The Co-Living Trend – My Co-sharing Fears and Realities.
The Co-Living Trend…
Being real about my thoughts and feelings on co-sharing.
Did you know, there is a Co Living Trend approaching, or realistically actually taking place for some. I am not sure how you feel about coconnecting and co-sharing a home with another woman in a similar situation to yourself to relieve the financial stress of living alone.
For me when I was going through my darkest time, facing the reality of choices I had made, opportunities I missed and the realisation that the next great full-time job was not going to become a reality, I got scared, really scared. I looked around my home, a home that I had raised my son’s in, a home that was me, filled with my personal things and memories and the thought of co-sharing it with another woman really bought up a lot of fear.
I knew the benefits of co-sharing would be great, yet all logic just seemed to disappear when I looked around my home and tried to picture another person co-living here with me. Silly Hey or is it?
Why Fear The Co Living Trend?
The first fear I had was one of privacy, I am an artist, I keep a lot of journals and creative ideas in my art room as well as works in progress, I didn’t like the thought of someone else going in there and looking through it. Why? There are some personal journals, there are some business ideas and creative concepts that I have developed and yes I am a bit precious about them, I will admit it. It’s a funny thing, that I would be concerned with someone going through that stuff and yet I never once thought about them going through my private bedroom.I just took it for granted that respect for personal space would be a natural thing for a women co-sharing, that she like me would understand your private bedroom and the things in it are off limits. I have great trust in others yet I was really concerned about this space.
In regards to my “art space,” it’s not like I have anything to hide yet this raised a fear in me. I really had to face this fear, I have friends come and sit in that space regularly, it’s a place we gather and chat and often share a wine, and no one ever got up and went through these items, so why was this such a powerful fear around co-sharing my home? What came up for me, was that it is a messy space as well, I am so busy with work, my art business and other projects that this room tends to get a little neglected in the organising and tidying up processes. I could say I get a bit embarrassed by the mess and would prefer others to stay out unless invited in, sounds harsh yet it is true for me. And that was probably the real fear, the mess!
I have personal stuff all over the house as most of us do and the thought of moving some of it or rearranging to make space for someone else’s special things is OK with me, yet I really felt that my art space was a no-go zone for anyone I would share with. How would I convey that without sounding like a “precious little princess?”
What could I do to let go of that fear? Do you have fears around co-sharing? Even when you know you will be far better off financially by coconnecting? What are your fears?
What to do with this Fear?
With my logic telling me it’s time to invest in myself, give myself some financial relief and find the right person to coconnect with and start co-sharing, I took a good look around the “sacred art space” I realised I was being a little selfish and a lot “pre-judgemental” I had choices, I could clean it up, put anything that I was really “precious” about away in the filing cabinet and lock it up. Simple hey! I could also trust the process of CoconnectHER, fill in the questionnaire and take time to find the right person to co-share with. Someone who would understand my quirkiness, my need for respect around this space and other values that matter to me and this would form part of our agreement we would make around co-sharing. Pretty simple really.
Once I made this decision I looked from the other person’s perspective, I walked around my home and looked at ways to make it comfortable for someone else to live in. I also sat down and really thought about the person I wanted to share with, did I want another creative type living here, enjoying and using this space? Did I want to engage with someone on that level or did I want someone who really didn’t give a flying fig about art and the “sacred space” These are the things we all need to think about when taking our first step into co-sharing, you really need to be clear on your values, your needs and wants, otherwise you set yourself up for disappointment. If you aren’t clear then how can you find the right person?
Most fears come from facing change, co-sharing is a change if you haven’t done it for a while. Other fears that come up are usually around sharing the bathroom, kitchen etc. I shared my home with 2 growing boy’s and a lot of their mates staying over and we coped really well with just 1 bathroom and “loo” so surely two grown women can work out how to share these and other things. The biggest part of solving the fear and the puzzle of co-sharing is clear and concise communication, for that to happen you need to be very clear on your expectations of co-sharing through CoconnectHER.
Starting the Co-sharing journey.
Having faced my fears, I worked out a solution and made a list of what I wanted from the other woman I would co-share with I then made another list of all the benefits I would receive by opening my home to a like-minded woman. I would have financial relieve and so would she, this would allow both of us to start living a fuller and healthier life.
Why healthier? The facts are there surrounding illness and isolation, those living alone on low incomes, struggling to pay for the basics are becoming unwell faster than anyone else. Sad yet true. By co-sharing I would be sharing not only my home, I would be sharing the running costs and some of the chores, which would mean I had more dollars in my purse each week, some extra time on my hands and for me that meant I would be able to go out for coffee with my friends or to the movies once in a while.
My plan moving forward from here is to clean up the art space, put away things that I want to keep private and work on my CoconnecHER share agreement so when I find the women in my area that match what I am looking for I know what to ask once I have paid my fee and meet these ladies in person, I am hoping they will do the same and we can lay aside any fears and enjoy quality of life in a harmonious co-sharing home and end our risk of financial homelessness.
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