Baggage

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I went to Tahoe stag this weekend, which gave me more time for rest and self-analysis than usual.  I packed for Tahoe in my usual multi-tasking haze…while on a conference call, and juggling email while booking tickets for upcoming business travel.  I hashed together my usual weekend montage: three suitcases.  One for clothing, one for hiking gear, and a cooler bag of food and drinks.  It all fit nicely in the car – I had plenty of space.  I reviewed my mental checklist and confirmed I had everything I needed.

When I packed up this morning to head home, I evaluated how much of my baggage actually got used during the two day, two night trip.  If I would have distilled the used items, I could have easily fit them into a backpack.  Not three large bags – a backpack.  But I was comfortable bringing three bags worth of stuff, “just in case” I might need it, or because I’d used a particular item on an earlier trip.  Or because I just couldn’t help myself.

As I was completing my morning hike, it struck me that my luggage situation was a great analogy for my life right now.  I’ve been carrying around a ton of baggage, and dragging it along has been exhausting and costly. I’m hauling bags full of fear for the future, packages with bags of memories from past failures, and lots of the emotional baggage as well.

These bags keep me weighed down and moving slowly — and they’re a self fulfilling prophecy.  I’m not considering any other life alternatives because the bags are simply too massive and they seem to expand on a regular basis.  Dragging around all this weight is exhausting.

My goal for the next few months is to lighten the load.  To live with less fear and doubt.  To haul around fewer expectations.  If I lighten the load, perhaps I’ll be able to climb to new heights.

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