The Luggage We Carry / The Baggage We Carry (by Lori Ernst, Guest Blogger

Are you ready for an adventure? Where should we go? When? How long? The planning is half the fun in the journey.

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi from Pexels

At some point during our lifespan, we have found ourselves shopping for luggage. The brand names are endless and the choices monumental. This is the luggage we carry.

In packing for our travel journey, a list is an important tool to check off essentials. The day of taking a bag as big as possible and as many bags as wanted seem to have changed with extra charges for overweight or oversized luggage that the airlines are now so often charging. The airlines are driving our luggage use and teaching us a new way to travel. This is the luggage we carry.

There is no reason our bag has to be big, heavy, or ugly. A little glitter or sparkly, a pretty scarf or ribbon, a meaningful talisman, or any other fun embellishment can make an otherwise ordinary bag pretty or personal. This is the luggage we carry.

From the screaming infant who is welcomed, hoped for, prayed for, or the baby who arrives unplanned, unwanted, and uncared for, people have impacted each life. Some lovingly nurtured, and others abused or neglected, and others tolerated or ignored. This is the baggage we carry. Whether the circumstances at birth, or the impact of playmates, peers, teachers, acquaintances, friends, fellow workers, or even the sales clerk at the local supermarket, these people have made a difference in how we see ourselves. All have left an indelible handprint on who we have become. This is the baggage we carry.

In packing for our travel journey, a list is an important tool to use. To limit what we take, we make choices in what we choose and how much or how many. What size bag are we willing and able to carry? This is the luggage we carry.

Our luggage is chosen and packed. In between the folds of fabrics we might unconsciously choose to include anger, resentment, hurt, disappointment, and jealously or we can thoughtfully choose hope, joy, thankfulness, and faith to cushion the fragile. This is the luggage / baggage we carry.

If you once had a very large suitcase, try a somewhat smaller one. If you once clung to anger, try not putting it in the bag.   If you think you can’t part with the anger, put it in a closed, zippered, locked compartment, so it won’t infiltrate the rest of the contents. Contain it this time, and on the next journey you can take it completely out of the bag. We can choose both the luggage and baggage we carry.

“He who would travel happily must travel light.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I have found it easier to be complacent rather than tackle the need to change. It is easier to criticize than come up with a plan of how we can improve our thought process. We need to be purposeful.

In response to this chapter, many people found it resonated with them. The tricky part is finding ways to alleviate our problems. We can consult a list of what to include in reducing the amount of luggage we carry. I have conquered the amount of luggage I carry by having one roller-board carry-on and a small backpack that fits under the seat, therefore I never need to check luggage whether we are gone one week or three weeks. It is far more difficult to eliminate our baggage. We need to be conscience and minimize the baggage we carry. When my husband was a young boy of about eight years his grandpa called him Zero because his grandpa thought he’d never amount to anything. Seventy years later those words still echo in my husband’s mind and is remembered. That is an example of the baggage we can carry. Or it can be used as a motivational tool to prove grandpa wrong. This is the choice that remains for my husband, the man. So, be bold, be reasonable, and be persistent. Ask for help and be accountable. It matters how much luggage we carry and how much baggage we carry.


I’m Lori Ernst and my recently released book, “Recliner Row” tells the story of my journey with cancer from the initial diagnosis through the treatment process. It covers not only the medical portion, but the interaction with family, friends, medical team, complete strangers, and the environment. I look forward to blogging for Firefly Sisterhood in the future!

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