Search Results for: journey

Creating Community Where You Already Are (Do you know your Neighbors?)


I know in many places in the country people feel very isolated. From suburban neighborhoods to apartments, neighbors just don’t talk to each other like they use to. There was a time when everyone on every street knew all the other people lived there. They were each others support networks and friends. Our increasingly more digital culture, with all of its benefits, has allowed us to remain isolated in our homes and reach out to friends and family through the power of social media rather than in person.

Are you interested in creating community as you age? The first place to start is right in your own neighborhood.

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What is a Crone and Why Should You Care?

photo credit: Foxtongue via photopin cc
photo credit: Foxtongue via photopin cc

There are a lot of words that can be used to describe elder women and not all of them are flattering. They might include hag, biddy, battle-axe, shrew, and harpy. But there is a better word which we can reclaim and use to emphasize wisdom and the lessons we’ve learned throughout the first two thirds of our lives.

The word in question is Crone.

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Your Quest for Home is Truly Your Quest of Self-Discovery

Paper chain neighborhood and communityHave you picked up your copy of Your Quest for Home yet? If not, I wanted to share a little more insight to draw you in.

Your quest, the one that will lead to you better understand how you want to live in community, is really more about you than anything else. This comes as a surprise to many people. It is important that I stress how much this journey is about you as an individual. If you don’t know your motivations or your reasons for wanting to live this way, something will always feel off.

Humans are complicated animals. So often we find ourselves projecting our own insecurities on the people around us rather than addressing them directly. I’m not saying there aren’t toxic people that can enter our lives, but I am saying the only thing we have control over is our own response.

My guidebook is designed for you, as an individual, to assess the reasons you want to live in community. It is for you to take a deeper look at yourself and learn what kind of person you want to be as you age. This book requires active participation on your part, just like living in community will.

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Expensive Cities Can Be More Affordable in Groups

Image by Anne Fitten Glenn via Flickr

Image by Anne Fitten Glenn via Flickr

Recently, my city of Asheville was listed in a Yahoo Finance article about the 10 cities where ordinary people can no longer afford homes. There are major changes in the real estate market, especially considering that just a few short years ago individual home owners weren’t able to sell their homes without taking a loss or needing to consider a short sale. It just goes to show how quickly things change.

While the article talks about the increasing mortgage rates across the United States it doesn’t seem to indicate the other factors that make these particular cities less affordable. Could it be pay inequality or the higher cost of living? In any case, it may be time to reconsider the way American’s buy homes in the first place.

I have a radical idea for individuals who want to buy homes in these areas: Community Living.

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My Favorite People

No woman is an island and rather than let you think I have come up with all of these great ideas by myself I wanted to share some of the people who influenced and inspired me along the way. This list is of my favorite people and why you might want to add them to your list as well.

Joan Medlicott

joan medlicottThe author of the Ladies of Covington Series has been a great inspiration to me in my journey. Truly ahead of her time, Joan’s books are filled with strong, older female characters. I’ve had the pleasure getting to know Joan over the years with our first introduction in 2005. She was a contributor to our conference in 2007. I frequently loan her books out to other women who want to know more about shared housing. It is hard to know what the future holds for Joan since she is dealing with an illness now. I am glad to share her legacy with other women.

Click below to read more about my favorite people.

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How to Advertise for Community Living: Resources Beyond Craigslist

Image by In 30 Minutes Guides via Flickr

Image by In 30 Minutes Guides via Flickr

So many people ask me for practical advice about shared households and how to get started. One of the biggest steps toward this goal is to spread the word about your need for like-minded people to join you on this journey.

Since there are so many possible ways to handle shared living a lot of the information will vary depending on your specific situation. For instance, if you want to purchase a home with two or three other people your relationship with them should be very different than if you were renting our rooms in an existing home. Sometimes, but not always, you will want to keep your focus local to attract people who are ready to make this change now. Other times you may want to expand your search further out from where you are now. All of these factors will play into exactly how you advertise and where.

My ideas are after the jump.

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Love in Community Living: Cohousing with a Spouse

Shades Warrior Suite 7542

Image by U.S. Army via Flickr

There is a reason this community is called Women FOR Living in Community rather than just Women Living in Community. When I began this journey I knew it wasn’t for women only but that women were the glue that could hold these community relationships together.

