I had a Simple Year field trip last night. I drove an hour in the middle of the night to see three guys talk about minimalism. Actually it was only 9:00 PM, but since it was past my typical bedtime, it felt like the middle of the night. To keep myself alert for this event, I did something out of character for me. I drank a cup of coffee, at seven o’clock at night. Pay attention to the coffee part, which is a key bit of foreshadowing.
Let’s start from the beginning.
I like to tell people I am an accidental minimalist. I hadn’t really heard of the minimalist movement other than in a vague sort of conceptual way until we moved to Colorado about a year ago with about 20% of our THINGS and then proceeded to buy nothing new for a year.
So, when I heard some deliberate minimalists were speaking in a nearby city, I figured I should go, even though my schedule was already pretty full this week (and next week, and the week after that, and so on). In fact, here is the phone conversation my husband and I had when discussing it.
Him: “What are you hoping to accomplish by going to this thing?”
Me: “Uh, accomplish?”
Him: “Yes, what is your objective?”
Me: (forming this thought on the fly) “Well, these guys are very well known and connected and maybe I can introduce myself to them and tell them my plan for handing off The Simple Year to a new writer and perhaps they know of someone who might be a good fit.”
Him: (somewhat skeptically) “Can’t you just email them?”
So, what I should have said to him was, “These are THE Minimalists, they aren’t just SOME Minimalists. Their name contains a definite article for crying out loud, they practically own the brand. I feel a compulsion to see what they have to say.”
The truth is that I’ve never really felt a connection with The Minimalists who write a wildly popular blog and bestselling books. I think primarily because they are young, single hipster types, and I am not. But I do admire their spare and lyrical writing style and of course, their message. Also with them was another cool beautiful person that writes Exile Lifestyle.
In hindsight, I might have been a little frightening at the event. In a crowd that consisted largely of polite groups of two or more, I showed up alone. Then I sat in the front row; and yes, I took notes. It’s possible I looked like a groupie at best or a stalker at worst. Is there such a thing as a minimalist stalker?
But I didn’t stop there.
To make good on my assertion to my husband, I marched up during the hugging and book signing portion of the evening and introduced myself to one of them. Then I jumped in with, “I write a blog…”
At that point, his face almost imperceptibly shifted, still with a genial look, but I had lost him. I suddenly realized that I was probably one of many people that wanted to tell these guys about their own blog.
Damn, I buried the lead. I should have started with the part about wanting to give my blog away.
So then in a desperate attempt to fix the situation, I started coffee induced babble in which I’m not sure any of my words formed a coherent thought. I think he might have even tried to get a word in edgewise, but the caffeine wouldn’t stop talking. All the while, he remained unfailingly polite; after I finally shut my mouth, he even asked if I wanted a hug.
Well, a hug would be nice…
If you haven’t yet read the details about my HandOff of The Simple Year, check it out here.
He asked if you wanted a hug? How sweet. I really hope you find the right person for the hand-off.
Yeah the hug thing is their schtick, but it is sort of endearing, if not a little out of my comfort zone.
You are such a pleasure to read and I am going to miss your stories when the simple year is up. I feel the same way about those three minimalist whippersnappers! Can’t relate much beyond the getting rid of the junk part (which I’m a bit obsessed with this past year or so.) I find them actually a little irritating. You on the other hand are always right on the money and hilarious to boot.
Wow! I am here to say the exact same thing Tee. She has a definite Pioneer Woman thing going on!! I follow several minimalist blogs but I find The Minimalists to be tres irritating. I guess I get tired of so many posts starting out with how they were at the top of the corporate ladder and were making six figures, blah, blah, blah. I am not jealous, I promise! Anyway, keep up the good work! I will say that when I have seen The Minimalists interviewed they come across as very nice and sweet!
Thanks guys, What nice comments, they make my day and are very motivating for me. In truth, in person those guys come across as pretty humble. The one with dark hair has sort of a nervous shuffle when he speaks that makes him seem pretty approachable and human.
I love your blog and your almost accidental minimalism. And though I love to read the blogs of hard core minimalists I’m not sure that I would like to hang out with them.
I also love and admire that you are not using your blog to market yourself, your books etc, and that you do not have advertisement. I know wordpress charges for not having ads, so thanks for paying for that.
I tried my hand at a minimalist blog in swedish but I could only manage to write boring sermons on the subject. Since then I admire you even more, because you write hilarious posts. I hope that you can find a worthy successor, and that you continue to entertiain and inspire us in some other way!
The fact that you are able to write in two different languages is impressive all on its own. Thanks so much for reading and the nice comment. As an aside, when I look at the statistics on where readers live, Sweden is the number one non English speaking country, so I bet there is an audience for you, you should keep writing
Way to go Kerry, you showed them! I think you should retain your blog, we would all appreciate it, and you don’t know where USAF might take you!!!
Josh and Ryan (“The Minimalists) are coming to a city three hours from me next week (Dallas) and I would love to go. Only problem is, I’m already missing work two days at the end of next week to go to Dallas for a concert. How cool that you saw them! I like to call myself a “light minimalist.” I get rid of one item daily (sell, donate, trash, whatever), and have been in the process of uncluttering my home since I ran across their blog last year. Did you get photos with them? Would love to see them if you did!
Denise, I didn’t get any pics with them, I took a couple but they were kind of blurry and have red eyes (photography isn’t my strong suit). On a related note, we lived in Texas for almost 3 years and never got use to things being “Texas Close”, meaning a three hour drive is considered “not too bad”. I think they are definitely worth seeing in person if you can make it work, but I will also say that most of what they said I had already read before on their blog so if you are a regular reader it probably wouldn’t be new material. Thanks again reading.
I will say that I’m not very “social-media-friendly” I’m not on FB, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. I only subscribe to 4 blogs in total, yours being one and The Minimalists being another of the four. Needless to say, yeah, I think I’ve read pretty much everything they’re written on their site – so it’s good to know that I won’t necessarily be missing any new material by not seeing them live.
And I think three hours is about my max for a “not too bad” drive. Any more than that, and it’s out of the question. Ha!
Thanks for replying. Much like everyone, I’ll miss when The Simple Year is over. A friend told me about your blog, and I’ve loved hearing about the wacky things that go on in your household. Your daughters are adorable. You should consider writing a “guest column” every once in awhile for whoever takes over the blog!
Have a great day 🙂
I’ve read The Minimalists blog for a while and enjoy their writing, but I LOVE your blog. You are so funny and real. I didn’t find you until late last fall, but I went back and read almost every post because they are so entertaining. I’d make the effort to meet you over them any day. 🙂
Well, if you are ever in Colorado, let’s catch up for coffee (or more likely tea) :), or if it’s after 5, maybe a glass of wine