A few weeks ago I finished reading All That Remains by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, a duo that refers to themselves as “the minimalists.” I can’t lie. I am so easily influenced by books like this that sometimes I scare myself. Give me a kind of the social sciency / here’s what’s wrong with society / here’s what you should do kind of book and I am all in. All That Remains was exactly that. I even joked with the lady at the bookstore, “I’m literally going to read this and then throw everything away” (don’t worry if you’re reading this mom – I didn’t). The book was great – informative and thought-provoking while staying light on the preachy and it really did get me thinking about what is totally necessary in my life. I wrote out a list of a couple of things I really believed I need for success and happiness in my own life. I won’t share here because I don’t think there is much of a point, different people need and want different things in order to be happy.
Part of the point of the book, however, is really thinking about the idea of “value-added.” Before buying something, according to “the minimalists,” you think “How much value is this one thing going to add to my life?” Quality over quantity is likely the end goal to the repeating question. (one guy in the book had something like 50 possessions! Including things like soap and a tooth brush)
Ok so what’s the point? I can literally hear you screaming at me right now. Part of my motivation for the blog was to share my thoughts not only with my friends but also my family. Being away from home ends up in a lot of phone conversations like “How much is rent?” “Mom, could you throw $20 in my account, I need it this weekend.” “How was your day? good? okay gotta run.” It’s no one’s fault, but conversation is inherently different on the phone versus over dinner. I miss my dad asking “What do you think about that?” So here is my chance to write about it. Which got me thinking…I think my grandma would love reading this. Then I thought, “A. She doesn’t have wifi. B. She doesn’t have a computer to log onto wifi. C. Even if she did, she really wouldn’t want to.” A computer doesn’t add any value to her life.
Only two days in and it has been hard to unplug. Moving forward though, it seems like it might make sense to think of using my computer in a way that adds value. Get on, write that senior seminar paper that’s looming, get off and go do something fun. Plus, anything Patty Hanno can go without, so can I.
p.s. shoutout to The Spiral Bookcase for the book recommendation. Give it a visit if you’re ever in the ‘yunk