Monday, March 1, 2010

28x1x1 - A Requiem

Dates: February 1-28, 2010

Friends: Emily, Anne, Daddy, Evan, Katie, Candi, Julie, Kacie, Barb, Mimi, Traci, Charlie, Bryan, Marjorie, Becky, Lora, Scott, Danelle, Amanda, Laura, Kelly, Kevin and Jenny

Activities: coffee, movies, mall walking, hiking, free samples, Super Bowl party, lunch, cupcakes, Science Cafe, gallery tours, dinner, knitting, opera, museums, and olympics

Locations: Starbucks, Village Pointe, Westroads Mall, Fontenelle Forest, Whole Foods, friends' homes, Qdoba, Cupcake Island, Slow Down, Wendy's, Oakview Mall, Dundee Gallery, Pitch, AMC movies, Wal-Mart, Bemis, Sullivan's, Scout, Hobby Lobby, Orpheum Theatre, Joslyn Art Museum, Applebee's, Mimi's Cafe, 120 Blondes

Total $ Spent: $16.00

Score for participation: 93%

Savings: $12

When I became unemployed, I was determined to make the best of the abysmal situation. I have the tendancy to mope and lounge and I couldn't help but assume that I would fall into that pattern while job hunting. I knew I needed to stay occupied and connected. Thus, the "28x1x1 Project" was born. The goal: to socialize in my community every day in the month of February and spend no more than $1 per day. The result: success!

My friends and family jumped on board as soon as I announced my plan. My first two weeks filled with $1 dates almost immediately. The third and fourth weeks provided a few more last minute challenges of cancelled dates and rescheduling issues. Overall, there were a total of 2 days during which I did not have a $1 date. I did, however, get out of the house and socialize, and I call these participants my honorable mentions.

On February 21, my original date needed to be rescheduled due to weather. But I was able to get out of the house and interact with my friends Chrissy and Shawn at Old Chicago. We are all on the planning commitee for the Autism Society of Nebraska's Puzzle Walk (May 1st at Chalco Hills!). We held a media committee meeting that night, and not only made progress with our to-do lists but we shared some healthy venting about our relatives on the spectrum. I drowned my sorrows in fried mozzarella sticks dipped in Ranch.

On Febraury 23, my original date was cancelled due to a miscommunication. Instead, I grabbed a cheap dinner (though over $1) at Taco John's with Evan, who was featured on date #4 at Fontenelle Forest. After stuffing my face with a cold burrito and waaaaaayyy too many potato oles for a person of my size, I burned off some calories by playing 3 hours of Wii Fit with my step-mom, Chris. We kept trying to beat each other's scores at Rhythm Kung-Fu and hula hooping. That is seriously a good work out! One word of advice - don't try downward facing dog on the yoga game. It's not pretty for anyone involved.

The past month has provided me with stimulating conversation, relaxing movies, being in nature, out of control laughter, and much-needed support from friends and loved ones. More than anything, it gave me something to do. Places to go. A reason to get up, get dressed, and get out. If not for my project, most days in the past four weeks would have been spent with nothing to look forward to. Nothing to do. No where to go. I would have been ashamed of being unemployed rather than finding the potential in myself.

Each night, I would upload my pictures, write, and hope that I had paid proper tribute to my date of the day. I didn't try to write with sophistication or elitism. I just tried to not try too hard. I hoped that I was having a conversation with whomever might be reading my ramblings and communicating in a way that makes you go, "I totally know what you mean by that." Every morning, I would eagerly anticipate feedback from the previous day's entry. And then I could look forward to my next date and start the process all over again.

So now what?

Well, I'm so glad you asked! I am excited to report that I will start a new project today, March 1, 2010. Want to learn more about it? You'll have to check out the new blog at: I hope you enjoy it.

Thank you from the bottom of my not-so-mushy heart for your feedback, interest, and above all else, your friendship. My cup runneth over.

I'll be seeing you.....