#27. Watch 1 documentary a month for an entire year.

January: The Human Experiment

I found this documentary to be overwhelming.  There were a lot of scary facts (basically everything in your life, from plastic Tupperware to your furniture, is killing you).  I was left not knowing exactly what to do about the information given.  I did some of my own research, but it still left me feeling confused.  If you want further reading on this subject, check out this article.

My takeaway:  Two practical things I took away from this documentary that I plan to do in my own life is to 1), Reduce my use of plastic containers in the kitchen by switching to glass containers and 2), Make my own green cleaners.

February:

Life 2.0

It was heart-wrenching (yet fascinating) how people could become so sucked into a virtual world that they stop living their actual lives.  I have never been on Second Life, but I was a part of another virtual world for a year or so when I was younger (neopets).  There is something very addicting about living in an online fantasy world.

My takeaway: We all have something that holds us back from actually living, whether that is our phone, Facebook, or a virtual world…this documentary was an important reminder to log out..unplug…and live.

Tiny

For someone who has a lot of stuff, I really like the idea of living small (contradictory, right?)  I love the affordability and the simplicity.  How amazing would it be to own your tiny house and be free from a mortgage?  Imagine the savings!  Read more about living small here.

But could I really live in a tiny house, I wonder.  I think of the 100+ books I own…all my kitchen appliances (where would I put my breadmaker?  my crock pot?)  I imagine living in a tiny house with my husband, 2 cats (3 cats right now, actually, we are currently fostering a stray kitten).  And what about having a baby?  In a tiny house?  Oy vey.  I think I love the idea of a tiny house, but practically it would be very difficult at this point in our lives.

My takeaway: The apartment I lived in before our current rental was much smaller.  I would say the amount of stuff I own has doubled since moving into our current place.  We had extra space, so I had to fill it.  My overall takeaway from this documentary is that I want to get rid of unneeded stuff.  Reduce clutter.  It was also eye-opening to the fact that we don’t need a huge house.  K and I are thinking about buying a place sometime this year.  It is easy to get caught up in the idea that bigger is better, but this documentary was a good lesson that living smaller has some serious advantages (saving money, simpler living, less clutter).  A smaller house would also be easier to clean and maintain.

March:

Happy

This was an interesting documentary.  It was a good reminder that extrinsic things don’t bring us happiness.  It is so easy to get caught up in external things (that new car, a big house, expensive furniture).  What really matters is our relationship with others, new experiences, doing things we love, and doing things for other people.

My takeaway: The movie talked about how happy people find something they really enjoy (often exercise of some sort) and when they to the activity, they lose themselves in something called “flow”.  I can’t say that there is any physical activity I’ve done where I have felt this way.  “This loss of self-consciousness that happens when you are completely absorbed in an activity – intellectual, professional, or physical – is described in contemporary psychology as a state of flow. In order for a flow state to occur, you must see the activity as voluntary, enjoyable (intrinsically motivating), and it must require skill and be challenging (but not too challenging) with clear goals towards success.”  I definitely lose myself when I’m reading a good book, but I would like to find a physical activity where I lose myself.

April:

Forks over Knives

I have definitely been into eating healthier over the past year or so, so I was excited to watch this documentary.  I think there were several good points in the video, and I have no doubts that eating more fruits and vegetables is healthier.  It was amazing how changing their diet led to people being able to reverse their diseases.

My takeaway:

I like the idea of eating more whole foods and increasing my plant-based foods.  However, completely cutting out meat and dairy is not for me.

May:

Sugar-Coated

I know I have eaten way too much sugar in my lifetime.  After watching the documentary Fed Up last year, I really took that information to heart and started making some changes in my diet.  Watching Sugar-Coated was a good refresher for me.  Although overall I have reduced my sugar intake in the last year, I know I still eat too much of it at times.

My takeaway: Nothing stood out in this documentary that I hadn’t heard from other places, but it was a good review – eat real food, limit sugar intake, and read labels before you buy.

June: …

July: 

Small is Beautiful: Tiny House Documentary

This was similar to Tiny which I watched earlier this year.  If you only have time to watch one, I would recommend Tiny, though.

My takeaway: Again, less is more.  Time to get rid of some stuff.

August: 

Who Took Johnny

I learned that Johnny was the first missing child to appear on a milk carton.  This was a really sad story.  I hope that his family someday finds out what happened to their son.

My takeaway: Johnny’s family, especially his mother, went through a lot of scrutiny from the police and the media.  She was fighting to find her son, and she was treated very poorly at times because of it.  I think my main takeaway is that we should all try to be more empathetic to other people.  It’s easy to judge others and make snide comments when a tragedy happens, but why add hurt to an already terrible situation?  I see this all the time on Facebook when there is a sad news story.  People love to jump in and make really mean comments, blaming the family or even the victim.  What if we all tried kindness instead?

September:

The Culture High

I really liked this documentary.  I thought they made some really good points.

My takeaway: Watching this only solidified what I already feel.  I do not think that marijuana should be illegal.

October:

Conspiracy: Nazis 

I did not even know this conspiracy theory existed.

My takeaway: It’s easy to get swept away by conspiracy theories.  My personal philosophy is to take these theories with a grain of salt.

November:

The Lion in Your Living Room

I love cats and I love this documentary.  I was surprised that I actually learned some things about cats by watching this.

My takeaway: I thought the most interesting thing was that purring does not always mean they are happy – sometimes a cat purrs because it wants something.  Haha.

GMO OMG

I am torn about this one.  I understand why genetically modified food is made.  But…it does seem alarming that the food we eat was covered in pesticides and that we don’t know the long term effects (if there are any) of eating GMOs.  I also think it is concerning that so many other countries have banned GMOs.

My takeaway: I think that all GMOs should be labeled so people can make their own choice.  Watching this documentary also reminded me that I want to start my own garden.

December:

Minimalism

I really liked this documentary.  Becoming more minimalist has been a theme for me in 2016, starting when I watched Tiny at the beginning of the year.  I think it is so true that walking into a space that is uncluttered, open, and with only essential things present is very peaceful.

My takeaway: Watching this documentary has inspired me to complete Project 333 (33 items of clothing for 3 months).

Documentaries to watch:

May I Be Frank

Sicko

Life

Finding Vivian Maier

Life in a Day

 

 

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