Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tossing Wanted Sundries

This morning I faced a seriously impending fact, staring at the bulging edges of my suitcase, the pile on top of it yet to be packed. Everything I'd like to bring to Cayman, or even various sundries I believe I need, are causing a rift between the relationship between my suitcase and I. My suitcase feels abused and refuses to hold another sock (personally I believe this is a very silly attitude... but you try convincing a smallish suitcase that it's capable of more.)

So I tossed out a couple of tshirts, a woebegone pair of jeans, and The Answers Book. Still my suitcase persisted in whiny habits, denying me even an inch more of zipper. So I tossed out two of my piano books (it's doubtful that I'll have access to a piano while in Cayman, but I'm clinging to a desperate hope and bringing some books anyway), an Arizona Jean skirt, some notebooks, and all of my shoes except for the flip-flops and tennis shoes. (Here my mom protested loudly, "You must have church shoes!" To my shame, I cheekily replied, "Take it up with Suitcase.")

One last time I invaded it, tossing articles of clothing over my shoulder, piling an untidy mountain of hygienic items in my chair, repressing an ungrateful gurgle towards Suitcase for refusing to accommodate my towel. It really was being absurdly stubborn over the whole thing. But at long last, I sat on the top, pulled the zipper all the way around effortlessly, and ignored the fact that half of my 'necessary' items didn't make it.

And now if you'll graciously allow me to make a boring and redundant analogy.

Right now my life feels about the same size as my suitcase, as I pointlessly shove more and more things in to suit myself. Life, like my Suitcase, simply refuses to hold everything to my convenience. And so comes the process of elimination, tossing out places I wanted to be, people I wanted to meet, subjects I wanted to study. The continual sorting seems infinite, no matter how many beloved things I throw out, it's still not nearly enough.

Being human, I get sick of this far too easily, and childishly just kick the suitcase aside, and gather everything up in my arms, protesting that if it won't carry it all, then I will. (It's pointless really. If airport security didn't get me first, the poor person who had to sit next to me on the flight would.) That resolve never lasts long, naturally.

Some of us have a bigger luggage suite than others. Mine, quite simply consists of the smallest sized suitcase and my backpack. If I was going to live in Europe for a year (if only!) this is what I would bring, because this is what I have.

God calls for contentment, for simplicity and order. Maybe you only have a backpack, and the contents of your life are threatening to burst out at any moment. In fact, maybe it already has burst and you're looking at the scattered mess wondering, "Now what?" Don't be afraid to toss them in a chair and leave them. Prioritize. Tennis shoes are more important than gorgeous heels. Soap is more important than perfume. (And no matter what you have to toss, leave the deodorant!)

I reckon that sometime in the near future I'll be on the beach going, "Now if only I had brought that." But no worries. Regrets are part of life too. And better to have a little in an organized space, than a lot in a helter-skelter, straining pile. (And mom, I promise that if I have to look like a beach bum the whole time, I'll be an elegant beach bum.)


Katie Beth said...

Eh. I know what you mean. I have to prioritize a lot too, and it just increases the older I get. Work, dance, art, music, books, family, friends... oh and school. ;-)

"I reckon that sometime in the near future I'll be on the beach going, 'Now if only I had brought that.'" But you will be on the BEACH. ;-)

I've found that flip flops are fabulous church shoes. :-P

Anonymous said...

I love your blog! I love to read what you think of island life.