Weird year: Julie’s 3 month check-in

Geoffrey and I are officially immersed in the second phase of our experiment. On November 3, we cut out purchasing services and delicious things such as eating out, coffees, drinks, alcohol (!!!), haircuts, and transportation. What the hell were we thinking!?

This has unquestionably been the weirdest year of my life. I am learning so much about the sustainability and downshifter movements, think endlessly about societal pressures to spend and consume, struggled with myself possibly more than I ever have in my life, and all my mental synapses are firing even more than when I completed the last theory-intensive year of my undergrad degree. The sheer number of resources, practices, ideas, thoughts and inspirations that are filling up my inbox, social media feeds, ears, eyes, mind, dreams and seemingly every conversation are overwhelming.

We have fish and plants growing in an aquaponics unit in our kitchen. We walk  almost everywhere. We regularly trade and swap things with friends and random people off kijiji. We guest blog, speak to classes and get quoted in the media. I’m still looking after people’s pets and children in exchange for wine. We applied for a documentary grant. Someone wants to host us in a debate. I cut Geoff’s hair.

I am totally out of my comfort zone. Every. Day. And it’s awesome.

Geoffrey and I found out this week that we’ve been invited to do a talk as part of PechaKucha Night 18 at WinSport on Nov25. A speech, on a stage, sharing a spotlight with an Olympian, a multimedia artist, an architect, a 17 year old cancer researcher and others. The topic is “medal” but we’ve been told we can interpret it as “meddle” as in this project is totally “meddling” with our lives and the lives of those around us. We’re trying to find a way to fit in a 500-person spontaneous dance party. Stay tuned…

It’s amazing how many people have already heard about Buy Nothing Year. It seems like everywhere I go, people know about it and have lots of questions, book and film recommendations, stories and advice. We are constantly finding out about other cool projects in the same vein. It’s inspiring and reinforces that there really is an economic, environmental, social and cultural movement going on. Russel Brand’s call for a revolution sparked a great discourse on social media a few weeks ago, Annie Leonard’s new story of stuff video “The Story of Solutions” came out last month and people from all industries and corners of globe seem to be visualizing a plenitude economy and the collective and individual actions we need to get there.

We’re doing our best to keep track of all the amazing resources people are sending us and posting them to our resources page but please don’t stop commenting and sending us things you come across and projects that have inspired you. It’s so fun to see BNY grow and it’s cool how many people are finding inspiration and attempting their own short-term Buy Nothing projects. Makes me feel like we’re on the right track.

I’m terribly sorry for being such a crappy blogger. I have about 18 half-written blog posts that I’ve been stewing over, but like Penelope Trunk wrote, I just had to act and start with the first thing so here I am. Bloggin’.

Over the next few days, I’ll be posting a bunch of micro-posts (including our next vee-log!) of random things I’ve observed, experienced and realized over the past three months. Photos from a secret farm picnic, weird things people have given me, how awkward first dates are and the many things I have done (and will do) for wine. I’ll try to keep them bite-sized and visual as I know there are about 85 subscribers and I don’t want to overwhelm your inboxes… After I get caught up, I vow to post more regularly as the rest of the year goes on (which shouldn’t be that hard as we’ve already cut out everything interesting that costs money and blogging rates pretty high on the “free but fun” list).

Thank you so much for following. Your support, encouragement, and check-ins keep us accountable and motivated when all we really want to do is order take out, buy a Gluggle Jug and go for a mani pedi. It’s a weird year and I’m thankful to be on this journey with Geoffrey and all of you.

Phase II!!!



3 thoughts on “Weird year: Julie’s 3 month check-in

  1. I recently happened upon your project. Along with another blogger we periodically embark on this project for a duration of a season. A year, that’s got to be tough, as you describe above. Our next one will start on Buy Nothing Day and end on spring solstice.

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