This is the second post of a series on the benefits of living in community. I will be attempting to post these every Monday for the months of May and June. This first post addresses the benifits of friendship.
I hate gore and violence in movies or on TV. Really hate it. Close my eyes, put my hair in front of my face, and cringe hate it. It makes me sick to my stomach, mostly because I imagine myself in experiencing every second of torture or horrifying injury.
So obviously I am a huge fan of The Walking Dead (this is where a sarcasm font would come in really handy).
My husband, however, loves The Walking Dead. If we lived by ourselves, I would probably relegate myself to some other corner of the house while he watched it alone. Because we live with Patrick and Denise, we get to do something way more fun than fight over the remote every Sunday night.
Patrick and Mike watch The Walking Dead, full out with snacks and some kind of intricate pillow design they tried to explain to us and Denise and I get to watch Downton Abbey (which is fabulous by the way) or an Adam Sandler film on the weeks we have Cedrick (we are slowly trying to introduce chick flicks to him, with mixed success).
Mike hates beer and coffee, two of my favorite beverage choices. Coffee I can enjoy by myself, but people look at me weird when I drink beer alone. Because we live with Patrick and Denise, I have tried a lot of exotic beers and have even brewed some.
Other things I probably would have never experienced if we didn’t live with them is the joy of the Outlander series, eating Thai food, owning a dog, designer jeans, French soap, buying picture frames instead of taping up posters on my wall, and a lot of mutual friends.
Beyond the things that I have gotten to experience or learn because of them is the amazing support that we are able to provide one another. For example, after a really bad day at work the three of them made sure I was greeted by a cold beer and a large screen TV presentation of my very favorite song, “Friday” performed by Rebecca Black. Who could ask for more than that?
Seriously though, we have been through some very difficult things together. Some of the hardest things I have experienced in my life, I have experienced in the last five years. Major health problems and surgeries, career changes, parenting teens, rejection, custody battles, death of grandparents and friends, and multiple family crises. Patrick and Denise have stuck by Mike and me, held me when I cried, understood when I was furious, took care of the kids when we had to be away, and went with me to a lot of appointments. They have seen me on my very worst day and loved me anyway.
They also challenge me to be a better person. When it is just my spouse saying “I think you have a problem with always needing to be right”, I can easily discount him as being wrong . But when it’s three people, I am forced to listen to them and work on it. Living with multiple adults has challenged me to listen, respect differences in personality and culture, politcal and religious ideas, and be less selfish with my time and my belongings. Because of the challenges that are presented through this close friendship, I have experienced a lot things I probably wouldn’t have if we were living in a one family home and they have challenged me to grow as a person.