Monday, June 15, 2009
Last week Dave and I made a decision about the lifestyle that our family is going to have. The opportunity came out of the blue and sent our heads a spinning with possibilities.
Over two years ago we applied to Co-operative housing complexes in the city and the suburb where we now live. In case you aren't familiar with co-op living, it is a complex of apartments or townhouses that are run at cost by the inhabitants. The goal in this type of living is to keep rent costs down and live in a community building atmosphere. It allows people of different social, economic and cultural backgrounds to come together in an area that may not have been possible otherwise.
Dave and I received a call for an interview. They had a three bedroom apartment that was coming up in August. Many flashes started going through our heads after this call.
Where we live now is good. It is not perfect (as no home is) but we like many things about it. Unlike the last two times we moved we are in a position to be very picky. We don't have a deadline for leaving our current home. One of our major factors is money. We would like to pay less rent so that we can save a down payment faster and ultimately own our own home faster. We are also looking for a community minded area that reflects our values (green living, child friendly, supportive and diverse) and is nourishing to our souls.
Our interview went great. The co-op was nice, the members we met where very friendly and we liked the apartment. The area that the co-op is in is one that we know well. We have lived in and around that area for many years. At our doorstep would be wonderful organic produce stores, fantastic restaurants, a vibrant, culturally diverse neighbourhood with lots of young families like ours....the pro list was long. I felt very torn after the interview....it called our ideas of how to raise our family into question.
I was torn between people/culture and nature/freedom. Moving to this area would drastically change the way our life is set up now. Dave would again have a commute of at least an hour and a half a day (his commute now is 10 minute drive, half hour transit, or hour long bike ride) The rent decrease was not very significant. And we couldn't change to a 2 bedroom because I need the third room since I work from home. Ky and I would be able to walk everywhere and have access to more kids and mommies and be closer to some friends who live in the area now. We need to drive or take transit to visit friends from this location. Our current home is a 20 minute walk from the nearest park. We would be closer to parks in the city but they are very groomed city parks. The parks here have wild area attached with paths and trees and are not as crowded. The area we are in now could be quieter...we live near a major highway, moving back into the city would be even louder. Our list went on and on. Weighing pros and cons. Could we do this? how would that work...etc.
I remembered a comment Dave had made months before while we were driving down the main drag of the area we were considering the move to and he said "I'd like to move back here." I responded that I did love it but wanted to move further out into more nature. The funny thing was that after the interview when considering our options, he was more into moving into nature and I was torn because I was seriously thinking a move back to the city might work.
As we deliberated this I lamented the tough decisions you make as an adult. We were the only ones who could decide what was best for our family. Can't pass the buck on this one.
Our conclusion was to stay put. We found a co-op that is even closer to Dave's work, has lots of nature around it, and is lower in rent. It seems like it's what we are looking for. We've put in our application and are in no rush. I hate moving but would do so to get into a home that suits us.
Nature/freedom won out in this one. We hope that a co-op in nature will give us more community spirit and more time in a peaceful, tree filled setting. I think we can foster a love of nature in Ky by giving him the freedom to roam the woods, run barefoot, and smell the glories of the forest. Yes, he could get that while also living in a more urban setting but for us this place fits better. And when choosing home we must find a good fit.