#YearOfCommunity - Your questions: How does the everyday life in a community look?
Well, there is no universal answer, as in every community things can look different. Even in Arterra, where we are right now, people may have very different rhythms and routines. Let us share, then, how our own daily life here looks, just to have a bit of an idea. :)
First of all, as mentioned in the previous post about Arterra, it functions based on personal economy, which means that every person or family needs to earn their own money for the rent and other expenses and obviously this becomes a consistent part of an everyday activity. In our case, we keep working on international projects, coaching, teaching languages and all of these are fairly flexible and can be adjusted around other needs and responsibilities. We can also do them online, from our own apartment or offices available in Arterra. There are quite some people in a similar situation, yet their work may require a more fixed schedule or maybe even physical presence in Pamplona, Lumbier or another place, which obviously influences their daily rhythm. Other people run their own businesses in Arterra, they for example bake bread, sell organic vegetable boxes, publish the permaculture newspaper "Ecohabitar", etc. Beside the work which provides money, we are all involved in various activities within the community. As you could read in the article about sociocracy, Arterra structure is based on circles which are responsible for various areas of our common life. Each person belongs usually to 2-3 circles and is expected to give around 30h of work per month for the community. In practice, at least in our case, it's much more as there is always something to do and it takes up a huge part of our time during a standard day and sometimes even more on weekends, as there may happen to be events, workshops, training, gatherings and they require extra hands, especially for cooking. Speaking about cooking - every day there is a common lunch which people can join, while breakfast and dinners are prepared in one's own apartment, although in practice there are a lot of shared dinners and evening celebrations, as there is always somebody coming, somebody leaving, somebody having birthday - occasions for celebrations are plenty. Evening dinners are spontaneous and usually self-organised (everybody chips in some food) while lunches are prepared by 1-2 people from the community for everybody, using the ingredients from the common kitchen. Lunch is served at 13.30 while around 11.00 some people of the community meet for the almuerzo, a kind of second breakfast, with coffee, toasts, etc. From other regular activities not mentioned before, which we can join, there are pilates classes twice a week, Spanish and Euskera (Basque language) classes every week, meetings for newcomers which aim to explain how the community function, meditation sessions from time to time and with spring and summer coming more and more trips around and garden work which Andrea is just about to start. :)
To summarize – in our daily life here it is a bit of a struggle to find a good balance between work, responsibilities toward the community, socialising and events, time for ourselves and time for family/partner, not to mention friends and families living outside of the community or personal hobbies and passions. It's quite intense on many levels, so as many people told us from the beginning - one of the most important skills here is to be able to say no. To choose things we take part in and those we don't. It's an ongoing lesson for us and probably for everybody else here. :)
Do you have more questions? Write them in the comment or drop us a message!
- Definition of the word "community"
- Other examples of communities
- Other questions and answers about communities