Recent research finds that humans enjoy buying experiences more than things. There’s advantages in the pre- and post-acquisition timeframes, as well as the decreased likelihood of pleasure-sucking comparison. Peruse the wonderfully rich summary over at the Atlantic for more detail.

Following this science, as well as concluding that we all probably have enough stuff, we’ve tried to stop giving physical presents for birthdays, Christmases, and New Yearses. Instead, we gift adventures – outings to plays, dog sledding, escape rooms, glassblowing, etc.

We’d been doing this for a few years when Alex challenged me to take it to the next level. In the months before Christmas 2015, he shared one of his New Year’s Resolutions for 2016: to “do more”. That’s it – simple, but actually ingenious.

He was referring to weekends we’d wasted over the years bumming around in boredom, inertia preventing us from figuring out what might be fun to do. These weren’t deliberate downtime weekends, those are sacred. These weren’t too-hungover-to-be-arsed weekends either, those are equally sacred. These were weekends of vicious, viscous ennui, tinged with clammy, vague FOMO. The kind that makes you dislike yourself both for your apparent inability to self-motivate, and for your inherent dissatisfaction with just being. In short: gross.

ENTER DOMOREBOOK

There are 52 weekends in a year. Factoring in birthdays and other occasions, cottage and further getaways, at least half of the year’s weekends are at risk of becoming dangerously boring. Because I’m an overachiever, though, I compiled a list of fully 52 things to consider.

I scoured the Interwebs high and low. I spoke to friends. I dreamt things up.

Then I bought an album, some cardstransparent page protectors, and put the book together. Here’s what it looks like:

Being an entrepreneur does not lend itself well to lavish gifts. So, another upside of this giftstravaganza is that it can range from essentially free (minus material costs) to whatever your upper limit is (include gift certificates, trips, socks for jumping on trampolines, etc.).

DID IT BLEND?

Before anyone asks – independent of how well-received the gift was (#lovesit), our completion rate is abysmal. We’ve done 6 out of the 52 proposed activities thus far, or ~12%. With only 15 weekends left in 2016, the DMB shenanigans are bound to spill over into next year.

However, the preliminary results are quite favourable. We’d managed to do some things we hadn’t tried before (board game lounge, axe throwing, cat cafe), thereby avoiding apathy on at least 6 weekends. I’d even involved friends in overnight meteor shower watching and an episode of drunk bowling.

Most encouragingly, even with my terrible memory, I can recall the adventures we undertook almost a year ago with stunning clarity. This seems worth pursuing further.

One caveat is that it feels important not to think of this as another “checklist”, but I struggle with this myself, so I’ll leave that balance up to you – good luck.

WHAT’S NEXT?

When I’d mentioned the DOMOREBOOK to friends (or roped them in for DMB-related activities), they seemed mildly enthusiastic about procuring one of their own. Since I believe in spreading happiness, I figure I should test said mild enthusiasm – so, this post marks the kickoff of the DOMOREBOOK project.

Over the length of the sabbatical, my initial goals for the DMB are:
– Get a dedicated site up (with DIY and buy options)
– Sell 1 DMB per month (so, 3 in total)
– Share the journey (first up, product photography crash course, or “A Ghetto Studioz Welcome”)

And actually, let’s start today! Let me know if this is interesting to you (or if you think I’m nuts :)) by shooting an email to sabbatical@mashakrol.com, or leave a comment below. I’m super-curious!

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