Traveling light

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Last weekend I took a trip to another state to visit my dad. I found a super cheap fare on a no-frills airline. The catch: you pay for anything extra, including carry-on luggage. Knowing this in advance and relishing the challenge, I found a backpack that fit the “1 free personal item” size requirements and made sure that everything I needed for the 4-day trip fit nicely inside of it.

I had to decide what was worth having with me. Clothing, makeup, an extra pair of shoes, an iPad, phone, chargers, purse and grooming supplies all came along. Extra stuff that I never really need stayed at home.

It felt liberating to carry my essential possessions on my back and leave behind the stuff that doesn’t matter.

I also left behind the excess worries, doubts and frustrations that weave themselves into everyday life. For 84 hours I wasn’t a mom, wife, employee or debtor. During my visit, I wasn’t even one of my dad’s 8 (10, counting step) kids. I was just a daughter-companion, shadowing the new life of a widower in a senior community, going to church, listening to stories, playing cards, ordering the $4 meal at Denny’s, observing friendships, being there. Sober every minute of every day.

This trip was a gift I never would have given to myself or my dad during my drinking days. He has been a friend of Bill W. for over 25 years.

Simple times like these help me to realize that I’ve complicated my life unnecessarily. The best things, the essential things, really are free.

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3 Comments on “Traveling light”

  1. Riversurfer says:

    Thank you for sharing this great post! It made me think of an article I stumbled on a couple of nights ago: http://blog.ted.com/2013/06/14/want-to-be-happy-be-grateful-brother-david-steindl-rast-at-tedglobal-2013/

    It was an interesting read.

  2. What a nice message. Traveling light can be so freeing. I feel lighter now that I am sober. 🙂 -Jen


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