Howdy folks! 😊
If there’s anything that Covid-19 has taught us in the tough year that was 2020, it is the difference between the words ‘Essential’ and ‘Non-Essential.’ 😊 Things (and people) that are critical for success and happiness, versus things (and people) that aren’t.
As the pandemic raged on, many companies transitioned to digital platforms and arranged for their staff to work from home. Except for a few ‘essential’ workers in key roles that absolutely needed to physically be at work – or else the organization would not function effectively, if at all. And the remainders? Well…they stayed or worked from home. The realization of where one ranked in the mind of their employer in terms of ‘essentiality’ was also a fresh revelation for many 😊…however that’s a topic for another day.
Still on essentials – I must say that I really love to travel! 😊 And I happen to be one of those folks that plans ahead for every eventuality on a trip and pack my luggage accordingly. Inevitably this means carrying a lot of stuff 🤦🏽♀️. My last Trans-Atlantic trip saw me carrying way over three suitcases. For fear of shock, I won’t say the exact number – however, I planned for this luggage and included the extra fees in my plane-ticket budget. That ‘advance planning’ however, did not factor in the difficulties I would face moving through airports, and nearly missing connecting flights as a result of this excess luggage.
If you’re reading this with concern, I can confirm that I have gotten better over the years in determining what really is Essential to carry with me on a trip, and what is merely extra weight and needs to be left behind. 😊
These thoughts around travel and luggage drew my mind to the concluded year 2020, and the journey into the unknown 2021 we are about to embark on. If there’s any word of advice I can give to anyone reading this, it will be to ‘Travel Light’ – and carry the essentials Only!
Because of how disruptive this year has been, there will definitely be ‘luggage’ carried forward into the new year, such as unfinished projects, contracts yet to be fulfilled, events postponed and what have you. All of which must be tended to in the new year and beyond. But then there is also the long-term ‘luggage’ that was there before Covid-19 hit. The sort of luggage that we have budgeted for and made the necessary adjustments in our lives to accommodate. Perhaps this is the year to finally let those bags go?
Like the job we’ve been going to for years which provides us no prospects for growth, and neither the job satisfaction nor the financial return to warrant us still being there. But because we need the pay check, we keep going back and carrying that luggage with us.
Or those relationships we’re in that are grossly under-delivering but we fail to confront, or leave, because we’re ‘too invested’ or concerned about what people will say or think when we draw a line in the sand? ‘She’s my best friend,’ ‘But we are engaged,’ ‘He’s a good guy,’ ‘I don’t like her attitude,’ ‘But he’s my cousin.’ What if this is my last chance?’ – And another year goes by, as we continue to drag our suitcase into the next.
And what about that business you wanted to start and that hobby you wanted to pursue? Reading more, and/or going back to school? Working on your fitness and tending to your Spiritual life? Safeguarding your mental health, and just growing to become the best version of yourself? Sometimes it seems easier to mask the weight of the personal luggage we are carrying in jokes, work, drinks and other social vices – than to approach someone in vulnerability and say – “I may look like I have it all together…but I am really not OK.”
As we close out this year, my prayer is that you’ll have a moment to reflect and sort through your luggage, and determine – Who, and What are the Essentials you need in your life? Who, (other than God), and What do I need to take with me on this journey going forward – If I’m to be successful, if I’m to be happy? And What needs to be left behind?
In your career – should you put in another year in that work environment or should you start putting your resume out there, while exploring alternative sources of income?
In your relationships – are you prioritizing the right ones that are mutually helpful, nourishing and uplifting – or do some people need to be relegated from the front office to the back?
Are you ready to prioritize your mental, physical, spiritual and emotional wellbeing by pursuing honesty, authenticity and growth in your daily life? I hope you are. Because I believe on the other side of that pursuit lies true peace, which really is the foundation of happiness.
So, wherever you find yourself in these words, and wherever these words have found you as you prepare to cross into your New year – remember to ‘Travel Light’ and carry only the Essentials with you. It will make your journey that much easier, and definitely worthwhile!
I’ll be rooting for you! Hope you’ll be rooting for me too. 😊