How We Live Now: A Review

I usually save my favorite books for the holidays but this one was published just this week and I like to keep readers up with the latest news. Even though there are a plethora of books on my shelf that I could recommend this is the one I think you should add first.

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Like many of you, my life is always on the go so I can’t always find time in my busy schedule to sit down and read an entire book. But if you don’t read anything else, this is the one to pick up from Amazon today.

Here are a few reasons.

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The Trouble with Titles: What to Call Us

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This week on Women for Living in Community we want to reach out to readers of this blog to answer a burning question: what should we call ourselves?

Certainly there are already several applicable titles. We fall easily within the Baby Boomer generation. Since most of us are over 60, at least, we could also be called seniors. However, when I hear those titles I find myself cringing inside just a little bit. They are the easiest but are they the best?

Most of us know the history of the term Baby Boomer. If not, here is a quick recap. It came about after World War II between 1946 and 1964. Our nation experienced a baby boom which led to one of the largest generations in U.S. history. Today that privilege goes to the Millennials. Boomers are also associated with a rejection of traditional values. Our generation was the first hippies of the 1960s and 1970s. We also achieved greater success than the generations before us and were responsible for many of the technological innovations that continue to shape the foundation of our society today.

However, Baby Boomer doesn’t really describe what we are or what we do. It was a label thrust upon us before we were old enough to toddle. Did you know that boomers born after 1957 were sometimes called Generation Jones? This title also bridges over to the first few Generation X years. This is just further proof that generational titles are not always accurate. This is as confusing as the recent trend of interchanging Generation Y with Millennials.

So this begs the question: what do we want to be called?

Rather than allowing the media or our parents or society at large to determine the right term for individuals in our age bracket maybe it is time to take control of it for ourselves. This may be a fool’s errand. Other organizations have tried to determine more applicable titles. Maybe there isn’t just one title that applies to everyone in our age bracket. But we think it will be fun to try.

What name do you prefer for our generation? We want to hear your ideas. Tell us in the comments what terms you prefer for our generation. Or, you can join the conversation on Facebook and answer there.

Sharing Your Stories – A Call for Participation

NYT_Article_ImageHere is a call to action: We, at Women for Living in Community, want to hear from you!  It is your time to share your stories with us. We know you’re out there and we know you’re reading so it is time to step out from behind the curtain and face the audience!

So, now that I am done with the lecture I need to explain myself a little better. I’m not being the bad guy. I’m not trying to put people on the spot. However, what I am trying to do is shed a light on the subject of community living. I want people to see the benefits, understand the issues, and learn more about why this is a viable option for so many people looking for alternatives to the current way we stack old people up in homes and forget about them.

We are the pioneers! The trailblazers! We are the future of community!

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Community Spotlight: My House Our House

Photo from My House Our House

Photo from My House Our House

Community living can take on many forms. Today I wanted to share with you the story of Shadowlawn, the home of Jean McQuillin, Karen Bush, and Louise Machinist; three women who created a cooperative household to reduce expenses and live well for much less money than it takes to run a traditional home. They are housemates, friends, and co-authors and three individuals who chose to live together.

In the summer of 2013, their book came out to share their story with others.

In 2004, we were each happily living independently in Pittsburgh. While planning for a distant retirement, we realized how fantastic it could be to live together. We found ourselves asking, “Why not now?”

I encourage you to continue reading about My House Our House below.

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Tiny Houses: The Lessons of Downsizing and Simple Living

This is a guest post from Laura M. LaVoie, author of the book 120 Ideas for Tiny Living. Laura lives near Asheville in a 120 square foot home she built with her partner, Matt. You can read her blog at www.120squarefeet.com and buy the book on Amazon.

Laura’s tiny house in the mountains.

I live in a 120 square foot house. While most people aren’t interested in making such a drastic change, I have talked to a number of people who want to simplify their lives and downsize as they approach retirement. The tiny house movement has a lot to share about how to simplify our lives and small steps everyone can take regardless of the size of their home.

Tiny house living is about more than just the square footage and the amount of stuff you own. It really is a philosophy that anyone can incorporate into their lives.

Here are just a few easy ways to simplify your life and live more deliberately.

Take it one room at a time. The hardest part about simplifying is looking at all of the things you’ve accumulated in your house and thinking you can’t possibly decide what can stay or what can go. Just like with any difficult task it helps to break it into smaller pieces. Start with just one room and if that seems overwhelming begin with a desk or a closet. Make three piles: keep, donate, and toss.

Please click below to read more ideas on downsizing and tiny living.

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Women For Living in Community