Recently, I've been hypothesizing about Intentional Communities and their benefits. I made some lists and did some research. I got together with one of my friends to talk about it and I have become further intrigued. This is a long-term goal of mine, but I think I might like to have my family be a part of such a community.
Since this is such a long term idea, I was thinking about how I can apply the beliefs of my hypothetical commune to my current family situation. I'm living with my dad full time for the first time since my parents got divorced when I was four. It's totally new. I'm testing those limits again. How is their noise tolerance at night? How do I know what I should eat? Where does this go? It's bizarre to feel that way in a familiar house. I'm learning everything slowly, but surely and it feels so good. I can sculpt my relationships and choose how I spend my time. I'm kind of starting over.
I'm learning how to take joy in things like doing the dishes. The best way to find joy is to watch for the benefits of your actions. When I do dishes, I clear my mind, remove a small burden from my folks, and I feel acomplished afterwards. That's enough for me. In addition to those things, I am also creating a place in their family community. And, it's not just doing dishes. It's having an honest conversation(and present human connection) or having dinner at the dinner table, running for groceries or getting the mail. I get to give myself the rules that I would give my nineteen year old, within the guidlines my parents provide. I'm making up my life's rules, establishing values. I have a feeling that this is really important, developmentally. My advice to myself: find joy in everything even if it takes you a while. Joy is more of a practice than an event, anyway.