The Things We Carry

These past few months have brought about a string of transitions. Chief among them was moving into a new home with my family. Even though the move was roughly a mile away, we were still faced with the daunting task of packing up our belongings. Yippee.

One advantage of moving I found is that is that I had the opportunity to take stock of what I had and throw out anything that no longer served me.

Old nail polish? Trashed.

Multiple identical combs? See ya later.

Old magazines? Unless Michelle Obama was on the cover, goodbye.

Overall, it cleansed my environment and challenged me to assess the genuine value of what I had amassed over the years. Several trash bags and a full recycling bin later, I assumed that I had done a good job of clearing out the clutter.

Oh, how wrong I was.

As I was unpacking, I took a second look at what I took with me from the old house, things that I thought I wanted or needed. And yet, I still came across many things that were ultimately useless. In an afternoon, I had yet another trash bag full of odds and ends, and my once-empty recycling bin has a healthy stack of papers forming at the base. On the surface, it seems a bit counter-intuitive that I still managed to carry so much clutter with me to the new house, especially after taking the time to painstakingly comb through my possessions and clean up.

And yet, we do this with life all the time.

Whenever we enter a transition phase, it is crucial that we take stock of what we’re carrying (relationships, grudges, fears, habits, and so forth) and decide what stays and what goes. After all, you can’t take everything and everyone with you during a season of change, particularly if it’s going to hamper your progress.

However, as you unpack into the next phase of your life, don’t be too surprised if you still come across a few things or people that snuck their way into your proverbial boxes and came along for the ride, only to discover that they too have to go. Life itself is an ongoing transition, therefore it’s to your advantage that you take regular inventory and get rid of what and who no longer serves your purpose. Not only will you be released from the weight of carrying unnecessary and unwanted baggage, but you’ll also make space for what you need and desire to come in and make the next part of your life feel more like home.

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