Thursday, April 15, 2010

What's in your backpack?

While on a business trip and staying in a Montreal hotel, I rented the movie "Up in the Air" (at $12.99 ! WTF?). I am not an air traveler. I have only flown twice in the past 12 years. I prefer trains. It was, I admit the fact that George Clooney was in this movie that I wanted to rent it. Hey, I was away from home, lonely and ... He did not disappoint me and.. the soundtrack was great.

There was a theme about "attachments" to things and people and making priorities for what to pack or what to unpack for your journey. The main character, Ryan Bingham was a frequent-flyer downsizing consultant and a motivational speaker who used the “What’s in your Backpack” line in his presentations. I really liked it and found it seemed "Buddhist" in a way. It was kind of sad that once he realized he wanted to have a relationship with a casual squeeze and fellow-traveler, that he was brought down to earth (pun intended) by the fact that she only saw him as an escape and was committed to staying with her family.

I think you can reduce the amount of material things along your journey and still live quite happily. Although there are some people that you may be tempted to remove from your “baggage”, I don’t think that’s as easy a task. As fellow travelers in this life, we each have something in common. Only as rare exceptions should someone be cast aside. You could perhaps put troublesome family and friends temporarily into a side pocket or roll them up in your dirty laundry bag for a while ;-) They will soon learn to be less of a burden and help lighten your load.