"The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, now or in the long run."
"Henry David Thoreau
Yesterday I started packing for an upcoming trip that Tom and I are taking to Europe. I've never under-packed for an excursion, but I most definitely have over-packed. What I am trying to do for this trip is right-pack. Having what I need and not burdened by what I don't. It's an art for sure, and one that I've yet to master. This trip is yet another opportunity to hone my skills. I think the trick is in considering what will be needed to navigate where we're going. How will we spend our time, and in what conditions? By the end of the day, my bag was looking pretty good. With a week and a half to go before leaving on a jet plane, I've got time to toss in a little more or take a little less.
Life is a trip, and we are constantly packing our bags for what lies ahead. The same principles apply. What will we need to navigate the road ahead? How will we spend our time, and in what conditions? Wherever we're headed, a right-packed suitcase is one that will equip us with what we need but not encumber us with what we don't.
Lately, one of my favorite questions to ask is "What don't you want to carry with you into your next chapter? Whether I pose that question to clients, family, friends, or to myself, I am always struck by how quickly people arrive at an answer. Whether they share it with me or not, they can almost always identify something that they know has become a burden. It no longer serves them or maybe never has. Whatever it is, carrying it any further down the road will only wear them out and weigh them down.
Our bags are our own to pack and to carry.
The contents are ours to choose or to chuck.
What is one thing that you want to leave behind? An old story? An obsolete belief? A depleting relationship? A long held habit? A lingering resentment? Sometimes leaving something behind requires help. Who can help you right-pack your suitcase? With that "thing" no longer taking up space, what might there be room for?
We are on the trip of a lifetime, and whatever we carry in our bag claims a piece of our life.