Travel lightly

Did you know that the word for luggage in Latin is impedimenta? If you have ever schlepped your roll-along, carry-on or even a backpack through an airport terminal, it makes sense. Luggage can get in the way. What's worse is realizing that you packed way too much and it wasn't worth the herniated disc you almost got "lugging" your suitcase up those stairs.

What if we could travel through life lightly? Here are some things I’ve discovered:

  • Be flexible. Plans are important and past experiences are helpful for understanding future probabilities, but things and people change- often without your permission or knowledge. Be able to adapt to changes and you will be less disappointed.

  • Be open. Sometimes we can close ourselves off to new, creative possibilities. An unclosed mind and open heart will find life more of an adventure than cause for frustration.

  • Declutter. Two friends of ours are on an RV road trip. What they've discovered is that not only is there less room in their "mobile home", they don't need as much. Someone once said that if you don't wear something after 18 months, donate it. Imagine if we could have less but also that someone else could have... period.

  • Leave regrets behind. No one can escape failures and frustration. Except for being teachers and motivators, however, regrets have no reason to occupy space in our life. Get rid of them.

  • Avoid terribilizing. Some people seem keyed for drama, but few things can weigh us down than over-emotionalizing a situation. As Alice offered in yesterday's Daily Dose,

Stay away from negative people.  They have a problem for every solution.  ~ Albert Einstein
  • Give a hand. Traveling lighter just makes you gladder. But it also allows you to help others who need a hand. Which reminds me of an Italian grandmother giving directions to her grown grandson who is coming to visit her condo.

She says, “With your elbow, push button 14B, and I’ll buzz you in. Get in the elevator, and with your elbow hit 14. When you get out, I’m on the left. Hit my doorbell with your elbow.”

"Nonna," asks the grandson, "Why am I hitting all these buttons with my elbow?”

To which Grandma replies, “You’re coming empty-handed?”