Friday, January 1, 2010

Feelin' like Morgan Spurlock .... 30 Days Of Nothing

So I'm jumping in because I like the idea of sharing an experience. Mr. Silly Pants and I committing to doing the "30 days of Nothing" for the month of January.  I've got a few friends and fellow bloggers who are giving 30 days of Nothing a spin. Twinkletoes suggested we wait until February and only do 28 days :-) But, we're jumping in! I'm still working out what I'm expecting to gain from this exercise of 30 days of nothing, and also being open to the lessons I will learn that will surprise me. I'm counting on unintended consequences. Usually the surprises are the parts that make me tick.

I'm feeling a bit like a groupie of Morgan Spurlock - he's the 'father' of the 30 day gig. (I actually show 2 of his 30 day series to my cultural anthropology students; 30 days as a Muslim and 30 days Outsourcing).

Mr. Silly Pants and I get the idea that this exercise is largely about bringing awareness to our spending - both the conscious and unconscious parts of how we use our financial resources. And, it will likely help us reflect on what we have right in our own home and in our lives with each other and not so focused on what we want to have or don't have with each other. It seems to me that fellow groupies have taken this in different directions; going all out on a shoestring budget and buying only gas and low budget groceries, to giving up unecessary parts of groceries (wine, chocolate, snacks, non-essentials)...kind of an essentials only get the idea.

I'm still sorting out how we're going to evaluate our 30 day approach. Mr. Silly Pants asked, "no wine? no netflix? no Starbucks, of course!" I'm not sure. Here are some of my dilemmas in terms of planned spending we have in our monthly budget:
1. dog goes to doggy daycare 2x a week (luxury, but necessary for dog's energy with our schedules and my issues with dog when he is NOT well exercised)
2. glass of wine every night with Mr. Silly Pants (part of our couple ritual - could be replaced with a cup of tea or game of connect 4 *smile*)
3. We have a netflix subscription - do we cancel for a month or just not use it?
4. I have a cleaning woman once a month - my respect for her means that I can't just "cancel" part of her monthly earnings because I'm "doing 30 days of nothing" - so do I pay her and not use her? (I'd have to pay her - when I went back to work I consciously rehired her after a many many year hiatus and I'm so grateful she's made room for me!).
5. Mr. Silly Pants has a birthday in January - no worries about that one. I'll really enjoy being creative and he'll enjoy my special attention within this construction in that I'll be doing something different.
Numbers 1-4 are not absolute essentials for sure. Off of the top of my head, these are not in keeping with the point of the exercise. Um, and what about our Direct TV? I'm sayin' - what's the point if we're not really making conscious sacrifices in our comforts? Or, is the point really to see how we pile it on top of the comforts we've already budgeted for and agreed are ok to be part of our daily lives?

......program in progress....I'll keep you posted. Plus, I'd love feedback, comments, perspective that might enlighten my own. Thanks blogging buddies! (Mr. Silly Pants, feel free to chime in!).

Just for a peek into the future, when we're done with this I'm going to be doing a month of immersion, inspired by my racial healing THAT's going to be interesting!

ETA: netflix on hold for January


Jean said...

LeLe looks like he's playing "Rachael Ray" -- something my girls love to do!

I'll be watching with interest your experiment!

D said...

You know you can suspend your netflix account for up to 3 months? I say put it on hold and save (or donate) the money instead of just not watching.

Mindy and Baldwin said...

-Keep the house cleaner (I clean houses, too, and if one of my customers told me she was going to pay me but for me not to clean I would think she'd gone off her rocker).

-Wine should be exempt- that's a no brainer!:)