Grab something and go away now!

July 24, 2010

Ran across this blog post by Everett Bogue today.  In it he poses the question: “What would you bring with you, if you had to leave now?”

I started looking around my room here at the piles of stuff that I don’t know what to do with.  Very little of it is so important that I’d risk my life to save it.  If the house was on fire, I’d just grab my keys, wallet, shoes, cell phone, then get out.

Maybe it would depend on how long I have to plan for.  I can flee with the clothes on my back, because I can always get more clothes.  But I already have clothing I have bought in the past that fits me.  So with a few minutes to put an overnight bag together, I’ll pack a couple outfits.  If I think ahead to being comfortable the next time I sleep, maybe I’ll grab a blanket.  If I don’t know where I’ll be eating my next meal, I can pack a cup, knife and spoon.  This all seems to be survival gear, like what you’d take to go camping.  Tools for a temporary situation.

It seems to me that the question assumes that at some point you will return.  If not to the exact same place, you’ll eventually replace all that you left behind in your new location.

An example – There is a box here that stores my dishware set.  It would be left behind in an emergency without a second thought.  But when the day comes that I have my own kitchen, I will definitely want that box.  If I had to buy replacement dishware I think I’d miss this special set that means something to me.

However this can lead to dangerous “what if” thinking.  Keeping extra things around because they might be needed someday.  Nobody can predict the future, so there are lots of things you “might” need.  I guess that’s the challenge – to have the confidence to believe that you will be able to have what you need in the future when the time comes.

Everett’s point was that if all your stuff fits in a backpack, you are free to set off on an adventure at any time.  I do value freedom, and also comfort.  Caught here in the middle with a bakelite doorbell.

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