Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Travel lightly

Man, procrastination.  It's really something, isn't it?  I've had basically two things to do all day--clean up the quilt project sitting on the dining room table and packing my stuff.  I really hate packing.  The problem is I take too much stuff.  Or too much of the wrong stuff and not enough of what I actually need.  And generally speaking, I won't know which is which until I get to our destination and discover I put in seventeen sleeveless t-shirts, not a single pair of jeans...or my toothbrush container, so carefully packed, is actually empty.  Why, I think, did I think I'd actually wear the pair of sandals I didn't manage to wear all last summer?

It's easier to put it off.  Back in my youth, before leaving for Europe on my first off-continent trip, I made piles of clothes on a chair in my bedroom.  I bought piles of clothing--all of which co-ordinated--and systematically, carefully, filled the interior-framed backpack my father had bought for me with his 4-digit REI membership number.  Everything I'd need for three months.  Well, except that I had an enormous purse and carry-on.  I got over there and you wouldn't believe the schlepping I had to do with all that cra--er, stuff. It just about did me in.  I ditched belongings all over that continent and still came home stuffed to the gills, barely breathing (though I was in pretty good shape back then).  A year later, when I moved to Holland for six months, one would think I might have learned my lesson. Unfortunately, I'm a tortoise-slow learner.  When Beve and I returned to the states after that sojourn, he was determined that we learn to pack and live lightly.  We had far too much stuff.  In fact, this will tell you about security in the eighties: we actually looked around for likely travelors who might check in one of our extra bags for us.  And had no trouble finding people glad to help. 

Alas, Beve and I didn't ever really learn our lesson.  We just don't have the knack for traveling lightly.  Well, except for the weekend we went over to WSU for E's college graduation.  Late that night, we drove to Spokane, where Beve, J and Grampie were going to spend the night before returning home.  Beve opened the trunk and realized his bag, computer, etc were all sitting in in a car in my sister's driveway in Pullman.  Talk about light living!

But generally, we overpack.  Or at least I do.  I drag along this and that, and forty-seven extra things I just might need.  You never know.  I might need a flashlight. Those extra socks if it's cold at night.  A sweatshirt for late walks on the beach...

You know where I'm going with this, don't you?  I'm like this in life too. I'm always carting around extra luggage.  Having to pay the price of it being too heavy, too full of things I don't need. Moldy old attitudes I continue to hold on to.  The idea that 'this is just who I am...I'm always like this" and can't do anything to change.  That's an beat-up cardboard box, wrapped with string that I lug around like it's the finest corinthian leather.  How ridiculous is that?  Those old wounds of failing in relationships?  The pain my mom caused?  It's a bag with a broken zipper, held together with duct-tape.  No wonder I have back problems from carrying around all this garbage.  No wonder my soul is broken as well.  I've got to learn to travel more efficiently, live lightly.  Trust God to supply all my needs, according to His riches (just the same, I think I'll pack an extra pair of underwear...and I think He'll understand!).

(By the way, I did manage to put away the quilting project--while procrastinating on finishing this post!)

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