The Powers and Perils of Stuff

By May 20, 2019Mindy

The beauty of living in an RV is that the “stuff” you carry has to be limited. Our RV is a V8; This means that everything we lug around in the RV adds to the load that we lug. At 6-8 miles a gallon, every pound counts to the overall cost of fueling our non-profit mission. This blog is how we learned that less stuff allows us to live more.

There are three types of stuff:

  • Utility Stuff
  • Recall Stuff
  • Status Stuff

Utility stuff are things we need to do what we love to do. Bruce is an avid surfer so he needs a lot of surfboards for the variety of size and strength of the wave he is facing. He relies on his quiver to allow him to surf whatever wave presents itself on a given day

Recall Stuff allows you to savor the memories of time. Don’t judge me but my mom had, for as long as I can remember, a dental bridge she wore that housed 5 false teeth. My mom died almost 20 years ago but I still have her bridge. It is tucked up in a cabinet in my house in a box labeled MOM and, among many other memories of my mom, those teeth are there to stay. For no reason and for every reason, I cannot part with my mom’s teeth.

Status Stuff is what many of us accumulate for no reason other than to satisfy our desire to be SEEN. What others think of us plays a huge role in the items that surround us. We “dress to impress.” We drive the cool car to be, well, cool. Our choices are based on what is deemed “correct” and “status quo”. It is easier to move in the direction of the tide than fight against it.

When we moved into the RV, I only stocked our cabinets with stuff that was 100% essential. Only the essentials in clothing, work items, surfboards and wet suits (just in case there is an ocean on either coast that shows a wave or two) And of course, all that we need to eat and thrive nutritionally.

Then we packed the recall items. No, my moms teeth did not make the cut. A sweet pillow with the picture of our three boys did. I look at it every day to remind myself of how amazingly lucky Bruce and I are to have three wonderful sons. Other then this pillow, all memories of the past are tucked away at our house in California, as Bruce and I create new memories everyday. And these memories are not captured by acquiring more stuff. They are memories that we tuck in our hearts.

Status stuff has no place in our lives. Bruce loves and lives this saying by Thich Nhat Hanh, “My only true possessions are my actions”. We try to live by this saying every day in every way. Let what you DO represent who you are and not the stuff you log around.

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