Aviators' Thoughts

My job search and business aviation as seen on AviationWeek

Getting Rid of Your “Stuff” (Unemployment 1 Year 1 Mo.)

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George Carlin used to have a great comedy routine about stuff. His point was you bought a house, filled it with “stuff” and then got a bigger house to fit “more stuff!  A funny, but very astute observation. It very much sums up the last 25 years of American living. Basically we spent the last quarter century buying more “stuff’ with ever bigger houses and cars to hold it all. Times have changed.

One thing I quickly learned as a pilot is that its important not to have too much “stuff”. Three times in my life, I have to literally sell everything and start all over again. I may be on the brink of having to do this a 4th time. This is not an option most people desire, but it can be very liberating. Early on, I learned the more stuff you have the more you become enslaved by it. Think about it, the boats, cars and all the “stuff” you have to service takes every more of your time, effort and especially money. When you are making good money, its easy, but when that money goes away like now, that stuff hangs over your head like a huge burden.

In aviation, not having too much stuff can make you a much more effective person. Since you are away from the house for sometimes weeks, you dont have the time and energy to take care of all your stuff. The simpler your life is the better. When the worst happens (losing your job, furlough) you dont have to worry about packing up all this stuff you have accumulated and carrying it around with you like a vagabond.  Flexibility is key. The same can go for the average American consumer these days. How many”knick naks’ do we really need. Is the amount of “stuff” in your house really your measure of success? Maybe its time we changed priorities.

I have always been a de-clutterer’. I keep that which is sentimental (the things my wife or family give me) the things that have TRUE value and things I use. Everything else is expendable. Even now, after being out of work for a while, I am ready to sell my “stuff” and live simply. Fortunately I have a wife who lives the same way too. Our upbringing and experience have taught us what is truly important…each other. You can always buy more stuff, but it’s not so easy to find someone you truly care about and love.

Look around your house, how much stuff do you have? How much do you really need. Each person should realize there are truly important things in life. Do we really need 4 cars, 5 tvs and a storage shed to hold the extra? How much money do we waste on needless things? We even have an economy based on people buying ever more stuff? Im not saying live like a hermit, but dont let the amount of “stuff” you buy overwhelm you and if you are in aviation, I STRONGLY suggest that you live simply. The only constant for the pilot is change and like the mouse in the book  “Who Moved My Cheese” you got to be ready to move when the cheese is gone, otherwise you might find yourself hemmed in and trapped by all your “stuff”.


Written by tdwnds1

September 22, 2009 at 6:02 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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