In this section...

Four Models of Later Life
by Gaya Erlandson

Not My Father's Retirement
by J. Alexander Mawhinney

Dreaming Becomes Doing
by Marianne Kilkenny

Seeds of Collaborative Community
by Gaya Erlandson


Section 1 — Winter

Winter is a time of going within, getting clear on our values, priorities, needs, and goals in all areas of our lives. If the desire to live in community has been germinating in you, this is a time when those yearnings rumble from deep within, and you may find yourself wanting to clear out what is outmoded in your life and make way for new seeds of possibility.

The communities we choose to create are shaped — and limited — by whatever model of living we embrace, consciously or, more often, unconsciously. The first article in this section explores the different implicit models that control how we live our lives. After looking at the Consumer Model, the Medical Model, and the Individualistic Model, I propose a Community Model where interdependence — firmly grounded in the realization that the most important resources for living well are other people — is the hallmark.

In the two articles that follow, we move from the theoretical to the practical: Alex Mawhinney, in “Not My Father’s Retirement,” tells why the old models no longer speak to us and suggests some guidelines as we search for new ones; and Marianne Kilkenny, in “Dreaming Becomes Doing,” provides practical suggestions to get you started.

I close with a personal essay that explores how the nuclear family paradigm, one that has been so antithetical to community — has created estrangement between offspring and their parents — including boomers and their aging parents.

What is a healthy community? What principles, values, and perspective underpin it? What aspects must you carefully clarify before you begin the next step of building your ideal community?

I hope we provide enough to get you started!