Aug 22, 2013

life lessons from the jerk


Have you ever seen the movie The Jerk?  It's an old 1979 Steve Martin movie.  The whole thing is entirely ridiculous, and I don't recommend it.  However, it is one of my Dad's all time favorites, so it was necessary to see it at least once in my lifetime.  That was several years ago, but this one part has always stuck with me.  At this point in the movie, Steve Martin's character strikes it rich, and then loses everything.  As he is leaving his house and everything he owns, he grabs an ashtray declaring that it's all he needs.  But it doesn't stop there, and eventually "all he needs" becomes, in fact, several of his seemingly meaningless material possessions.

As we get ready to pack up our entire house and move onto a sailboat, the words "all I need..." keep playing over and over in my mind.

It is so easy to accumulate so much "stuff."  We have furniture stuff, kitchen stuff, clothing stuff, sentimental stuff... the list goes on and on.  How easy it is to convince ourselves that these material possessions are so much more important than they really are.  And so now, how do we take a household full of things that we have accumulated in the last five years, and narrow it down to the bare necessities?  What do we really need?

I'm looking forward to the opportunity to weed out some of the excess.  To break away from the "stuff" and be free to focus on the things that really matter.  To live life without the constraints that having stuff also brings and get back to the basics.

I'm not saying it's going to be easy for me.  Materialism is certainly something I struggle with.  And I can almost guarantee that at some point during this whole process I will be caught saying, "But I need this... and this..."

Are you also waging a war on materialism and consumerism?  
What do you need?


Also, does anyone have any tips on minimalist living?


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11 comments:

  1. Wow, what an undertaking! I can't even pack for a weekend getaway, I don't know how I'd pack for life on a boat!
    My crafting stuff would be the hardest to leave behind as it's what takes up most of my day. But I'm not sure I could bring my laser on the boat...lol :)

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  2. This is so amazing - what a neat experience for you two! I can't even imagine being on the water that long...but I feel like it would be wonderful. Since I'm a huge reader, I think I would have the worst time leaving my books behind - with all the memories and notes bound up in them, they're like family :)

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    1. Oh me too, I've already thought about that. I've been considering buying a nook or kindle, but nothing could ever replace an actual book :)

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  3. Hi Allison!
    I just read up on your other post! Wow, what an adventure! I'm excited for you both and look forward to reading about your journey!
    The best of luck with getting your stuff organized!

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  4. I don't really buy lots of stuff, my problem is that I can not throw things away easily. If it's not broken, I can not throw things away. What if I need it? Or miss it at some point?

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    1. Not buying in the first place is half the battle! You're probably already ahead in the game if you have that under control. I'm really picky about what I buy too, so it can be a little more difficult for me to get rid of things that I put so much thought into buying in the first place.

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  5. Ahhh, this is great.
    And I'm sure, extremely difficult.

    I think everyone has a few target areas that they hoard. I am bad with clothes, kitchen items and anything sentimental.

    Give it away to people who need it. Seeing them receive it, always makes goodbye less bitter and more sweet.

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  6. wow..I am so not a minimalist! I do need to purge though. I am a sentimental saver/collector. I have found it getting too be too much lately and I am in the process of "thinning the herd". We used to move a lot, so I never had much. 12 years in the same house..things accumulate!

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    1. 12 years will definitely help you accumulate :) Good luck with your purge, too!

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  7. The first thing I do is ask myself if I've used this in the last 6months or so. Then I ask myself if I would even remember that thing if I got rid of it. Like, would I miss it or even remember I had it in the first place? That helps me narrow down some stuff. That would be hard, though!

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