I was in a work meeting today about reaching out to Native American families in my community. I thought how one idea was great and I wanted to share it with my best friend who works for a tribal college. Then I remembered when I got to visit him this summer (we were so relieved we both took COVID seriously and he didn’t even laugh at my joke of bringing a tape measure to make sure we stayed apart). He told the story how, after years of dedication, he left the board since one woman was causing problems and getting recruits to back up her madness. He spoke out and then left. Others were amazed at his bravery. He said, “I’m too old for this shit.” He figured life was too short to deal with quibbles.
I remember thinking about his story and wondering if I made a mistake joining co- housing. I was already upset about a serious issue and wondered about all the little conflicts building up. I was starting to feel disillusioned. I know lots of people join as they are retiring and aging, but I wondered if life was really too short to deal with all these conflicts. I know myself too well – I like to find solutions and figure things out but I also take on too much. When a student told me she missed a period and was pregnant I worried all week only to see her again and she said it was a false alarm. It was a clue – I need more mental boundaries. Now, cohousing was pushing those boundaries. I couldn’t make everyone happy. I should have listened when it was clear most were not interested in finding solutions, just sweeping dust under the rugs.
Maybe it will change. Groups go through stages. Emerging, Crisis-surviving, and thriving. I left during crisis stage. I hope they get to thriving.
For me, even before I felt pushed out the big volcano erupted, I wondered, “Am I too old for this shit?”