I used to carry a big purse.
I would pride myself on being able to shove anything in my purse. I had wipes, napkins, a big wallet with checks, Band-Aids, water, extra laces, Sharpies. Everything anyone could ever need. I would sometimes shove a book in there. I liked having lots of stuff. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but in retrospect, I think it made me feel important, useful, busy, needed.
I’ve carried just a wallet for about two years now.
I’m not sure when I changed. It could be that my children got older and I no longer felt the need to have tissues readily available. That may be it, but I feel like it’s more. I’m pretty sure it happened when I stopped planning for the worst, when I learned to let go. I feel like the older I get the more things I let slide.
Granted when your children are older you can give them the responsibility of making sure their noses aren’t running. That’s a great thing and at the same time it’s handing over control. Trusting them to wipe their noses as well as you did. It’s about pushing your own ego, your need to be needed, out of the way and defining yourself outside of being a mother or a wife.
When we were hiking I had my own pack. It was filled with my water, my clothes, some snacks, the things I needed to make it through my trek. There was no room for superfluous stuff, other’s possible needs. No space for ego or rescue hero measures.
I haven’t felt so solitary in a very long time and this will sound strange, but my pack became my friend. There was security and ownership in the simplicity of my own survival. There were several lonely miles when it was just the two of us. My pack relied on me to get her up the mountain and I relied on her to hold my water, my sleeping bag, and my clothes. We were one, solo, alone. It was interesting, freeing.
Maybe my wallet is my way of saying, “Hey, hope you have a tissue or a wipe for those hands because I’m not on duty. I don’t have it.” Every now and then I feel like I should have some Super Glue or a hotel room sewing kit at the ready, but it passes, everyone survives.
Growing up, growing into me, seems to be about shrinking, trimming and standing alone with myself.
It’s a little scary and I like that.
My thoughts from the laundry room. Turning In.