Some days you wake up and feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. If you were anything like I was, you probably did!
How you feel plays a large role in your daily performance, your personal relations — hell, your life in general! So which of these seems like it’d make your life easier — carrying around a 20-pound weight all day, or only carrying things you actually need and use?
I went through this thinking of my first day back to the job this morning, recalling the time I’d spent in Boston carrying a weighty SLR camera and two lenses in a tiny backpack along with wearing too many layers of clothing some days to resemble anything near comfortable.
We need to make an effort to remind ourselves to be comfortable in our day-to-day lives, and part of that means trimming down the amount of stuff in our bags!
Here’re the considerations I made to make things a little easier for myself:
I: RAIN OR SHINE?
Living in Canada, investing in a number of jackets is a must. But looking at weather forecasts can tell you whether it’s going to rain and the weather to expect for the day. A decent day outside can save you from needlessly carrying an umbrella, and a warm sweater and scarf can replace an unnecessary jacket. Less bulk, less sweat, easier living!
II: SOMETIMES, A TABLET WILL DO
I’d reasoned with myself that I was taking my laptop with me to work in order to “get work done”. Who the hell was I kidding? I’d take it to work and barely open it once! Work already has a laundry list of things to get done, and if it’s a slow day, bringing something heavy to work is a stupid idea.
So I replaced my laptop with a tablet. Throw a bit of extra cash at it, and it can replace a laptop for all of your light daily work!
- Word processing? There’re apps for that. I can even sync a portable keyboard with my iPad, since I don’t like to type on touchscreens!
- Drawing? There’re apps for that too; I also invested in a Wacom Bamboo stylus for my iPad to better match my drawing style
- I also carry games on my iPad so I don’t have to carry a Nintendo DS, a music composer in case I want to record an idea for a theme song — tablets can do a lot. So that in itself makes my load a whole lot lighter!
III: READING MATERIAL
Seriously, how much can you read in a day? I thought that I’d be able to gain some knowledge on my commutes to and from work and on lunch breaks, but I spend my commutes standing and waiting to get to my destination, and I spend most of my lunches hanging with colleagues and friends, airing out the issues of the day. When exactly did I think I’d have any time to read? So I went from carrying books to carrying a few sheets of paper I’d like to read and be rid of.
I know you want to be prepared for any situation that could arise. I know you think that if you don’t have the cure for the bubonic plague in your purse of a multi-lingual translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the ready in your backpack that it’ll spell out the end of the world — but you couldn’t be more wrong.
Dig into the depths of your bag, and really ask yourself how much of your crap you’re going to need. There’re only 24 hours in a day, and there’s no way that most of us are possibly going to use all the stuff we lug with us. Today, as I walk around with a sweater and a bag lightly filled with things I have an actual chance of using, I’d like to think that Casey-lite is better prepared for taking some lighter steps in the right direction.
–Casey E. Palmer