Lately, for some reason I’ve been turning over the concept of different kinds of baggage in my head and I can’t quite let it go. In some cases there is a fine line between calling something baggage and calling it part of your bliss. Everytime I meet someone new and start to talk about where they are in their lives I come up with a new ah-ha moment related to baggage. As for myself, throughout my life I really have tried to limit my baggage in every sense of the word. Lately I’ve become even more ruthless about it.
I was talking to a dear friend of mine a while back and she exclaimed (I’m paraphrasing here) “Girl, you have no baggage whatsoever! You don’t have any kids, you don’t have a crazy ex-husband, you are financially *and* mentally stable. You are going to be quite the catch for some lucky man! All the rest of us are a mess compared to you!” I still chuckle over this – but I consider it to be big compliment considering the source. (hugs girl – you know who you are and I LOVE YOU!)
When I travel, I don’t carry much with me either. After years of business travel I’ve gotten to the point where I can practically pack in my sleep and I can go anywhere in the world for a week with a backpack (for my electronics and cameras) and a small roll-a-board carry on suitcase. I can be spontaneous too – I’ve gone to Hong Kong for a week on 12 hours notice. My life is structured in a way that I can pretty much leave it and it runs itself while I am gone. I love that.
I’m also the owner of what some friends refer to as the “world’s smallest handbag”. I dunno, it’s about all I really need. My late husband used to complain that I couldn’t fit anything into it. For me that was precisely the point. It holds my phone, my keys, my cash, and my credit cards with a little room to spare. It keeps me from carrying around a bunch of junk that I don’t need in my day to day life, and it also keeps me from carrying around other people’s crap too. See what I mean?
Digging a little deeper, here are the types of baggage that I’ve come up with so far:
- Stuff – How many things you own. This can be shoes, cars, electronics, houses or tchotchkes. Both of my parents were hoarders. I can’t live that way. Stuff that is not useful to me has got to go! I also know someone who lives in an RV and spends something like $300 a month. I’m definitely not on that end of the spectrum either.
- People – Your family and friends. I’ve come to the conclusion that I won’t keep toxic people around, and if I have to deal with them I keep them at arm’s length. I don’t have a lot of people in my life, but my closest friends and family are kind, loving and I’d do just about anything for them.
- Financial – Debt and other bad decisions. I won’t lecture here, but geez – try to live on substantially less than you make and you’ll be much happier.
- Mental – Emotional and otherwise. Can you let little things go? Can you forgive and move on from the big things or do you hold a grudge for life?
- Physical – Injuries and health problems. Bad eating and exercising habits. Some people might call my obsession with health and fitness part of my baggage. Touché. I just want to be around and feeling good for a very very long time.