I’m at the bag check counter in the airport and told my suitcase is over the weight limit. I would have to pay an additional charge. I had a small budget for spending money on this trip, enough that I felt comfortable I could have a good time. An overweight suitcase was not going to ruin that for me. So I found myself doing the one thing I promised I would never do. The thing that I laughed at other people for doing and thought about how ill-prepared they were.
I opened my suitcase in front of everyone and I scurried through my belongings. I was holding up the long morning rush line but desperate to lower the weight of the suitcase. I pulled out anything I thought would do the trick: shirts, shoes, and sweaters, stuffing as much as I could in my oversized purse. I zipped the suitcase up and placed it back on the scale. Lady luck was on my side; I weighed in at the exact maximum weight.
Of course, after that shenanigan, I was pressed for time. I ran as quickly as I could through security and to the gate. I boarded the plane, sat down and finally took a breath. Sitting still in my seat, I realized that I was now one of those people who looked ill-prepared and I tried to find out where I went wrong. I wasn’t sure of the weather where I was going and I tried to pack my entire closet. In case the temperature dropped I brought sweaters and jeans. If it was a bit warmer, I packed dresses, shorts, and sandals. I had a jacket, an umbrella, a hat, gym shoes and a pair of my favorite heels. Then I packed accessories for each outfit. In addition to overpacking my wardrobe, I packed a notebook and a laptop. I am in the middle of writing my book, The Blueprint: Playing and Winning with a Losing Hand. I also packed another book in case I got bored or lost inspiration with my book. As this raging chatter quiets itself inside my head, I thought to myself, “What are you doing?”
This trip was a time to relax. I focused on everything else but relaxing. I overcomplicated what was supposed to be simple. For where I was heading, all I needed were a few sundresses and flip-flops. If it rained, I could have enjoyed the still beautiful view from my bedroom window. Everything I truly needed would have fit into my handbag and I didn’t need to bother to pay for a checked bag. This trip opened my eyes to how distracted I had become on a daily basis; I forgot about what really matters. My time for relaxation did not require glitz and glamour. All it required was me to be fully present in the moment.
Pack your essentials and the leave the rest behind. There is no one to impress on your vacation but yourself.