Saturday, 28 May 2011

What's in your backpack?

Sometimes on a weekend I like to have a mooch around the shops and have a look at some of things I never knew I needed. Today was one of those days, and I spent the morning browsing and wondering how much money we spend on non-essential stuff.

When I started writing this blog post I was just going to write about some of the trivia I could have spent my hard earned money on, but it's got me thinking about the film Up In The Air.

In the film George Clooney *swoon* plays a businessman who spends most of his life travelling, a life he prefers. As a sideline, he gives motivational speeches called 'What's in your Backpack?' where he talks about how each of us is carrying around a metaphorical backpack that contains all of our possessions and commitments. Our backpacks get heavier and heavier until they are so filled with “stuff” that it is nearly impossible to move. George Clooney’s character argues that we should “set our backpacks on fire” and free ourselves from this burden.  I won't give the plot away, but he meets a woman and starts having second thoughts about his own life. It's one of those films that really makes you think about what's important in life.

 With that in mind, have a look at some of the essentials I saw on my shopping trip today. Really, how I've managed to live to this age without these things is beyond me.

A banana tree - how have I managed without one?
A two storey bird house - clearly the birds in my garden have been roughing it all this time.

A dog toy in the shape of an anchor - why?
A CD box in the shape of a police box.
The ubiquitous signs that remind us where we live and to dream,
 breathe, love, etc. just in case we forget.
£2.15 for a bottle of dog beer. That's right, beer for dogs. Good grief.
A wire bird. I quite like it, but the question is: do I need it?
An unusual colouring book.
A union jack door stop.
I admit that I really like some of these things, and others less so. I mean do people really buy beer for their dogs? Who are these people?

Basically all of these things are just stuff. Stuff that we might like but don't need. We fill our lives with lots of stuff but how much of it is essential?

So, what's in your backpack? Do you travel light or are you weighed down by lots of stuff?