June 2, 2014

Crap

This is what all advertising comes down to - "Please! Take our crap."

The world is awash in crap. There is always someone trying to sell you crap, rent you crap, and even give you crap. It is insidious and it creeps in everywhere it can, disguised as something you actually need.

After downsizing from a 586 square foot apartment to 275 cubic feet of interior space in a van, I have seen the full extent of my crap. Every. Single. Piece.

It was heavy. Heavy, heavy crap. Heavy in mass and heavy in psychic load.

It was a lot of work to get rid of it all. At times it was hard to give it away. I can't imagine the complications of trying to get someone to pay to make my crap their own. Half the time I feel guilty for burdening other people with my unwanted crap, even if its free and they think they want it.

I would make the world's worst salesperson. "You don't need that, or that or that…"

Sometimes, though, no one wants your crap. You can't even give it away. Many people have a lot of crap of their own already. One more acquisition and the garage is going to pop. Occasionally even thrift shops are bursting at the seams and turn donated crap away.

I like how author John Green puts it - "Crap crap crap crap crap crap crap stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid crap.”

I am learning to better see crap for what it is - a stupid impediment to living a free, unburdened life.

Sure there are possessions that add to life. Keep them. All the other stuff should be flushed.

Sell it, donate it, set it on the curb with a "FREE" sign. Compost it, crush it, cast it overboard. And most importantly, DO NOT bring any more into your crap-free sanctuary. Even if it is free.

24 comments:

  1. After moving 4 times in the past 10 years I can very much relate to this post. :)
    This reminds me so much of George Carlin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLoge6QzcGY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gam Kau,

      George Carlin is one of my favourite philosophers. Thanks for the link.

      Delete
  2. And, while you are physically and mentally redistributing your crap (and wasting your precious life hours), doesn't this thought cross your mind, "What the fuck was I thinking when I bought this?!".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousJune 03, 2014

      You Rock, Gam!
      I just re-watched the Geo Carlin routine, always gets me laughing...on track.

      Delete
    2. Gam Kau,

      Most of the stuff I could see why I BOUGHT, but a lot I could not figure out why I KEPT. I had been hanging on to a lot of things that could one day be a useful resource. But what if that day never comes?

      Linda and I decided to get rid of all that stuff figuring that the resources that we may need in the future can be acquired at the time, making long term storage unnecessary.

      So the most common question going through my mind was, "Why the fuck have I been keeping this?", even if the item was useful at one time.

      Like my dad used to say, "All I need is my toothbrush and a change of underwear."

      Delete
  3. a great dose of serious-ness delivered humorously. Good post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zoe,

      You are right, and I agree, that this is a serious situation. Choosing crap over consciousness cause a consumer conundrum.

      We think that because some crap is good, more is better. That is what advertisers and corporations want us to believe, but buying into that lifestyle puts us in peril. We pass the sweet spot of stuff and descend into diminishing returns.

      We end up paying through the nose in money and in precious life hours.

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Kendra,

      Hope you have a crap-free day.

      Delete
  5. We were just having a discussion about how younger people don't want our stuff. Mom thinks it's a shame, I think they are smarter than I ever was. I keep asking myself "What will happen to this when I die?". In almost every instance I know that someone is going to toss it. If I want someone to have something of value, I've passed it on. I'm not moving into a van and hitting the road (I'm a bit envious, by the way) But I could do. Each and every bit of crap that is gone feels like a bit of freedom gained!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Miss Marla,

      You nailed it - it is all about freedom. A certain amount of stuff can help you to be free, but pass a certain point and the chains start to bind you tight.

      The elite have no power over us at all if we do not want the crap they are trying to bind us with. We can cast off the chains.

      Linda and I both have a powerful desire to be free, free, free. Free as wandering nomads.

      By the way, we have an extra seat in our van.

      Delete
    2. I will be in that seat in spirit!! You are coming my way ya know ;-)

      Delete
  6. I too sometimes feel bad for giving people my crap, and adding to their crap. On the other hand, I would feel worse if the crap went to landfill...so I am trying not to cause any more crap to be created!
    Although I have no desire to travel anywhere, I like the idea of being able to fit everything I own into a truck/van. Think how big the house would feel if I only had as much stuff as would fit in a van!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NicolaB,

      Making sure no more crap is created is the way to prevent problems in the first place. Reducing desire is the way to prevent crap from being made on your behalf.

      Yes, after the van a 300 sq. ft. home would feel downright palatial.

      Delete
  7. I stumbled across your blog a week or two ago and have spent a lot of time since reading through it. I am already an aspiring minimalist, looking forward to living in 500 or 600 sq ft once my kids have flown the nest, make my own laundry detergent and deodorant, and do believe that less is the way to go. Your blog has pushed me even farther, however, and has given me much to think about! (I like the Star Trek Next Generation references sprinkled in here and there too!)

    I hope the road trip is going well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melodee,

      Starting small steps now will help make the adjustment to your new lifestyle easier when it is time. Taking some baby steps now will help pull you along into making bigger shifts later, and this way your kids can benefit from your example while they are still at home with you.

      Good luck with your plans - you are on the right track.

      "Engage!"

      Delete
  8. AnonymousJune 03, 2014

    When I read this, I felt jolted into sanity. I'd been in a bit of a slump on my 'lose crap' mission. Not anymore, I've been catapulted into action again! I've read a lot about losing crap. Never have I read anything that makes the insanity of owning crap more clear than this post. I'll read this over and over again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So happy to provide you with some inspiration for your crap catapult. Hmmm, that creates an image in my mind of firing consumer goods over the walls of a fortified city.

      You are right - a cultural crap addiction is a form of insanity. It is a socially acceptable insanity for which there is no acknowledgement or mainstream cure.

      Consumer insanity is what keeps economies functioning. Why would the powers that be want to cure you? They don't.

      But I do.

      Delete
  9. AnonymousJune 03, 2014

    Opps, forgot to sign my name when I submitted comment a few minutes ago. I've read it several times since then. I think this is just about the best blog post I've ever read. Terri

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Terri,

      Thank you. I could riff off of the concept of crap forever. Stupid, stupid crap.

      Delete
  10. AnonymousJune 03, 2014

    my brother in law has several basements full of crap. to some people, everything can be sold and is worth something. but hoarding until the opportunity to sell it arrives seems less than productive.

    by the way gregg, did you happen to receive my email? my apologies for asking you on this comment.

    - russell carstens
    rcarstens1@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Russell Carstens,

      Hoarding is a hard way to spend your time. It MIGHT be worth something some day, but in the meantime you are bound by all that stuff taking over your life.

      What is truly important is time with others. Less stuff, better relationships.

      I did receive your email and will get back to you soon. Thanks for the reminder.

      Delete
  11. AnonymousJune 04, 2014

    This post resonated and made me laugh. I am constantly reviewing what I own and deciding what stays and what goes. What goes? Most of it! What I have now are the things that I truly value and truly need for a decent life, and I feel so much happier and so very much lighter when I look around and honestly love what I see. I have discovered the joy and beauty of space - and having fewer things gives me more space to enjoy. There is nothing more beautiful and soothing to my soul than seeing the rays of the setting sun falling on the plain hardwood floor in my living room and illuminating the rest of the space in that room. This is one of the best simple pleasures in life.

    Sophie

    ReplyDelete
  12. One of the best things I have ever read!

    ReplyDelete

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