February 21, 2019
Not sure who came up with this designation but it resonates this week.
It generates lots of fun pictures and memories on social media. A glimpse into who and where we were in days gone by. It offers us a little perspective on the fashion choices we made when we were younger and thought we knew what life was all about. At least we tried to pretend we did.
Truth is, none of us knew then what we know now. We couldn’t. We were learning and making it up as we went along. Just like our parents before us and now our children after us. Each on our own journey in our own time at our own pace with our own luggage.
Notice I said luggage not baggage. There is a huge difference. Luggage is what we pack. It’s deliberate. We know we are going somewhere and we decide what we want to take with us. Baggage is the stuff others add to our load. How much we carry is optional but that’s a topic for another day.
We’d all like to start with a good assortment of clean clothes but those who procrastinate or don’t have the opportunity to do laundry before the journey starts may just throw in what is handy. A woman packing for a luxury vacation that has been planned for and anticipated for years will pack very differently from a woman escaping domestic violence in the middle of the night while her abuser is passed out drunk.
Knowing where we are going makes a difference in what we think we will need. A trip to the beach and a trip to the hospital can both be provisioned in a single bag. Each involves a good deal of sitting around at times but sunscreen is not as crucial in a hospital and hopefully you don’t come home from the beach with a new baby.
Loading a moving truck involves a lots of packing. Luggage, boxes, crates and the magically shrinking interior of a box truck. Preparing for those major progressions in the journey is in itself a side journey into the past before moving forward.
It’s a time to sort through and discard things that you don’t want to take to the new place. A time to re-evaluate the purpose and usefulness of things once considered the answer to your need or problem. Things that you may have searched long and hard for no longer warrant space or attention.
And I can see where I’ve let things go, where I’ve picked up new things only to put them down a few miles down the road. I can see friends and family who travel with me for long stretches or just cross paths at unexpected turns. I can see where my luggage has been packed and unpacked. Even a time or two when it got lost and I was traveling without it.
This is the lesson of Throwback Thursday. I look at the photos and see how far I have come. The hairstyles I thought so cute 20 or 30 or 40 years ago make me laugh and cringe a little now. But when I look at myself then, I can almost see that girl, that young mother, that desperate single, that newlywed looking back at me and saying, “It will be ok, right? We’ll find the answers, right? We’ll be loved and happy, right?”
But each time I look back, I can nod and say, “Yes, we’ll be ok. We will find the answers we need for the next leg of the journey. We have always been loved and there is always a reason to be happy. And tomorrow is FRIDAY!!!!”