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Traveling Light

When most of us consider "traveling light," it's likely our first thought is about packing only the most essential things we'll need for an upcoming trip. So, if we're planning to backpack through Europe with only what we can comfortably carry each day, we'll probably pack just one or two changes of clothing, a few basic toiletries, first aid items, a cell phone and a charger, some lightweight snacks, and a refillable water bottle.

Others may think of "traveling light" in terms of living a minimalistic lifestyle, devoid of excess material items that serve no necessary purpose. My husband falls into this category. Once or twice a year, he goes through our home to purge it of things he no longer uses. Yet, he still wears dingy old graphic T-shirts I bought him 12 years ago because they are "comfortable" and technically function as they're supposed to, so he "doesn't need any new ones." While I admire his ways, I'm a sentimental packrat who is much more reluctant to part with items that serve no functional purpose because of the emotional connection I have to them. I also have far more clothing than I need, and I continue to add to my stockpile in the interest of being fashionable.

But what if we thought about "traveling light" in terms of the negative emotional baggage we often carry, the unnecessary tasks we commit to completing, or the events we agree to attend due to fear of missing out (FOMO!)? What if we took inventory of the demands on our time and emotional well-being? I recently came across this eye-opening quote from James Clear:

"Every pretty good, sorta nice, kinda fun thing you abandon is like shedding a weighted vest that lets you move at top speed. You were so busy focusing on how much you could carry, you never realized you could run this fast."

So, before we start thinking about what to pack for upcoming spring break trips or what to get rid of during spring cleaning next month, maybe we should purge the excess stuff on our calendars, in our minds, and in our hearts. I can't think of a better way to celebrate Valentine's Day this month than by loving ourselves enough to do that.

Happy Valentine's Day! 

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