It’s amazing how much extra weight we pick up along the way. And, I don’t just mean on the bod. In my recent move from Texas to New York I got to once again marvel at my incredible ability as a collector of extraneous stuff (other words can be substituted here). And, what a life enhancing experience it was to let all that baggage go.
A friend of mine from Phoenix once said to me, “Every morning I empty my little red wagon.” I asked him what he meant by that provocative statement and he told me. “I picture myself as a little boy heading out to meet a new day. I’m excited and I am pulling my little red wagon behind me. During the day I pick things up and put them in the wagon – toys, pieces of brightly colored paper, smooth stones, bottles and the like.”
“As an adult, I realize that I have been putting things in my wagon everyday – harsh memories, needless worries, hurt feelings and irrational fears. They weigh me down. Sometimes I can barely pull the wagon it is pilled so high with these heavy rocks. So, I have learned to just dump them out. They don’t serve me any more. And now I can move into the day with lightness, joy and anticipation.”
I’ve never forgotten that mental image he shared with me. Of course, I still let my wagon get too full of the wrong things. But, his words remind me that I can simply empty it out and pull a lighter load.
As I left Texas in January, it was the perfect time to empty the wagon – I sold my car, put my house on the market, gave away all my furniture (even the big-screen TV and surround sound system), trashed at least 80% of all the paper stuff (what in the world was I saving it for) and donated 70% of my books to the local library.
What was left fit easily in the front half of the smallest rental truck. Which I drove to from Austin, TX to White Plains, NY. It would have been more efficient and time-saving to have it moved commercially, but I would have still been caring some baggage – in my mind and my heart.
The three days on the road were therapeutic. I let my mind wander around and sort through whatever it found. Some precious memories were reviewed, enjoyed and stored. Some regrets, mistakes and doubts were released. And, along about Knoxville, Tennessee (in the mid-afternoon of the second day) my mind shifted and I began to focus on the future – the hopes, the plans and the possibilities.
By the time I got to New York, my life had changed. So much baggage had been dumped. My wagon was empty, shined up and read for a new day. The little boy inside me shouted: “It’s a big world, let’s go play.”