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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Singlutionary Community

I've mentioned creating a Meetup group for fellow Singlutionaries in a previous post but I have been reluctant to actually put this plan into action. 

In the meantime, the women over at Single Women Rule started a Meetup group which prompted me to start doing some brainstorming for my own version. But I still couldn't get anywhere. It seemed like a lot of work for something I wasn't sure I wanted.

I mean, I want a warm community of singles in my life but I am not sure I want to be the leader of it. I've led a meetup group before and it takes a while to get it off the ground during which time there may be one other person attending your "Satisfied Singles Potluck". Meetup is a people potluck after all. This can be a blessing,  especially creating community, but I'm just not sure that I want to put a whole lot of effort into spearheading it.

And I might not be able to put a lot of effort into it anyways. I'm going back to work full time (I've been underemployed and working as a homemaker/landlord/lost dog mother/actor this whole time). I've actually started a short-term blog chronicling my days until I attain full time employment-- it might be very boring to read but it provides me with some accountability for my goals which is nice. If you're also looking for work, please read and comment!

Going back to work full time (in addition to Bosslady and keeping up with my beloved projects) severely limits the amount of time I can commit to new projects. 

But today I realized that all my reluctance was irrelevant because I no longer feel the desperate need for a singles community: I have community with my roommates!

Until a few weeks ago, this wasn't really the case. I rent out rooms in my house and I love everyone who lives here but we mainly just interacted in passing. We didn't hang out much together and we never really did things outside of the house together. We all had good, yet minimal, relationships with each other.

Then a couple things happened: 

I decided to plant a food garden (inspired by approximately 7 garbage bags of mulch given to me by Bosslady's husband). One of my roommates works at a garden store. I knew I was in over my head so I invited her to help. Another roommate had grown a rooftop garden while she was growing up and knew how to plant ginger and onions and garlic from scratch. And the other roommate had some general gardening knowledge and helped me pick out tomatos. Little by little the garden grows. Today we picked the first fruit from the garden: one red strawberry. I sliced it into four dainty slices. Three of us ate our slices promptly (it was tart but good) and I wrapped up the final remaining slice for the absent roommate. It was so small that we all laughed when I set it on top of her food in the fridge. 

One of my roommates decided to foster a dog through the rescue organization that I've worked with for three years. With a new puppy in the house, everyone was enchanted and everyone pitched in. The puppy chewed shoes and raced around and snuggled and melted everyone's heart. So when I went out of town everyone offered to care for my dog who they'd also gotten to know better. One of my roommates told me today that she has been walking my dog and she hoped that was OK with me. Ahh. The secret life of dog!

Of the four of us who live here, two are single and two have boyfriends. But we're all pretty independent women. 

Tonight (on the almost 1 year anniversary of my downward spiral in regards to fitness/diet and overall health), I went to the gym! I haven't intentionally exercised in, well, a year. I went with one of my roommates and we'll continue to motivate each other into the indefinite future.

Now I have plenty of community in my life. And it all started with some plants and a puppy. It turns out that I wasn't craving singles community as much as I was craving people to take delight in life with, to do projects with and to share laughter and stories with. Turns out they had been here all along, I just never thought to ask!


Welsh Girl said...

Lovely post - though I'm shocked and horrified to hear that you have been cheating on us with a whole secret blogging life elsewhere!

TorontoSpeedDate.com said...

Good luck with the gym routine. I go to the gym every week day at 5:30am. It makes you feel so much better after you work out and it makes your day that more enjoyable.

Just keep at it, establish goals, and you will get results. Remember to eat a balanced diet as well. It's 80% what you eat, and 20% exercise! Sorry to sound like a infomercial but it's true!

I'll be cheering you on.

The Relationship Guy.

Kahnee said...

I have to agree with Toronto, it's diet trumps exercise. Good luck.

Also, I like your thinking on friendship and community. I think that's what I'm missing also. I have one "kickin it" friend and she's married. I'm going to branch out more and meet new people. GASP... I'm a little antisocial so it may be a little hard for me.

Susan Walsh said...

I love it that you discovered a wonderful group of friends living under the same roof! I think there may be a screenplay in that....I recently became friends with a woman I have considered standoffish for years. Turns out she was quite shy. I ran into her at the mall, and she mentioned that her daughter is abandoning a promising career in LA to move to VA for a guy. She was quite peeved. I said, "I don't know Annabel, the older I get, the more I think it is all about relationships. What do you want written on your tombstone?" She then shared that she was a breast cancer survivor and she had never thought of it that way. So now we are friends! I resolve to continue seeking connections wherever I can - this is what life is about, I think.

Megs said...

I think we are the same person. I'm just on like a 6 month delay. I am currently feeling like I need a single community. However, I think like you post says I just need a community. I have a great group of friends I think that life just gets in the way sometimes and I forget about them. Anyways you are awesome! I'm so glad I discovered your blog.

Monique said...

Too many times we keep searching for something that's right within our reach. I'm glad you became friends with your roomates. It's so important to have some good friends when you're a single woman. I don't have that many myself, but I take part in some forums and while I never meet the members in person, there is still a great connection. What really matters to me is that there are some people out there who understand me and that I can talk to anytime I need.

And congrats on hitting the gym!

bobbyboy said...

You know, this is one of those posts that made me smile through and through. It's a happy story. It also reminded me that I should always wait a little while before making certain decisions.

Funny thing is, I live in NYC and there are so many meetups here that I can become dizzy reading through them. I haven't attended one yet :)

The Singlutionary said...

Welsh Girl: I know, I am a dirty two timer!

Relationship Guy: Yes, I know. Now that I've got the gym part down I can start working on the diet part.

Kahnee: I am anti-social too otherwise I don't think I would have these problems. Well, am I anti-social or just picky? I'm not sure exactly.

Susan: I know! Its funny when you connect with people. Sometimes its after knowing them for years. Great story.

Megs: Yay! I love your blog too. Community is so important to feeling healthy and sane and supported! Much more important than just having a boyfriend or a girlfriend.

Monique: Yes, I am ALWAYS searching for things right within my reach. When I find them, I always am like, DUH!

Bobby: You're right: Meetup can be so overwhelming. Its great when you find the right group but its nice to have a community right at home. I don't always have time to go out and meet people.