“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.
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).
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.