Recently, I have noticed that each passing year ushers in more life stuff. These unsavory feelings, such as loss, grief, disappointment or the fallout from an illness, can attach themselves to my soul like crusty barnacles.
And then, I have to figure out the best way to carry these ugly parasites while navigating my journey. After all, in order to prevail, life demands ingenuity.
Since the quantity of life stuff varies, I have created several options which have made the act of transportation more manageable. My variety provides different opportunities for a successful forward path.
Sometimes I am able to cram all of my life stuff in a backpack. I poke the larger life stuff in the open pouch until it is full, and then I squeeze the remaining minor life stuff in the mesh side pockets. Next, I zip the backpack shut and lug it on my back, hands-free. My life stuff is transported out of sight. Yet, I am mindful of the weight evenly distributed on my torso. Fortunately, my shoulders are broad and can manage the heavy lifting. Meanwhile, the backpack’s shadow looms behind me. But the view out in front remains unobstructed.
At other times, my life stuff cannot be neatly zipped up in a small package. I do not want to face it. So I have to pile my life stuff into a wagon and pull it behind me. Reluctantly, my arms extend in reverse. My palms open to receive the wagon’s handle. As I grab on to the small bar with both hands, I tilt forward and trudge ahead. The load is heavy. With each step, I am aware of its existence. But, the four small wagon wheels allow inertia to gently assist me as I pull along my life stuff. When I need to stop and rest, the wagon drifts forward on its own. The rusty perimeter clips the back of my heels and the discomfort prompts me to keep going. I dare not linger. I have to move forward. The start-up energy requires a deep inhale and bent knees. Once again, my life stuff is moving along behind me.
If my life stuff is really heavy and requires my full attention, I resort to the use of a wheel- barrow. Front and center. I pull upwards on the rigid handles with my sweaty palms to guide the load in the open cart. A single wheel directs my path as I plow forward. My steps are restricted by the narrow space between the wheelbarrow and my body. My footing must be precise. Otherwise, the cargo wobbles from side to side as the balance of my life stuff shifts. When I become exhausted, I put the wheelbarrow down to regroup. The pause decelerates my life stuff. In order to continue, I have to summon extra strength, grip the handles once more and lunge forward with an audible grunt. Soon, I am moving.
The Roller board
When possible, I prefer to put my life stuff in a suitcase. First, I stow it and fasten the cover. Then I balance the suitcase in a vertical upright position with the handle extended to my waist. Now I can glide my life stuff along by my side like an invited companion. My stride is relaxed and confident. The roller board shields the contents from peering eyes. I can travel along with a clear view of my horizon. The whirl of the tiny wheels of the roller board on the ground remind me that I am still connected to my life stuff. But we are traveling together with ease.
The Fanny Pack
Ah! The fanny pack gives me the ultimate sense of liberation from the burden of the transportation of my life stuff! When my mind is clear and my soul is centered, I can discriminate. I choose what life stuff is vital and then I discard the rest. This act significantly reduces the clutter. Now, the selected life stuff nestles snuggly into a compact satchel clipped to my waist by a nylon strap. I swivel the pack from front to back seeking the perfect fit. While in the secure dorsal position, the slight swayback of my lumbar spine cradles the weight like a papoose. My arms and legs can move swiftly and are unencumbered by my reduced life stuff. Or sometimes, I slide the fanny pack around to my belly where I protect it like a precious unborn child. Now in front, my elbows brush against the fabric’s outer edges with each movement. The gentle reminder of my life stuff’s presence does not distract me. I feel liberated, yet grounded.
Each sunrise brings a new day on my daily trail. The muted yellow, orange and pink rays illuminate a fresh opportunity to decide how to carry my life stuff. Maybe today will be the day when I can shed some of it.
How do you carry your life stuff?
No matter your manner, please be kind to yourself. There is no judgement. Each day presents another chance, a new way to carry your life stuff.
Good luck fellow traveler. Stay strong.