Thanks backpack, my good pal.
Marie Kondo, the reason behind my blog post on tidying, suggests that we should develop strong bonds with our beloved stuff and create a habit of gratitude towards all the things that get us through the day.
In her book, Marie describes her routine: when she gets home from work and puts away her purse, she silently thanks the bag for its service for the day. She thanks her shoes for keeping her feet warm and dry, and thanks her phone for its many amazing uses that made her life just a bit easier.
This might sound like the work of a crazy person. But for me, since making a concerted effort to pare down on my stuff and keep only the items that really matter to me, I totally get what she’s saying.
That’s why today I want to share the love I have for my backpack. I bought it in Germany nearly 6 years ago when I was there for a study abroad. It fit perfectly as carry-on luggage on the cheap Ryan Air flights so it was exposed to immediate adventure in Spain, Poland and the UK.
It became my essential travel companion; holding everything I needed in one simple package. It saw rainstorms, hot, sweaty bus rides, and epic excursions up mountains. Ever since it’s been my go-to pack, whether I’m shoving it full of groceries, commuting to work, or travelling home for the weekend.
A historic moment when the bond between my pack and I strengthened was when the edges started fraying at the top. My consumer mind jumped with excitement: “ooh looks like this has reached the end of its days, time to go shopping!”
Fortunately my frugal brain kicked in seconds after and reminded me to simply stick a bit of tenacious tape on (the miracle repair solution) to cover up the frayed bits and voila, she’s back in action! It’s otherwise a solid pack; I don’t see why it won’t last the rest of my life with a little TLC.
By creating that bond with our things and repairing rather than replacing, it eliminates the desire to swap it at the first signs of wear with model 2.0. It also creates an item that represents a history and a story. How could I possibly replace my old trusty companion with some clean, unbroken-in stranger from the store? Plus I save 150 bucks, and I prevent more waste from being created: it’s a win-win.
Here’s to future adventures good buddy.