A young friend recently shared with me that her aging parents are moving out of their colonial style home. With joint and vision problems they are no longer able to navigate the staircase with confidence. Their home, the one where they raised 3 children, has multiple bedrooms and bathrooms and could be a perfect home for community living. Imagine, instead of selling the home, if they repurposed it and invited others to share the space with them. How could this change the game for many seniors who would prefer to age in their own homes?

I encourage you to continue reading my thoughts about community living below.

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Your Quest for Home: Where Do I Start?

I am frequently asked about the best ways to start community. How do you find other people interested in living these types of situations?

your quest for homeThe good news is that my guidebook, Your Quest for Home, will soon be available. You can sign up for the mailing list to know when it will be available on the homepage.

In the book I share some important information about how to start your journey toward community living including how to meet others on a similar path. I tackle this information starting in chapter 8.

When I set out to intentionally find a community in which to live, I had no idea that I was also stepping into a profound opportunity to discover myself. I didn’t know that in order to find people to live with. . . people that I WANTED to live with. . . I would have to know myself.

The guidebook offers an exercise for you to begin learning about yourself, your desires for community living, and your ultimate goals.

I encourage you to click below to read more about how to find others and the guidebook.

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New Year’s Resolutions from Women for Living in Community

11695066003_345f318181_zThe holidays are over. We’ve watched the ball drop and rang in the New Year. Now, the real work begins. This time of year is where many people make resolutions they often set aside by February. Instead of impossible goals, what if you use 2014 to work toward your dream of living in community? Here are just a few resolutions that can move you forward this year.

  • Make connections. Community building is all about making the right connections. Join online forums, local meet-ups, and engage with everyone you meet. Talk about community building and what you do when you’re out at the store or at a restaurant. You never know who you will meet. Also, don’t hoard these introductions. When you meet someone who can help a friend or colleague, introduce them. Building community is all about surrounding yourself with the right people.
  • Begin to downsize. You may not want to move into a tiny house as a part of your community lifestyle, but you probably will want to simplify. This year is a good year to start. Look at your clothes, your books, your furniture; what can you part with? Donate anything you won’t need when you move into your ideal community living situation. Go one room at a time and if that is too overwhelming, start with a drawer. You can also begin to evaluate the space you do use in your life and how small you can go when you move. Would you be comfortable in a single bedroom? What are your true wants when it comes to a new life?
  • Challenge yourself. No one said building community was easy. There is a lot of hard work to accomplish what you’re looking to do. Challenge yourself to making these goals happen this year. Attend a conference or a workshop. Talk to real estate agents about homes in your area that would fit the profile. Get out of your comfort zone. If living in community were easy, everyone would do it. We have to be the trailblazers.
  • Share your story. Being accountable is one of the best motivators. Talk to others about your plans and let them keep you in check. Take it one step further and start a blog about your journey. The more followers you gain the more you will feel responsible for making something happen.

What can you do in 2014 to kick start your dream of living in community and make it a reality?

I can help! Contact me at my website or join in the conversation at Facebook to learn more! 

Image by vanhookc via Flickr

The Shared Housing Option Presentation, Hillsborough NC, October 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 6:30pm

The ’80s TV sitcom The Golden Girls offered viewers witty dialogue and laugh tracks, but it popularized a concept of housing — shared housing or the collaborative home — whose time may have just arrived. Kilkenny  and Williams  are colleagues, friends, and housemates in Asheville who share a missionary passion for promoting community and alternative housing choices through their speaking engagements and workshops. Their combined experiences, stories, and exercises will foster questions, insights, and aha’s.

Kilkenny founded Women for Living in Community and has been interviewed about the financial, safety, and social benefits of the shared home model on NBC Nightly News, CBS Early Show, ABC News, and NPR. Williams is Communications Director of the Living in Community Network in Sarasota, FL.

This public programs will be held at the Central Orange Senior Center in Hillsborough, NC the programs begin at 6:30 PM.

All presentations will include facilitated discussions that will spark new ideas and allow those with similar interests to connect.

The Central Orange Center is located at 103 Meadowlands DriveHillsborough, NC (919) 245-2015.

Hosted through a partnership of

Orange County
Dept. on Aging






Women For Living in Community