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By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KaTsZoNe - Issue 57 - Baggage

1 Oct 2009

Hi everyone,

Thanks for joining me for this month's episode of KaTsZoNe.  I cannot believe it's already October!  Two more months until Christmas!

You're probably wondering if this month's topic on "Baggage" has something to do with Christmas gifts or maybe about a vacation.  VACATION???  Well, I'll have to save that topic for another month down the road...maybe when I'm on a plane, train, boat or a road trip! 

This topic came to me because of an ache on the left side of my body.  It just feels like muscle pain which I have from time to time.  Lately, I felt it more and more.  At first, I thought I must have been sleeping in a weird position and hurt myself.  Then, I thought, maybe I am not stretching enough every day.  I also wondered if I'm just sitting awkwardly on my couch while I'm working with my laptop at night.  It could be all of the above, but, I think something that really aggravates me is when I'm carrying a bag on my shoulder -- usually on my left shoulder.  Well...left shoulder....left side....weight on it.  Makes perfect sense!

I have been observing commuters quite a lot these days.  Everyone seems to carry some kind of baggage -- handbag, briefcase, knapsack, shopping bag -- oftentimes, not just one thing.  I wonder how much weight people carry in their bags, on average.  When I go to work, I bring either a large nylon bag or medium-size canvass bag.  In it, I would carry my travel coffee mug, wallet, magazine (or two), sunglasses in a case, a package of miscellaneous stuff (i.e. paper, pen, small package of kleenex, gum, Purell).  Occasionally, I may have to bring other things to work, such as clothing, food, bottled water, etc.  I considered those things as my "necessities" on the road.  By the way, it does not include what I carry in my pockets, which includes my cell phone, tokens, house key on a keychain, a security access card, coins, another Purell, small package of kleenex and candies.  After work, I may do a bit of shopping and put more stuff into my bag.  I think I carry anywhere from 3-4 pounds to 10 pounds to and from work every day.

In the past month, I stopped carrying most of the items I mentioned above.  It's now just my wallet, sunglasses in its case, an empty plastic bag, and maybe a magazine.  I still carry a cell phone, a key, security access card and a mini package of kleenex.  I have gone "bag-free" or, as I say, "bag-less" a couple times!  I feel that I have a lighter step and walk without slouching so much and my feet do not ache as often.  I get out in and out of the bus more easily and breeze by people who seem like they are struggling just to walk a short distance to work.  Well, maybe my perspective has changed.

There is also baggage which we carry, but, they are not baggage like the ones I have described above, yet, still, they can weigh us down.  Negative or destructive thoughts, attitudes, and emotions, negative people and certain circumstances can cause us to walk with a heavy heart.  If we are not careful, these types of baggage can give us headaches, backaches and heartaches.  Baggage like unresolved emotional pain, bitterness, hatred, jealousy, envy, gossip, backbiting and complacency in a family and workplace can be very damaging to one's health.  

I am not against carrying bags of some kind, I'm concerned about the types of things we carry.  As I have said, I thought I was taking "necessities" to work -- yet, much of it is probably not necessary.  People often think that women like to carry everything in their handbags except for the kitchen sink.  And we say, "It's just in case of an emergency."  Yeah, right.  I would not be surprised if women are the ones who carry most of the "non physical" baggage too.  I also think that we can get rid of a lot of drugs to treat our physical pain if we learn to get rid of the 'non physical' baggage that is harming us.

So, this year, if you are putting gifts in gift bags for whatever the occasion, please think about the good things you are putting into it.  If you are giving a new mom a special gift for her baby, think about also giving love and joy to both mother and baby.  If you are giving a co-worker a box of chocolates, think about wrapping the gifts of concern and compassion for that co-worker too.  Don't ever apologize for unloading "baggage" on your friends because if you love your spouse, parents and kids and you are going through some rough times with them, remember that you are sharing the love, concern, compassion that you have for your family with your friends.  Know the difference between good baggage and unhealthy baggage.  

I wish you all happiness, good health and peace!  (Great baggage to carry around with you all year round!)

Katherine (KK)

Email me at katherine@katszone.com

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