Getting Rid Of Physical And Emotional Baggage

As I stepped into my apartment coming back from the WE MEAN BUSINESS CONFERENCE in Westminster Hall, psychologically am buzzing with excitement but physically am drained and only the thoughts of a hot bath with Radox muscle soak and essential oils had kept me putting one leg in front of the other till I got to my doorstep. I flop into the couch with my boots on much to my mom’s vexation “Kindly remove your boot from my sofa young woman” she admonished with one raised eyebrow at my massive red tote. “You will destroy your back with that bag! Wait till you get pregnant!” “Remember the act of God mother.” I come back with my usual reply. This is a scene that has played out so many times; me, my mom, and my huge red DKNY tote which my mom likes to call baggage. The words may be different but the conversation is usually the same. My mom’s theory is that the bag and all its numerous contents is the source of my constant back ache and fatigue. My Act of God theory is that it contains everything I would need to survive an earthquake, flood, hurricane etc. Few months old but already, it bore the scars of constant, relentless heavy duty use, the straps had snapped off and been super glued back. It felt like an old trusted companion. Everything I ever needed was always within arms reach. But coming from listening to speakers like Penny Power (co-owner of Eacademy) I began to wonder if the bag was not just a symbol of the clutter my life had become. Ignoring my screaming muscles and thoughts of a hot soak I sat up realising I had no idea of half the contents of the bag, as I hadnt emptied it in months. I upturned the bag. “Junk!” mom declares kissing her teeth while surveying the contents, “Absolute junk! ...What is this for?” she holds up a pair of unmentionables in the left thumb and forefinger. “It’s called underwear mom.” I reply grabbing it back. “And this?” she holds up another. “Imagine you had an accident God forbid and they had to look through your bag to get your identity. What would they think?” “They would think what a smart, interesting, intelligent girl I am.” “Indeed!” she sniffed. But even I am amazed at the contents of my daily baggage. Ha! There is that oyster card I thought I lost, £63 worth one months travel wasted! And here’s my £20 M&S voucher thought I’d lost that one too! But hold on mom, hold on, let me show you my earthquake survival inventory -One half full bottle of Evian water -One quarter empty bottle of sprite -Half eaten Café Nero chocolate muffin -One packet of chocolate hobnobs -Blackberry USB -Camera USB -3 mobile phones (BB, PAYG Tmob, Lebara) - Digital camera -iPod with earphones -tape rule -scissors -needle and thread -house keys -several pens and pencils -lip gloss -Vaseline lip balm -10ml bottle eucalyptus oil -envy me by Gucci perfume -Avon hand cream -Plaster (you never know who you might save!) -Carex antibacterial hand gel -2 disposable plastic spoons (am as baffled as you are) -burnt out bulb from my sewing machine (was supposed to replace that) -those strap things you put on your head…not Alice band…wazit called now??? -The Wealth of Nations by Adam smith (been reading for months) -The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella -Several magazines- Grazia, vogue, heat -several pieces of paper with my random sketches and thoughts -several clippings from newspapers and magazines -Kleenex -mints -orbit chewing gum -dental floss -tube map -Twine -Cellotape -Plastic Metric Ruler -hundreds of receipts -One dodgy looking sandwich (can’t remember buying that…must’ve been there for days!) -jotter -£20 Bodyshop voucher (given by a very pleased customer) -biz card holder -One crushed but very edible snickers bar -One badly bruised not so edible apple -Cadbury crème egg -My Battered much travelled French Bible (Given to me by mom on my 18th, we've been inseperable for a long long while) -The art of Exceptional Living by Jim Rohn. ( How ironic! ) -half empty pack of raw cashew nuts -pair of earrings (always forget to wear those!) - A pair of gloves -a scarf -leg warmers -a pair of black tights -a pair of ahem! -scrunchie (don’t need that, got an afro now!) -coins coins coins! -couple of fabric swatches -photographs of my S/S 2010 collection -packet of McCoy crisps - Umbrella -List of things to do (oops I promised sean and naomi I would call them back!) -Toothbrush -wallet (lets not even bother with the contents of that!) -Frozen rose nail lacquer

And wow! Mother of all surprises…the TV remote! I remember hiding it when mom wanted to change the channel and then the next day forgetting where I hid it! She had since threatened I would pay for a new one. I quickly shoved it behind me, “what’s that?” she asks, her eagle eye not missing my movement. “Nothing” I say casually as I turn my bag upside down and shook it vigorously. Various bits and pieces and crumbs of food fell out. They floated soflty in the air for a couple of seconds, bizzarely resembling a mini blizzard and landed gently on the rug. She clicked her tongue shaking her head, “This is an act of God right here in my living room”, she announces sombrely. “Who needs a tsunami when they have you?”

But my thoughts were far from any act of God as I surveyed my ‘baggage’ for suddenly I had one of those light bulb moments.I thought of how I had crammed ever more activities into my already unbearably busy schedule, meetings, Networking conferences, parties, get togethers, shows, business lunches, deadlines, the chasing after what? Happiness? Fulfilment? Money? I could not answer. Did I really need to carry so much stuff around? Did I need to answer yes to everyone that needed me to do something be it paid or a favour? Did I need to attend that show? Did I really need to sew another dress to add to an already overflowing wardrobe? Did I really need to be the one to organize that baby shower? Did I need to have my BB switched on 24/7? Did I really need to be the one listening to a two hour long conversation about what you and your boyfriend did over the weekend? What about me time? Thinking about it all now made me realise how much even my health had been affected, the constant backaches…even the hot baths were not enough now, the migraines that lasted longer and longer, never enough sleep, always tired…It made me realise I needed to take a break. Step one was sending my bag into a much deserved retirement. Across the body satchels are now in vogue anyway and this being LFW season I might be lucky enough to grab a designer bargain. Sometimes we work so hard in the pursuit of whatever it is we need...maybe its just to pay the next bill or just to prove to yourself that you can do it. Whatever the case may be dont get caught carrying so much baggage around. Dont be too busy to take some me time. re-energize, reflect. Sounds like a cliche but life really is short. Have fab day people. x


I wasn’t looking for a Knight.

I was looking for a sword.

I needed a hero.

So I became one





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