Our Sojourn to Sojourner’s

Last weekend the Abbey took a trip to visit the Church of the Sojourner’s in San Francisco. It was a good trip; even though their community is different than ours and there isn’t a whole lot that we can drag and drop from their practices (we do like to cheat off other communities after all…), it was refreshing to view their community. Why? Because they’ve been at it for over twenty years! There are times when, as a infant two year old community that is mostly out of touch with any other residential community, it starts to feel like we’re crazy to even try some of what we do.

Living together day in and day out is hard, though it’s gotten easier as we’ve settled on some different people, and recruiting is tough because people are either not interested or they’re not a good fit. Where do you even start looking for someone to be a part of this?

But seeing a community that has made it over two decades is inspiring. And spending a weekend with people who don’t look at us funny when we explain what we do together is refreshing and makes it feel like what we’re doing isn’t actually that crazy. For awhile, when we first started, it felt really cool and emergent to say how we’re so radical and different and the pioneers of a new way of life.

The problems with that are that not only are we not that new and radical, but it’s also not particularly sustainable to try to chase the next new radical thing for the sake of being “hip” and “new”.

So all of that to say, it was a good trip. Even with me getting lost in the Mission district at night. Because I am that awesome/directionally challenged.

And speaking of community, after our visit to Sojourner’s, which has a car co-op, I’d been mulling over the possibility of selling my car and pitching in for the insurance on our van. I don’t actually use my car that much any more; I ride the bus to school and one of my jobs, and only drive to my other job (which is about once a week), to run errands around town once a week or so, and to my one night class.

After a lot of stress about paying for my year of student teaching, I realized that cutting down my insurance payment (since I would still pay in some for our shared vehicle) alone would save me a ton, not to mention the money I got from selling my car.

It would mean a loss of some of my independence, having to cooperate schedule-wise with Josh, and no more weekend trips to visit family. And I’m okay with that. I mean, I wouldn’t go out and sell it right now – I already have some obligations to take care of – but I could see myself selling it at the end of the year and being okay with it.

And then I remembered the one major flaw with that plan: student teaching. I have just about no control over where my placement is, and while it might be in Paradise or Chico (not too difficult to ride the bus and/or walk to), some people end up with placements in Hamilton, Orland, or further out. Argh!


On a completely separate note, my hard thing for this week didn’t quite go the way I planned. I was given Thursday off from my morning job, so I intended to buckle down and spend the day working. I made a huge list of all the things I need to take care of, including homework, chores, food prep for the week, crafty stuff, and errands.

And then a few things came up and I got off track. I decided to continue my workday after school on Friday, but again life happened and it didn’t go as I intended. Finally, I decided that my couple hour block between babysitting jobs on Saturday should be more homework time – and it kinda was, but still more distractions.

I got a good chunk of my homework and errands done, though my chores and crafty things didn’t work out as well. I felt fairly irritated that I couldn’t get more homework done – I admit, I had this vision of taking care of all my reading through Thanksgiving break so I wouldn’t even have to worry about it for awhile.

So – this week I’ve been working on realistic expectations, and not beating myself up about what I haven’t been able to do. It feels good to not feel guilty 🙂


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