Thursday, July 17, 2008

Words That Echo

Words stick with me a long time. As my memory problems stare me in the face, I am frustrated by those words that I do remember. This weekend I went kayaking with friends. R suggested that we try to load both kayaks onto one vehicle and ride together. I thought that would be just fine, but as I packed a couple bags for the day trip, I got anxious and another friend’s words echoed in my head, “you pack way too much stuff.” Okay, those weren’t her exact words, but that was the message. A few years ago, on my way home for the holidays, I stayed overnight with this friend. Her making fun of my luggage (one large suitcase, one carry-on for a week long trip) has stuck with me for years and now I’m anxious every time I pack for anything.

For this day trip, A and I each had a small bag with a towel and dry clothes (I included a book and some paddles and balls for out of the water time and A brought his camera) and I packed a cooler bag with lunch for the group. We also had our boat, gear for our boat (including seats, straps, extra rope, dry bag, and hatch cover) and our life preservers. And we used everything. And I felt justified in having brought everything. But I admitted to R that I felt anxious about it and that I would have been embarrassed if we had ridden together and had to transfer (all of) our gear to their car.

During my recent trip to the Midwest, I also focused on packing and worried about the amount of luggage I brought. In the end, I fit everything into my carry-on sized suitcase which I had to check due to liquid restrictions. But I was proud that I fit it all into one small suitcase, the same carry-on that I had taken on that trip years ago along with a large suitcase for the same length of time. I will allow that winter travel requires more space as warm clothes are often bulkier, and home for the holidays definitely means warm clothes!

Why do I pack so much? 1. For eventualities – I don’t always know exactly what I or the local weather will be doing and 2. for comfort – being away from home is always challenging to me. Even when I know A or E had taken care of Chibo and it was okay to go straight to dinner or another event after work, I would still be more comfortable to go home first. Home is my grounding station, so bringing more things along is like bringing that vibrational energy with me, allowing me to feel like home is wherever my ample suitcase lies.

I like the feeling of traveling a little lighter and I love knowing that I used everything I brought, so the result is good. I just don’t like the echo that reinforces this habit change.

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