A few years ago we embarked on an experiment.
Listening to the stock market report on the radio for the umpteenth time, we wondered why this could possibly have any relevance to our lives. Or anyone’s life.
So why does nearly every media outlet in the nation report this absolutely unhelpful bit of information each and every day? Why are they not reporting the daily happiness factor instead? Are we only able to think in terms of money?
One of our beloved former interns, Nans Thomassey, likes to point out that money is a barrier between people. In fact he took this to the extreme and is now the star of a television show in France that focuses on this fact.
So we asked ourselves what would happen if we went a whole month without spending money? And what if we limited our consumption even further, reducing our use of energy down to almost nothing? How would it affect us? What would we learn about ourselves and life?
In January, 2012 we embarked on this experiment. The household at Blue Rock Station went cold turkey. And it was amazing right from the start!
Now you can follow the chronicle through words and pictures of that first year of our “Thanks for Nothing” month (31 days of giving thanks for consuming as little as possible). The Journey Toward Nothing (published February 2013) outlines the process we went through to develop and prepare for the idea, describes (with photos) all the players involved, and recounts our impressions each day in a diary kept throughout the month.
The Journey Toward Nothing also gives a full accounting of the 31-day menu (so you can see just how well we ate) as well as observations (the daily Happiness Factor) plus poetic waxing regarding the nature of money and how taking time to savor everyday things (such as sunlight) can be truly life-changing.
AND there’s a bit of gossip with pictures thrown in about how we met and what led us to leave our cushy middle America life to live simply and spend time thinking up such creative events as Thanks for Nothing month.
In 2013 we repeated the experiment, this time joined by more friends and former interns – each giving Thanks for Nothing in their own way. We would love for you to join us next year – and perhaps every year after: The perfect antidote for the western Christmas holiday season consumption binge or just to catch up with yourself when the slowness of winter asks it of you.