In my last two posts i talked about my two latest summer vacations. well, it is easy when we go on vacation. but what about our everyday life?
When we go on vacation we tend to leave behind our “serious personality” and be for some time “on vacation” that might mean wearing nothing but a bathing suit for two weeks, losing a sense of time and routine, eating differently and so on. We take away barriers and we don’t care and worry as much as we do everyday. (this is the whole thing about vacation, no?) So when we go back to our normality we should keep some of this spirit to help us be more collaborative and therefore more relaxed! what do i mean? Remind yourself these five points as a beginning:
1. relax - you can live with less
2. relax - you don’t really have less. you just own less. you share.
3. relax - collaboration can make our life easier
4. relax - putting your time for the community is actually saving you a lot of time
share your time and spaces: when we are in vacation we often share our spaces. a typical example is sharing an apartment. For some time we have a common kitchen with our friends. This might mean that we take turns on who is cooking or cook meals together. I often learned new recipes in vacation because someone cooked for/with me. When we talk about common kitchen in normal houses, people get really scared. The think: “ and what if my neighbour cooks something i don’t like?” “how can i cook for 10 people?” and finally “ i would like sometimes to just eat alone in front of the television” . But if we take our vacation spirit and bring it here the thoughts should be more like: “ maybe my neighbour can cook stuff that i don’t know yet!”...” “if I ask my friend for help we can cook for 10, then for the next 4 days I don’t have to cook!” “tonight i feel like eating alone, but tomorrow i’ll join the group”. Sharing your spaces can be really easy if you loosen up a bit and open your mind. Same thing for other spaces like lavatory, craftsman workshop, a children room etc. The time you dedicate to these activities or to the maintenance of the spaces is usually much less that you would put in when having your own space. not to speak about economical costs.
These advantages are great for everyone, but some groups enjoy them even better. Families with children and elderly people. In families for example, one finds that routing and timing become part of life and that dinner must be served on a certain moment. Many families in the same building are having difficulties to come back from work, prepare dinner and sit together nicely. If there would be collective solutions, one family could worry only one evening a week for example. and it is a lot! For elderly people, not only it is usually easier to have similar hours for cooking and dining, socialisation is incredibly important. Many elderly people came to our new building. They came in couples or alone and they have small apartments. Most of them have difficulties in the new environment. Again, common kitchen and dining rooms can really assist those people in feeling part of a community. Ask the Swedish! they are real experts in co-dining. in fact, it is already in the housing contract that one must be part of a cooking group. If you want to know more, you can read something here, thanks to the expert Dick Urban Vestbro:
Collective Housing in Sweden
I learned about Alva Myrdal work from Dick Urban, and I wish to finish my post with her phrase from the ‘30 (!!)
“Urban"housing,"where"twenty families each in their own apartment cook their own meat-balls, where a lot of young children are shut in, each in his or her own little room – doesn’t" this" cry" for" an overall planning, for a collective"solution?”!
So, don’t forget the five rules, relax and make you everyday life a little more like your vacations.