family life, spiritual life

Time on my hands, weight off my back

“Let it go. Let it go.” Elsa

Sometimes life sends you subtle signals that a season is changing. Other times, it’s more like a karate chop. One of the latter hit me over Christmas and involved an unusually long school holiday, a desire to not be mugged and seven hours of interstate driving.

Pretty, yes. But, this whopper weighed in at nearly four pounds.

The holiday needs no explanation — 17 days! The mugging issue came from a visit to one of my two hometowns and time spent on public transit, in museums and on the streets of a major city. The seven hours of driving was done by our oldest daughter. She, in fact, drove across an entire state without making me grip my armrest or step on imaginary brakes.

Add it all up and I realized that I do not need to carry the equivalent of a diaper bag — a purse that can bail anybody out of any emergency and have space to haul the items others might pick up along the way.

How mommed out was my purse? Here is a partial list of what I was hauling:

Keys; a cell phone; $17 dollars in cash and an assortment of typical American plastic; one reporter notebook and six pens (for journalistic emergencies); tissues; a flash drive (for data emergencies); K-beauty blotting tissues; two Burt’s Bees lip glosses; one hair pick; three metal straws (to prevent marine life emergencies or to perform an emergency tracheotomy); a Swiss army knife with tweezers, toothpick, knife, scissors and a nail file (has to be removed every time I enter a government building); anointing oil (for prayer emergencies); Band-aids; Lactaid; an EpiPen (no longer needed, but so pricey for a time I was loathe to toss it); ibuprofen, aspirin (in case of heart attack), chewable Benadryl (in case of anaphylaxis); and, last but not least, a whistle (to summon help without inhaling excessive dust if we are buried under rubble during an earthquake — I haven’t lived anywhere earthquake prone since I was 7).

Just over a pound and my hands are free. Perfect!

While I am obviously a rather handy person to have around (and rather disappointing pickings to the average mugger), this is ridiculous. And, heavy. My purse weighed almost four pounds. No wonder my back hurts.

Switching to a cross body bag (secured in five minutes at a Goodwill while enroute) has me down to just over a pound. I might float away, it’s so light.

What’s missing? Oddly, not much. Switching to the built-in wallet and reducing the quantity of some items dropped most of the weight. The rest was due to a dose of mid-life reality — such as teen daughters can carry their own blotting tissues and I can fluff my curls with my fingers.

It’s true. I did not need to carry all that stuff. It was weighing me down and tying up my hands. I am happier without it.

So happy, that It made me wonder what else I am carrying that I shouldn’t be. Jesus famously invited believers to throw their cares onto Him with abandon. This year, this new season, I hope to take Him at His word.

I certainly cannot be God, capable of handling any circumstance. And, I don’t need to carry God-sized problems around on my back — anymore than I need a six pens and a whistle.

47 thoughts on “Time on my hands, weight off my back”

  1. I was laughing the whole time! At 78, I think I have the problem of too much taken along, but there’s often this nagging feeling that I’m missing something important…like the tissues I need for my sniffling allergies…or the lightweight rubbers just in case it rains (or snows, here). And of course, there’s all the baggage of life that I still haven’t quite given over for good. Thanks for the reminder! Here’s to traveling light!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. What a great post to open the new year! Thank you for the reminder to take the time to turn to Jesus and dump out all the burdens I insist on carrying. On another note, your purse and the description of all its contents brought to mind the scene in the movie β€œOne Fine Day” where Michelle Pfeiffer begins whipping items out of her purse that help salvage her work presentation. Hope you’re enjoying your lighter, cross body bag.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Love it! In the past year, I have also whittled my bigger bag to a small one with a built-in wallet β€” in fact I have two of them. One is so small it barely fits my phone and credit cards. It fits my current life better. I just use a “tote” bag if I need to take my computer with me. It is nice to lighten our loads. But, I want to hear more about the mugging!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. It was a joke in Mum’s family from an aunt who called any boring moments at the theatre or cinema β€˜Turn out your handbag time’. Our purses are only for money and your purses are our handbags – but the contents are much the same.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I never carry a purse! I keep a clutch with cards, cash and license in my trunk. I have lost/ forgotten too many purses along the way. This is my solution. Also have no young people/ husband to be chief nurse/ catch-all for. Congratulations on lightening yourself!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Wonderful post Nora, the vivid analogy is so true. It is so easy to weigh ourselves down, trying to lug around baggage. Instead we can cast all our cares unto the Lord. He had everything we need.
    Thanks for sharing πŸ€—πŸ™πŸ’œ

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I had to laugh at this one! My solution is to have a big tote bag that I keep in the car with a lot of the things you listed plus sunblock, hand sanitizer, a sewing kit, and magnifying glass I have a much smaller bag with a long strap, more like an oversized wallet, that holds cash, credit cards, my cell phone, car keys, and my epipen, Benadryl, and aspirin, for the same stated reasons. It is all I need as I move about; the rest is in the car giving me a feeling of security. I don’t have the anointing oil or the whistle, but I’ll put them on my list…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ah, but you actually know what to do in a medical emergency. I’ve just read a magazine article here or there and have thrown something in. (The one time someone I know did have a heart attack, I forgot to get out the aspirin — although I did do plenty of praying. All turned out well. πŸ™‚ God didn’t forget to help!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am glad that your friend had made a full recovery. Sometimes, Prayer work than medication. We could only fight to save somebody but we cann’t win the desire of God. It is what I have learned working over many years. Thanks

        Liked by 1 person

  8. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. Nora, you made me laugh so hard. My daughter, Rachel sounds just like that. We’ve accused her of carrying everything in her purse but the kitchen sink. Whatever you need, she can usually produce. And I’m sure the weight of her purse exceeds yours.

    How free you must feel. I used to carry heavy purses but mostly when I go out, I only carry a little clutch. Lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, no! I think it was because we were on an oddly empty highway. In town, my foot is continually on the floor. I’ve spent so much time in the car with her, now I’m doing it when my husband drives, as well. Shhh!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Nora loved your post and made me laugh, I prefer less luggage more comfort when we are going out with cabs or something like that but my daughter enjoys to taking three pair of shoes and several accessories….! 🌹

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I learned to lighten my purse after I broke my arm (a stupid accident, totally unrelated to the weight of said purse πŸ˜„) three years ago! Why do we carry so much, indeed?
    Thank you for the laughter, Nora!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’m a “lite bag/contents” user…that’s because I don’t have a car to sling everything else into it – and I regularly go through it, weeding out things not needed, taking a lesser object if I’ve a smaller (this will do) … last week I inquired about getting a keyring bus card but apparently they don’t have them for my type of card, annoying as my current one isn’t made to be on a keyring!

    Liked by 2 people

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