Packing. It can be an art. Or it can be haphazard. And it can definitely be a skill. And this skill, is definitely one I acquired from my mother – who had to pack 7 people into a station wagon for trips to our grandparents’ house.
This past May I decided to pack up my life and shove it into my car. I was leaving Wisconsin and headed to New York for 3 months, but prepared to perhaps never return to Wisconsin. Sure, that big picture is a little scary, but let’s focus on the packing my life in my car temporarily and for current purposes. And why the word shove? Because I shoved as much as possible into the trunk to be out of sight during travel.
I allowed myself 2 suitcases for clothes – one of which became half shoes. I also had a bag with a weekend’s worth of clothes for the road trip. That part of the packing was EASY!! Books – now packing books was hard. I have a library of resources and a queue of 20+ books that I have yet to read. Which would I need and want? (Every time that I move my brother jokes with me that I have too many boxes of rocks labeled ‘books’ and I ought to do something with them.) I spent days packing and sorting, changing my mind on books and repacking, finally settling the chosen books (including 3 Bibles) into a plastic container and placing it in the trunk. I also created a box of ‘runnerups’ for storage labeled “Books Most Wanted” in case I decided I needed them shipped to me.
I had great difficulty leaving my stuff behind. I might want my photo albums, my sewing box, my lamps, or my food scale. I might want my markers for a project. My Post-It notes, highlighters, binders…oh what if?And my hats, one green, brown, white, black… It goes on and on. And when it came down to it, I wound up with a lot of stuff in my car, but I put a lot more of it into storage and I haven’t been left for want.
I look at some of what I did make room for in my car. My personal label maker. Don’t leave home without it! This is symbolic of my need for organization and structure. My memory box, with running medals and old journals. This gives me something from which to draw positive energy. I packed my pillows, a soft blanket, and a stuffed hippo – indicative of my need for comfort and warmth. Three travel coffee mugs. Perhaps I’m an addict? I packed a back up cell phone, a spare car key, and petty cash. Do I have to say that I am a proactive thinker who is prepared for the worst? I also packed a ton of starfish – I always have starfish on hand in case I need one…
Now…let’s look a little at what I don’t have. I didn’t make a list of emergency contacts – numbers are in my phone or no where at all. I didn’t pack my diplomas or certifications. I didn’t pack any photos or frames. I didn’t pack any pumps – or closed-toe shoes of any kind for that matter. And a bunch of THINGS that I don’t remember that I have.
What would you pack if you had to pack your entire life into a car? What, if anything, does this say about you?