J. KEVIN TUMLINSON

I’ve never really been what you might call a “minimalist.” I’ve always kind of admired the sentiment, but I’ve never been able to get into that particular groove. It may be my red blooded American upbringing. “He who dies with the most toys wins.” Of course, the more practical side of my nature says, “He who dies with the most toys still dies.”

Lately, though, I’ve been thinking about what it might be like to sell everything and hit the road. I’ve been feeling the weight of all this stuff. And believe me, I have a lot of crap around the house. Just ask anyone who has ever helped me move. TV’s (multiple), computers (even more), a couple of desks, furniture, books, books, books. At the ripe old age of 32 I’m starting to wonder what it would have been like if I had just gone with the bare bones of survival. Maybe a laptop, just to keep up with current events and to make work a little easier. But otherwise just me, a knapsack and a motorcycle. Yeah, baby. That’s the Road.

Could I do it? I’m not sure. By now, I’m pretty much set up with a life. Walking away at this point would be tough. Not impossible, but pretty hard. Then again, with low overhead I might be able to get that sense of “freedom” everyone’s always going on about.

I own too much crap.

There was a guy on eBay who was selling his life. He had a dream – to be a producer of independent films. And to that end, he wanted to go to film school. But first, he had to raise a few grand, and so he decided to sell everything he owned to finance his dream. And I mean everything. This guy even went deep into his pantry to find packages of mac and cheese, and under his cabinets to list household cleaning products.

I had to admire that, but I wonder if I’d have that kind of resolve. I own a lot of cool stuff.

But it occurs to me that even though I own all of these things, I don’t really do anything with them. I own my own video production business, so I have a lot of that kind of gear. I bought it so I could make my OWN films and programs. But because I own all this stuff and need a place to keep it (i.e. my home studio) and am constantly having to upgrade it and buy replacements and buy additional gear… well, you can see how it starts to snowball. Now all of a sudden I’m working for the equipment. I’d love to just relax on a beach with nothing but a laptop to weigh me down. Can you imagine that kind of life?

I can. Wow.

But really, I’m not much of a beach guy anyway. Maybe the mountains would be better. A nice log cabin with a crackling fire, and there I am tapping away at an article or a book or whatever. Oh, but I’d have to pay for the log cabin. Well, maybe I can rent.

That’s the trouble with the whole concept, though. You’d always be renting or passing through or not quite a part of the world around you. Which, in itself, has a kind of appeal. I’m a single guy, I have the luxury of this kind of lifestyle. But I think eventually even I will want to just settle back in my own place, family by my side, etc, etc.

Still, the idea of a low-overhead existence does have its appeal. Anyone in the market to buy a whole lotta stuff?



J. Kevin Tumlinson is the Editor & Publisher of ViewOnline (www.viewonline.com), the author of the weekly syndicated column ViewPoint, and the owner of Hat Digital Media (www.hatdigitalmedia.com). His life comes with a money back guarantee.


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Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
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