Travelling Light on the Journey of Life

The analogy with travelling has been used many times before and I’m sorry if it is a little clichéd, but it is a good one.

On our journey through life, we need to carry less, whether that is emotions or material goods. Most of us have far too much stuff, and clearing out the useless things every now and again is a freeing experience. The less we have, the less we have to worry about. Whenever I clear out a cupboard I am amazed at all the useless stuff I have kept.

It wasn’t long ago that I cleared out a cupboard full of old Philadelphia cheese pots. I’m really not sure which planet I was on when I thought I might like to make something out of them. Keeping things ‘Just in case I need them,’ is not a really great idea and can get to the point where I can’t find things even if I know that I have them somewhere. In the loft, I have all the birth congratulations cards from when the now grown up children were born. I can’t imagine that I will ever look at them again but I tell myself that they are of sentimental value.

When clearing a cupboard we need to think about the value of every item. Put limits on just how many pairs of shoes you need, or books, or whatever it is that you feel that you have to keep. I have a corner full of knitting bits and pieces. It used to be a box but the box got too full. I know in my heart of hearts that I need to clear it out and go back to one box.

It is not only our houses and cupboards that we need to clear, but our minds and emotions. A few years back we were in Gambia when there was snow at Heathrow in late November and our plane was delayed by more than a day. We had no idea when we would be able to leave. We were in the amazing Mandina Lodges in the Makasutu Forest. The owners told us that they would keep us updated so we could relax and enjoy the extra time there. We did, but one couple paced the grounds all day – but it didn’t speed things up, indeed it must have made the wait seem longer.

Forgive quickly. Carrying the burden of resentment and anger not only wears out the mind, but affects the body too and keeps you from doing other things. We need to get rid of whatever holds us back.

Slow down – enjoy the view and the company. Life is not a list of things to do. If you can’t rest until the important things are done then do them first, but everything doesn’t need to be done today. You will not end up regretting the things on your list that didn’t get done, but you may regret the time that you didn’t spend with the people that you love and care about.

Don’t fret if things don’t go according to your plan. It is okay to make a plan, but we have to accept that everything won’t always go according to plan.

Lighten the load, get back on the road and enjoy the journey.