with Geraldine Chaplin, Jane Fonda, Pierre Richard, and Guy Bedos – just to plant some seeds even in my own non-homesharing community, open some minds?

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