Three years ago I had an opportunity to spend a couple of months in Scottsdale, Arizona. It is a posh place with many architect-designed homes, elegant hotels and exclusive shopping malls. Coming from modest Denmark, the number of well dressed, mainly middle-aged and older women with perfect make-up and hairdos attracted my attention. Soon the dry desert air made my skin feel tight and rough and Nivea lotion did not help. Therefore I went to a close-by beauty school to get a facial.
After signing a waiver stating that if I had any adverse effects of the treatment, I would not sue the service provider or the school, a beautician-to-be inspected and carefully touched my face, after which she called her teacher to discuss the needed treatment. Both women looked worried when touching my wrinkles and let me know that I should consider some injections with Botox and some other fillers, as well as come regularly (once a week?) to have a peeling and moisturizing treatment. In addition, it was suggested that I buy an assortment of various crèmes and use some of them by day and others by night.
Horrified at such a regimen, I protested that I would not have time for all that.
– Women in Scottsdale do have time to take care of themselves. They don’t work, responded the young student. She was clearly from some other place since she was working, or at least studying.
Even though I love experimenting with new endeavors, the proposed new regimen was too strange for me, and after that visit, I continued with my old Nivea-regimen. I also developed more wrinkles.
Following that experience, I started looking for less consumption- and beauty-focused people. One day I found a free event advertised on the Internet: two guys, Ryan and Joshua, who were on a long road trip from Montana, were talking about minimalistic lifestyles. It sounded like something that could benefit people in Scottsdale and maybe even the rest of the USA, as far I had observed. Maybe these guys had found a way to deliver the message that hoarding material possessions and focusing on your outer appearance is not the way to a happy life. I booked a free ticket to the event, but did not manage to get there, because it was far away from our hotel and we did not have a car.
Instead of meeting Ryan and Joshua in person I decided to study their website, theminimalist.com. I listened to their podcasts and watched their “You Tube” videos. Ryan and Joshua are two young guys who, after graduating from college, started promising careers, earned good salaries and kept buying a lot of stuff. Gradually in their early 30s they realized that their lives felt empty. Luckily they reconnected with each other and started studying how to create a more meaningful life. They left their well-paying jobs, moved to a cottage in Montana, and wrote their first book about how less is more. Then they started a road trip to spread the message about a simpler and more meaningful lifestyle.
Last year in January, I suddenly found a Facebook message from Ryan and Joshua where they announced that they had – together with a movie professional – produced a film about minimalism. The film was scheduled to play in a number of large cities, none of which was close to where I was staying. However, they suggested that I become a Movie Captain and host a screening at my local theater. I really wanted to see the film and thought that I would find enough interested people (minimum 50) in my little town to cover the cost of the screening. I immediately picked the date and time and theater for my event. Then I was put in contact with the film’s distributor, Gathr Films, who helped me with organizing the practicalities.
All the tickets were sold on-line and on the day of the screening, I had to turn away many people from the door, because all seats had been sold out. As the Movie Captain I also had the privilege to briefly introduce the movie and facilitate a half hour discussion after the movie. Afterwards I was surprised that it had been so easy to become a Movie Captain. And yes, I have become even more of a minimalist after following many other minimalists’ example. You might also become interested if you watched the Minimalism-movie which is now available on Netflix.
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