I Am: Community is an oxymoron seen on a housing development in Australia. But it certainly is a good way to describe some of my efforts in ‘doing community’ as a part-timer.

Being part-time in a society which is mostly working full-time means it can actually be quite a lonely experience. Especially when many of the projects I’ve come up with are my own, and not so much someone elses.

Therefore I’ve found the last few months a tad isolating, even though I’m trying to engage with community more.

The joining a rugby team thing was one such example, of trying to connect, and in fact isolating myself more. This was because I was out two nights a week, plus doing extra trainings by myself and then out a big chunk on Saturdays and I found I was missing out on being around for events at the church, I was only getting to eat with Jo on a Monday night, because of Maori classes on Wednesday nights, and our community takeaways dinner on Fridays. And because I was playing for a club which isn’t in Mangere, I wasn’t really connecting with locals anyway. So I’ve scratched that endeavour, despite it being really enjoyable.

Another thing, has been this community garden. It’s been really cool to see the transformation from lawn to luscious vege patch, but because my neighbor is often out working, I’ve done a lot of it alone. Again, my efforts to connect get overtaken by my fixation on a task, which means I push on alone. While the task has been completed, the intended goal of the task has kind of been forgotten.

I’m finding I need to reach out to others who are also trying to do part-time stuff and if I’m less task orientated and more keen to connect with others, even if it means my tasks don’t get done as quickly, I’ll enjoy the process a lot more, rather than blithely digging holes to build a garden that no one really knows about.

I guess this is just a learning hump which comes with this lifestyle choice.

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