I’m in the process of packing for my artist residency in Oregon, and I’ve got this song stuck in my head: “Bag Lady” by Erykah Badu.
Bag lady, you gon’ hurt your back
Draggin’ all them bags like that.
I guess nobody ever told you
All you must hold on to
I’m trying to fit my easel, painting supplies, and clothes into my suitcase. It must be under 50 lb. How many times can I wear the same outfit without disgusting my fellow artists-in-residence? OneBag.com has some good advice for light packing, although I’m not sure I’ll follow their suggestions. Bottom line, I’ve got to make some decisions here and cull some things from my bag. Toiletries? No. They are heavy, and I can buy those in Oregon. Hiking boots? Also heavy, but essential for this trip. Maybe I’ll put them in my carry-on. Dangly earrings? Also essential, but I’ll only bring 3 pairs. The lightweight ones…
But back to the Erykah Badu song.
It’s not about packing luggage or homeless people. It’s about the psychological baggage we accumulate in our lives and carry around with us. Anxiety, ambivalence, regret, bitterness, insecurity, blah blah blah. Those things weigh you down. Be aware of those things, but decide what to let go. Pack light.
I found this list called the “Pleasant Events Schedule.” It was compiled by a couple of psychologists and it’s basically a list of activities that people typically enjoy. Some are obvious (planning a vacation, going out to eat, buying myself something) but others are more surprising. These are usually things that we take for granted or enjoy without realizing it: brushing my teeth, taking a bath, having someone show interest in something I’ve said, drinking tea/coffee/coke, completing a task, smiling at people. Maybe if we are more aware of enjoying these ordinary events, we will forget about some of our unpleasant baggage. Maybe if we’re more mindful, we’ll enjoy the present. Next time you brush your teeth, slow down and be aware of the experience. You might enjoy it! (Freak. Just kidding!)
For more info on the Pleasant Events Schedule, just google it. Or click on this link.
And while you wait for it to load, wait for this music video to load:
To all my Gucci, grocery, and garbage bag ladies: let it go, let it go, let go, let it go.