Monday, August 24, 2015

A Year in a Life

A colleague of mine recently returned from having a year off work. During this time he crossed off a bucket list worth of travel going to Germany, China, Argentina, Cuba, Thailand and a few more that I am sure that I have forgotten. Going to just one of those areas would be dream enough for a lot of people but he was lucky enough - and financially wise enough- to check these countries off his list. This got me to wondering what might be done in one calendar year if you put your mind to it.

Living Oprah: my one year experiment to walk the walk of the queen of talk by Robyn Okrant.  “in 2008 I performed an experiment. For an entire year, I lived my life completely according to the advice of Oprah Winfrey...Oprah frequently urges her viewers and readers to “live your best life”....would the costs of living as Oprah prescribes (financial, energy, time spent) be worth the results?....”. The author spent $4,781.84 - plus 1,202 hours and one minute following Oprah’s advice. Did she find it worth it? I guess you have to read the book and judge for yourself. Personally I won’t be able to walk Oprah’s walk.....I would fall off her high heels.

I must admit that the main reason that I picked up the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert was because of the cover. I just thought it was so clever, even before I knew the subject matter. So after a few weeks of this book passing me by at the circulation desk, I gave in and read it. There are probably few people who don't know what it is about now that the movie starring Julia Roberts has been released. For those who don’t, it is a year long spiritual and physical voyage of self-discovery taken by the author after her painful divorce. I refer to it as a voyage to the three “I”s - Italy, India and Indonesia. For those who want to figure out what happens next they can read the follow up book, Committed: a skeptic makes peace with marriage.

Another book made into a movie is Julie and Julia: 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen: how one girl risked her marriage, her job, her sanity to master the art of living by Julie Powell. This is one of those books that makes you think to be careful what you wish for. The stress of cooking her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking put a strain on the author’s job, marriage, finances and dress size. Cleaving: a story of marriage, meat and obsession is the follow-up book of what happened next to Powell and her life.

Also consider:

Better Off: flipping the switch on technology
by Eric Brende

Super Size Me (film)
by Morgan Spurlock

The Year of Living Biblically: one man’s humble quest to follow the bible as literally as possible, by A.J.Jacobs.

The Guinea Pig Diaries: my life as an experiment, by A.J.Jacobs.

What could you dedicate a year of your life to or for?

1 comment:

  1. The Eric Brende book "Better Off" leads naturally to the work of Ivan Illich (1926 - 2002). A relevant title that the library has is "The right to useful unemployment and its professional enemies."