“Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.” Charles Dudley Warner
|Model with Huge shoulder bag|
I've always loved bags, in all shapes and sizes, and at different periods in my life, the size of my bag determined the weight of my burdens. In my college days, my big satchel book bag symbolized my courses and all the work that came with them. By the time my children came along, only a huge tote for diapers and kiddie things would do, and that carried over into my work life as I added travel totes with wheels and computer/projector holders to the mix. In recent months, I've been inclined to reconsider my attachment to the handbag; a carrying sac that is known by dozens of names.
Do you always carry a handbag? Have you tried not carrying one? Mamakat's Writer's Workshop offered a question that got me thinking about our handbags: What do the contents of your handbag/purse "say" about you?
My typical bag had my wallet, change purse, makeup, candy, letters, books, ipod, hair ornaments and whatever else crossed my path. This would of course vary when I added work, a special outing, or child related travel to my baggage. One thing that always stood out was that the bigger the bag, the greater the stuff tossed in it. With each additional item, we added more of our history and worries to our bags; our clutch slowly becoming a crutch that we used to clubber ourselves and others. Why carry so much? I believe that we could all benefit and gain some freedom from our baggage by de-cluttering our bag/baggage lives. What do you think?
Don't Let Me Hit You With My PocketBook - By Jennifer Hudson
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At one point in my life, I could count at least three work related bags that followed me everywhere; of course, the endless attention one had to pay to each bag to ensure its departure and arrival was hilarious. Each bag I owned had a history; a price, location, and the emotional tie that prompted the purchase. Sometimes, I wondered why women always seemed burdened with these cumbersome, albeit gorgeous, pieces of shoulder and hand held jewelry. Whenever I observed men in motion, especially during my work travel days, I would marvel at their effortless way of entering and exiting a plane without looking for this bag or that, and I imagined what it would feel like to move around without a handbag.
“The things you want are always possible; it is just that the way to get them is not always apparent. The only real obstacle in your path to a fulfilling life is you, and that can be a considerable obstacle because you carry the baggage of insecurities and past experience.” Les Brown
So this year, I started to make a concerted effort to carry less; to simplify my movement. The first day I went out without a bag, I felt naked, like something crucial was missing. I took my wallet and car keys and left the rest at home. Oddly, as the day progressed, I missed it less and enjoyed the freedom I felt of not having an extra piece of baggage on me.
Gradually, I have come to recognize that the habit of carrying handbags can have a way of becoming a crutch; a way to hide our insecurities. We fill them them with all of our stuff, and schlep them from place to place, wondering why we feel so burdened. We take extras things we don't need "just in case," rather than free ourselves to meet the day and the many opportunities a bag-less outing can bring on the street of life. I still carry bags when absolutely necessary but, preferably, I travel lightly with my wallet and keys. I highly recommend practicing this simple zen approach to stuff, as we will find that our movement is not constrained, and we are less inclined to buy yet another pack of gum we rarely chew... Have you tried it? Do share.
This post was prompted by Mamakat's Writers Workshop question: What do the contents of your handbag/purse "say" about you?
What are your thoughts? What does a handbag/pocketbook mean to you?
I would love to hear from you. Please leave me a comment/question. Thank You!
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PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Photo of Model with shoulder bag, special vintage bag, via Wikipedia,
Until Next Time…
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© Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation