Easy Rider

My recent travels took me through four airports: Boise, Portland, Chicago, and Seattle. It provided the opportunity to see baggage of every size, shape, and color—some carried, most of it pulled.

An enthusiastic proponent of offloading [emotional] baggage, I had to laugh at the ingenuity of the young traveler I captured in this photo. Rather than carrying baggage and letting it weigh him down, he got a ride on it!

Have you discovered the joy of offloading baggage?

© lauriebuchanan@me.com

57 thoughts on “Easy Rider

  1. Love the image, Laurie. I’d say he’s being SUPPORTED by someone else’s baggage. Since he’s a child, codependency is appropriate.

    Seriously, I have discovered that nature abhors a vacuum, and off-loading baggage is an ongoing process. I keep finding shiny new things as I stroll down the lanes of life, and my backpack keeps refilling. I take comfort in the fact it refills slower these days. I’m increasingly able to admire the shiny new thing, then place it lovingly back in its native place without taking it home.

    Travel is a metaphor as well as a cherished pastime. Yesterday at a travel club meeting a friend bragged, “I bought an extra suitcase to hold all the stuff I bought in Bolivia.” I might have done the same thing twenty years ago. In contrast, when I went to Europe last summer, I bought nothing that was not consumable or wearable. My treasures are memories, photos, and relationships. And an awesome pair of earrings and a heart-warming coffee mug I use every day and seriously spicy paprika.

    But you aren’t talking about physical “stuff.” I’m also becoming more adept at recognizing the rocks crying to leap into my emotional load and leaving them where I found them beside the road. Like anger at having my small stash of inexpensive-but-cherished earrings stolen from our room the last of day of our trip. If I’d used the safe in the room … my fault as much as whoever’s. I hope others love them as much as I did.

  2. It’s been fun ‘traveling’ with you to Chicago on FB as you launch your book, Laurie. And traveling with you through other social media outlets to announce Note to Self, a book I’m proud to say I’ve read and absolutely love.
    Yes, I’ve had the joy of ‘offloading baggage’ through three moves in four years, each time letting go of more ‘stuff,’ each time feeling lighter and happier. xo

  3. Indeed. Both real and metaphorical. I was just reading a post about the virtues of a simple life, and it’s true. Sometimes we don’t realise how much weight we carry with us.

  4. I am about to embark on a three week journey to Canada to promote my latest book and visit friends and family. Am trying very hard to pack light! We all need to offload baggage! Love the picture.

  5. How ingenious! He’ll go far, that boy!
    Nothing like walking away from toxic people whose only purpose seems to be to drag you down instead of helping you fly. Having the courage to walk away from people is one of the most difficult things we have to learn, but the feeling of relief and lightness is well worth the pain.

    • Fatima — I’ve walked away from toxic people a few times in my life and OH BOY HOWDY, what a lifting of weight off the shoulders and creation of space for joy instead of drama. Thank you so much for bringing that aspect up! 🙂

  6. On Sunday our futon went sailing off on my brother-in-law’s boat trailer. Other items to a needy family (frying pan, lamp, end table) rode away in someone else’s car. Tomorrow Crista and I convey a mirror and other accessories to a consignment shop. Hip Hip Hoorah – the divestiture will be complete! I’m hoping you and other readers will suggest a suitable ceremony to celebrate.

    I enjoy a wonderfully bearable “lightness of being” these days as Mary Peacock’s advice rings happily in my ears: “To save one must value. And to throw out, one must value moving on.” What remains sparks joy!

    How is it your posts almost hit home. Thank you, Laurie, and continued success with your “Note to Self” promotion. 🙂

  7. Thank you for sharing this cute photo, Laurie. It gave me a giggle–the best way to start a day.

    I recently wrote about something that had been weighing me down for years. It felt so good to unload it on paper.

    • Leanne — I’m so glad you got a chuckle out of the photo. I had so much fun capturing it before they were out of view!

