Confession: I’ve seen the Movie “Leap Year.” It’s bad. Like really bad. Could be Amy Adams’ worst performance ever. I won’t give away the plot…even though you can probably accurately predict how it ends…but, there’s a very poignant moment where Amy Adams is asked, what would you save in a fire? Later on in the move, she creates an opportunity to see what her fiancé would save. What he chooses to save sets the stage for the movie’s climax.
I hope none of you ever have to actually decide what to save if your house were to catch fire. Last night I was talking with a colleague, Tonya Hall, who I met on twitter. During our conversation, she shared that recently, during the Colorado fires, she had 15 minutes to decide to what to save in her house, before flames engulfed it. The house perished. The only word that comes to mind is, “tragic.” Thankfully, she made it out unscathed.
Her story, put a very sharp point on the question often asked at parties as a hypothetical: What would you save if your house were on fire and all you had were 15 minutes to get out?
Recently I saw a quote from the founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard that stuck with me and in the face of the hypothetical question, seems appropriate: “The more you know, the less you need.” That quote comes from, Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman. It’s a solid read and I highly recommend it. After my divorce I started over completely. Beyond my clothes, camera equipment, laptop and car, I had nothing. Mind you, this was by choice. The best part of starting over, was how selective I could be in what I purchased. My focus was very much on quality over quantity. I live a rather sparse life, but the “things” I do have, I value.
With 15 minutes to save the most valuable items, I’d be done in 5. There’s only 4 things I’d rush to save:
1. Apple Time Capsule. It holds every photo I’ve ever taken since 2001. Photos are memories and I’d hate to lose those memories.
2. Watch Box: I don’t own lots of jewelry. It’s not my thing. But, watches, are something I love. Each watch tells a story. Each watch was purchased with a story in mind and a moment to to attach to it.
3. Camera Bag: Some items in the bag have sentimental value that can’t be replaced. But, more importantly, I’m always happy, behind the camera, capturing a moment.
4. Document Box: I have a box that contains all the important documents…birth certificates, passports, etc. If you have to start over, you’re going to need most of those documents.
That’s it. Small list. No clothes, except those on my back. No, computers or electronics. No pieces of furniture, regardless of how cool they are. Nope, just 4 things.
What would you save?