The Mythology of Packing Light

So, here’s the thing about me. I always seem to have too much stuff at any given time. It’s not like I’m a hoarder or anything like that. No, I just like to plan for all contingencies. I’m serious! If you looked in my purse right now you would be blown away by the amount of items that could be jimmy-rigged into solving pretty much anything you might face. You’re bleeding? Oh, here’s a travel package of band-aids ready to help! Lost a button? My emergency sewing kit to the rescue! You forgot to wear deodorant? No worries, I’ve got a small bottle of Febreeze! You need a receipt? Ah, well I just happen to have 47 gajillion jammed in my wallet.

Also something that’s a little mind-boggling is the amount of meetings I attend at work where I have at least two beverages on hand. Maybe I need that caffeine now, you see, but in a few minutes I might need feel the effects of dehydration and I could really want some cool, clear water to re-hydrate me. It never fails – if we go to lunch together, I’ll be the one juggling a to-go box, to-go drink, and my purse (even if it is ill-advised because it’s icy on the sidewalk). I keep a heating pad and several pairs of “back-up” shoes in my car, along with a two blankets, 3 cans of “fix-a-flat”, and an emergency automotive kit complete with tools I have no idea how to use and a flare. You know, just for good measure.

I suppose it should come as no surprise to me that I approach packing for a trip in the same fashion. Especially when it comes to my reading material.

Quick Side Note: For all you Kindle-lovers out there…yes, that is a solution to my problem. And I have a Kindle and I use it. But it’s not always the answer because I already have bookshelves teeming with things I want to read or books I’ve gotten as gifts or off the free book list at work. I’m not going to re-purchase those just because it might make my carry-on situation a little better! What am I? Made of money?!

photo (35)Every year when I go to my parent’s house for Christmas, I bring approximately seven books but I almost never read more than two. But it’s more than just a numbers game! It’s also a question of what I will be in the mood to read. Will I want something frivolous and light? Will I want something heady and book club worthy? Or to return to a book I’ve already read? You know…comfort reading. It’s just too difficult. And my motto is: “If you’re not sure, take options.” This philosophy has given me back trouble from lugging all those books around, but I can’t bear to change it. Sue me, I’m human!

This trip was even harder because it included a 16-hour road trip. Now, I’ve never been one to get car-sick from reading in the car. Thank goodness! And if a 16-hour road trip isn’t a time to get caught up on your to read pile, I don’t know what is. But it seems like I went a bit overboard. I may or may not have packed six books, plus my Kindle, and a whole heap of Entertainment Weekly to get caught up on. Even factoring in the road trip – which, BTW, it’s not always light outside when you’re driving – that would mean I’d need to average a book a day to justify my packing habits. I think the last time I read like that was on summer vacation when I was in junior high.

Long story short, I’m giving myself an intervention. I have a problem. I’m ready to admit it and get some help. My new motto? “Edit, Amy, edit. It works with books, now let’s try it with your life and stuff.”

Now, if you need me, I’ll be hugging all six books to myself and chanting “you can do this” over and over.




One thought on “The Mythology of Packing Light

  1. Dad says:

    M, when did Jerry change his name? You as, “Jerry who?” That’s Jerry-Rigged. When did he officially & legally change his name to Jimmy-rigged! I’m just asking..

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