      THANK YOU for sharing about writing about what has (past tense) weighed us down. That act, in and of itself, tends to “seal the deal” and somehow sanctify it. 🙂

  8. To handle all the sexism directed at me in graduate school I gained weight and tried to look plain as possible. I am now using acupuncture to download the prolonged use of this technique to stay looking smart but not sexually attractive – it has affected my heart and it must be off loaded NOW. Very big process and project right now….lost 10 pounds since August 2nd and 40 more to go before March 1….then the Drs want another 50 in 2017…..I keep finding more and more small cases attached – I thought I had already taken care of these over the years, but they keep arriving again 🙂 I’m worth it

  9. Since putting your new book on my bedside and reading today, I rolled over & I cleared out my “tired” undergarment drawer and organized my fall favorites in a new way to wear.
    Anything that no longer fits, is weary or worse, isn’t truly me is going to either be pitched or donated if appropriate. Good-bye icky corporate genderless suits. Onward to a succulent self!

  10. Laurie, reading Note to Self just reinforced an idea that was already forming in my mind. I had become so addicted to a lifestyle of keeping every minute either occupied or being frazzled by the things had I had yet to accomplish that I never really found the time to relax and just BE. I know that relocation has had a lot to do with my change of heart and mind, but I no longer feel so driven to stay busy, just thrashing my time away. I have cut down on unnecessary activities and making work for myself. I sometimes still feel compelled to make sure every hour has it’s progressive forward motion, yet have also become comfortable with simply sitting on the porch, an unread book open on my knee and watching the birds and the bunnies. Love the photo!

  11. Oh yes I have discovered that joy over and over again. It seems when you think you have offloaded that baggage something else may creep in that needs to be offloaded again! p.s. I used to pull my son around on his hockey bag like that. Brought a tear to my eye seeing it as he’s 12 now and won’t sit on the bag ha ha!! Tina

    • Tina — I love that you’re lovingly familiar with the joy of offloading baggage. And it brought a smile to my face that you’ve hauled your son around on his hockey bag—ya gotta love it! 🙂

  12. That boy is clever why not I say . I am a bit of a baggage handler , or shall I say a bag lady , I really can’t help it . I try so hard to travel light and just can’t do it .
    This weekend I’m traveling by train to my sisters …so I’m going to give it a go .
    Light is the way forward ✨✨✨
    Cherryx ( I’m just going over to Facebook now to send you message )

  13. I did a great job of off-loading baggage and it felt awesome! Trouble was it didn’t last very long…lol…I happily sent off the emails to my college telling them I was cancelling my place on the K9 Psychology course with immediate effect (long story, but a huge baggage of weight lifted at that moment!) Next day I felt great and revitalised having offloaded this tiresome course…or so I thought lol The college didn’t agree and bombarded my phone with emails and the college principle called me three times…eventually I backed down and called him back and he cheerfully informed me he was going to make it as difficult as possible for me to leave the course because I was doing “exceedingly well…” (He might not have said that if he’d seen the daily battle to produce constructive work!) End result? Off-loaded baggage jumped back on board lol and feel good mood vanished in a puff of “whichever way I go now with this, it’s going to feel bad…” so I am now back finishing the course! I don’t feel good about it! I haven’t even made a major effort with the last unit of work but I do know that when I’m finally free of it I will feel great!! The baggage will be gone then, nicely off-loaded! And I will have my life back!!

  14. I think my wife and I have “made the turn” regarding decluttering. We no longer collect more than we toss. But I’m still “getting motivated” (code for “procrastinating!”) about cleaning out the garage, closets, rearranging and decluttering my office, etc. I always tell myself I’ll get going on these projects during the golf off-season, but what do I do but set up a trip to play golf in Palm Springs with my buddy the first week of December! ;-(

    But I always get a good feeling when dropping off a load of whatever at the Salvation Army Thrift Store, so it’s not that I can’t bear to part with all the things we no longer need or use. Just inertia. A great (bad) excuse for just about ever indecision in our lives.


  15. Hmm, food for thought, Laurie. I am a simple person and I hate clutter so to speak. I have few clothes and even fewer footwear now that I suffer from arthritis of the knee and feet. 🙂

    But I’m afraid I offload physical baggage much more than the emotional or spiritual. I’m in the process of learning to let go of things I cannot change. And learning to take a day at a time, God is good. 🙂

    • ReadInPleasure — Have you ever looked into apple cider vinegar for reducing the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis? Mrs. Braggs is a good brand. You may want to check it out.

      Letting go of what can’t be changed + one day at a time = a pretty darned terrific recipe!

  16. Literally yes of course, always preferable when possible–metaphorically there are so many instances where you feel you are carrying baggage. So you much “pare” down!

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