“I am a total fan girl of Joshua and Ryan.”
I said this to my friend, Catherine, after we listened to The Minimalists speak at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Cincinnati. I am so happy that I had a chance to meet them!
Reading their essays and their books – Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life and Everything that Remains – I have learned that many of the minimalist thoughts and ideas align with many of my own, and they provide a guide to the life that I desire to lead.
Ryan started the evening by talking about he found out about the minimalist lifestyle, and Joshua read excerpts from Everything that Remains. A lot of the information that Ryan and Joshua presented can be found in their books and on their website; however, it was great to hear the stories by the people who had lived them.
After the readings, Joshua and Ryan answered questions from the audience of about 50 people. One person asked how they ended up in Montana. Another asked if they ever “fell off the wagon,” to which Ryan replied, “we are human.” He went on to say that he still has urges to buy things, such as the iPhone 5, but then he asks if it will add value to his life.
One person asked about how they handle receiving gifts, which is covered in Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life. So I posed the question: “What do you give for gifts?” I went on to say with a smile, “I’m sure becoming a minimalist isn’t an instant pass to giving a present.”
At this point, someone called out, “Give ‘em a signed copy of your book!” to which both Joshua and Ryan started laughing. Then Joshua followed up with “Man, I’d be a real tool if I did that!” and yes, there was more laughing.
Joshua answered my question. He said that in lieu of a physical gift or trinket he would opt to go out to dinner or a concert and make it about the experience and not the thing. He also said, rather than waiting for a birthday or another obligatory-gift-giving day, give a gift on any other day. It means more, and it shows the person you were really thinking about him or her.
I liked his answer! I’ve never been big on giving gifts because I was obligated to give one. It really does mean more to give or receive a gift any day. I don’t think about my friends and family only on their birthdays and at Christmas. I think of them all year long, and I like to show it.
After the question and answer time, the audience was asked to form a line for the book signing. Catherine and I were sitting in the front row, and we were fourth or fifth in line. A man who organized the event at Joseph-Beth Booksellers told me I looked familiar. And then two minutes later, Joshua told me I looked familiar when I was at the front of the line. So I told him that I had driven down from Columbus. I mentioned that he was the inspiration for my own blog, at which time Catherine chimed in and said, “and she is inspiring all of her friends, too!” He was happy to hear this news. Both he and Ryan signed my book and gave hugs, which they said were completely transferrable.
As Catherine and I were walking away from the meeting area, I told her that I was a definite fan girl of Joshua and Ryan. And she said that many of the topics discussed were inline with her own thoughts. (I will be lending her my copy of Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life, soon!)
We both got coffees at the Bronte Bistro for the drive back to Columbus. While we were waiting, a woman who also attended The Minimalists’ event said that she had enjoyed the discussion and said she was slowly working on decluttering. She explained that it was hard going through all her clothes. So I suggested that she go shopping in her closet. If she wouldn’t buy it, she should donate it. I said she should look and feel awesome every day. She liked the idea!
And the inspiration continues!