The things I carry

I’m always shoving stuff in the trunk of my car. When I go to the gym from work in goes my pocketbook, duffel bag filled with work clothes that have replaced my gym clothes and any other items that have come along with me that day – usually a laptop, groceries bought at lunch, schlep bag, a book or two. The other night when I got home, popped open my trunk and pulled out the day’s detritus I took a good look at what I’ve been carrying around with me. Do the contents tell a story? Or am I just a slob who needs to empty her trunk every so often?

The item taking up the most space is my bike rack. That contraption sat in my living room, along the staircase, next to the ottoman all Spring until I finally hauled it out of the house and into the trunk. I’ve thought about putting it on the back of my car but haven’t. If we travel to ride we are usually in Bill’s car and he has his own bike rack.

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boxing gloves, bike rack, hat and gloves for running, yoga mat all sitting on top of old shower curtain I use to cover the back seat when buying plants

The yoga mat has been relocated from the back seat where I could easily grab it when I regularly attended classes (five years ago) to the trunk. For a few months, then years, I thought I’d get back into the practice but it hasn’t happened yet.

I took a boot camp class at a gym I wasn’t even a member of for several months; I joined my friend as her guest every Tuesday night. The instructor, a former boxer, used the row of heavy bags hanging from the ceiling at one end of the room with us. The gloves I bought are cheap but allowed me to pummel the bag without bruising my knuckles. I stopped going to that class about two years ago and threw them in the trunk of my car.

Two white pairs of ‘throwaway’ gloves for unexpected cold weather running, along with a black hat, are newer additions; they were used last season and will be used this winter too. I never seem to throw the gloves away, instead, once warmed up, will tuck them in my waistband or a pocket until I can get back to my car, back to the trunk. My hall closet is full of cold weather running paraphernalia from hats, gloves, scarves and gators to vests and jackets. Why these items ended up separated from the pack I can’t really say.

Listing the contents of my trunk reminds me of what I’ve been passionate about and what I’ve been able to let go of. What I love and what I just like. The days, months, seasons pass and I try to do as much as I can. Every week at least 40 of the 168 hours I get are allocated for work, about 49 for sleep; the rest of my time is split between chores that need to get done and the people and places I want to see. Like my crowded trunk, I want to cram as much of what gives me joy in all the unaccounted-for hours and be okay with saying no to everything else.

I don’t even want to itemize all the accessories, for lack of a better word, scattered around my house accumulated over the years, necessary at the time, to pursue whatever hobby or art form I was exploring. But I know at the time they were all worth it.

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