Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pack It Up and Be On Your Way

Joy at the start
Fear in the journey

Joy in the coming home

A part of the heart

Gets lost in the learning

Somewhere along the road

~Dan Fogelberg 
 
I'm packing for a trip. I started by throwing everything I might want to take into a big pile on my bed. Anything was possible. I carefully started to pick out things I knew I couldn't do without, and things that maybe weren't the most glamorous pieces but that I knew would serve me well. Some things I wanted (Oh so BADLY!) but couldn't manage to fit in. Some items were appealing because I knew how they'd make me feel while wearing them but I couldn't justify adding them. Maybe next time.

While I stood there making decisions-- keep this, let that go-- I thought how much life is like packing. You start out with all the possibilities, without many constraints. Choices must be made though. Soon you begin to edit. Some choices mean that other options are off the table at least for the time being. Perhaps you can pick them up at some point along your way.


Some days our "bags" feel as if we are bursting at the seams, we've packed too much, prioritized wrong. Why did we bring that? What were we thinking? How are we supposed to drag that around? We edit. Someone tucked that thing in our bag while we were distracted. How did we become responsible for that? Time to take it out. We've neglected something important or we haven't cared for the few things we've chosen properly. Time to evaluate our baggage.


So when we travel literally or figuratively are we going to weigh ourselves down with everything under the sun or can we manage with less? There is something kind of thrilling about packing a bag with just what you think you really need for the journey and imagining the treasures you might pick up along the way. Knowing that you are not ever going to perfect the process is a helpful realization. Life is full of surprises, leave a little room for chance and a spirit of adventure to put your resourcefulness to the test. Accept the challenge of adapting to knew circumstances. Drop the cumbersome expectation that you can be prepared for everything. You CAN be prepared for a LOT, just not ALL.

Be willing to learn.

Keep an open mind.

Enjoy the journey.

In case you are wondering about what actual pieces of clothing are going in my tangible bag for this literal trip, I'm getting to that in a few days.


In case you are wondering about the song I started this post with here are the lyrics:

Along The Road
Joy at the start
Fear in the journey
Joy in the coming home
A part of the heart
Gets lost in the learning
Somewhere along the road.
Along the road
Your path may wander
A pilgrim's faith may fail
Absence makes the heart grow stronger
Darkness obscures the trail.
Cursing the quest
Courting disaster
Measureless nights forebode
Moments of rest
Glimpses of laughter
Are treasured along the road.
Along the road
Your steps may tumble
Your thoughts may start to stray
But through it all a heart held humble
Levels and lights your way.
Joy at the start
Fear in the journey
Joy in the coming home
A part of the heart
Gets lost in the learning
Somewhere along the road
Somewhere along the road
Somewhere along the road.
 

 
 

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