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Repacking for 2022

December 28, 2021

Today I’m in Colorado on a ski trip with some great friends and my wife, Laura. Yesterday, we rushed to the airport dragging giant bags of luggage. (Anyone who has traveled with me knows that I like to push it to the last minute to get to the airport).

When you combine me running late with extra-large bags and peak travel times, you elevate the stress level quickly!

Anytime I’m packing for colder weather and utilizing large pieces of luggage, I’m reminded of the very first time I took college students to Africa for a study abroad program. We arrived at check in, and the weight limit the airline set for a single checked bag was fifty pounds. We had informed all our students about the airline’s policy, but one young lady must not have read the memo (or maybe she assumed no one would notice). At the check-in counter in Atlanta, she could barely hoist her bag onto the scales. It weighed 110 pounds! In this case, the airline didn’t even offer the option of paying an additional fee for excess weight. If she didn’t get her bag down to the weight limit, they wouldn’t let her bag on the plane.

Her parents had come to the airport to see her off. The three of them opened her bag and went to work. For the next thirty minutes, tears streamed down her face as she took out shoes, clothes, and other things she had been so sure she needed for our trip. Repeatedly, she zipped up her bag and put it on the scales. Each time it was still too heavy, and she had to take more things out … prompting more anxiety and more tears. Finally, she achieved her fifty-pound limit. The moment was marked with equal parts relief and sorrow. I’m sure she thought she would run out of clothes after a few days, but she made it just fine.

Have you ever had to repack your bag at the airport?

Do you know that in some airports there is a designated area specifically for this called a “repack zone?”

It’s frustrating and embarrassing to open your bag in front of everyone, showing what’s inside, and to sort through your personal property. Your anxiety builds as you don’t want to miss your flight, but you also don’t want to leave without the things you need. Thinking about this story, my ski trip, and a repack zone, it causes me to consider what I am taking with me to 2022. No, I’m not just talking about literal items, but what baggage am I bringing with me into the new year?

Sometimes, when we enter a new phase of life, it’s easy to try to take too much with us. The truth is that we all have baggage, but in this new year, is there anything you are bringing with you from last year that you need to leave in last year?

Before this week ends, spend some time in the repack zone and evaluate the baggage that you need to let go.

Let go of your resentment from the relationship that went wrong this year.

Let go of the family argument that happened over Christmas dinner.

Let go of the frustration you have toward your coworkers.

Let go of your regret from some business decisions that didn’t work out.

Leave the baggage of 2021 in the repack zone. Let go of anything that might prevent you from being your best in 2022.

Make today a repack day and take only what you need into next year.


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