by Emily Dimystosh, PLA team leader
I apologize immediately to the male readership. I’m sure my diatribes on hand bags couldn’t be much less exciting and that you’d much prefer I go back to dragons or hockey.
Alas, I have one more stereotypically female blog to go before I can return to more gender neutral topics.
So last time I complained about my giant Mary Poppins Bag. I fixed it, and opted for a smaller “swingpack” instead. It can fit a pen, paper, notebook, cellphone, wallet, and that’s it. No overloading this baby, that’s for sure.
I thought this would solve all of my baggage issues (pun totally intended). Alas, as you probably figured out from this post, it didn’t.
I’d carry the smaller bag around with me ALL DAY without putting it down, except for class. I mean, it was just so easy to tote everywhere, I did! The problem was, my shoulder still hurt, and my Bayer stock kept going up and up because of all the Advil I was going through.
Confused, I weighed my bag, to see if I was just imagining things and needed to toughen up, or if my bag still was really that heavy.
It came in at about 2 lbs, less than my laptop.
So why, I wondered, did it still hurt my shoulder?
Well, because unlike my big bag, which I carried around less often than the smaller bag because it was BIG, I carried the smaller bag EVERYWHERE because it was so portable. And although it weighed less, because I was carrying it more, it hurt the same.
My purse problem is a lot like stress. With bags, it’s not how big it is that hurts you, it’s how long you have to carry it for. With my small bag, even though it weighed less, because I was carrying it more often, it inflicted a similar amount of damage as carrying a larger load for a shorter period of time. Similarly, with stress, it’s often not how impactful or big the commitment is, but how long you have to carry it with you for. Exams are like my big Mary Poppins bag – big doses of stress for a short period of time that can inflict high amounts of stress. Weekly readings and notes or club commitments are like my smaller swingpack – lighter loads that weigh less, but are carried longer and can consequently deliver similar doses of stress and suffering.
So I challenge you to unpack your baggage and see how you can lighten the load. What commitment can you take out of your bag? If you are locked into a commitment, how can you put the bag down, or give yourself a break, to rest and recharge before you have to put it back on your shoulder again?
Because one thing’s for sure – whether its stress or handbags: size doesn’t matter. It’s timing that counts.