The GGA Project -- Day #353 "On Traveling Light"

Forever I went through life with the tiniest of purses.  And I loved the lightness that afforded me, especially in places like the salsa stage at the San Jose Jazz Festival, where I could dance to my heart's content with absolute freedom of mobility, my tiny purse no more than a nod in the direction of attachment to belongings.

So how on earth did I get to this point?

Okay, wait a sec...I can do it nicer than that:

Yes, people.  ALL that junk was in my purse.

For the record:

1 each--wallet, phone charger, laptop power cord, camera with case and USB cord, phone, lotion, deodorant, bottle of ibuprofen, Visine, hair tie, package of Kleenex, name tag, powder compact, lipstick tube, lipgloss tube, chapstick-like tube, mirror compact, box of mints, package of oil absorbing sheets for the face, coin purse, USB stick, grandmother's rosary, small notebook, checking account register, savings account register

2 each--dead batteries, earrings, eyeliners, sanitizer bottles, essential oils, packages of gum, loose mints, napkins, business cards, events fliers, sets of keys (personal and work), checkbooks

3 each--"feminine hygiene" products--hate that term!

4 each--ticket stubs, crayons

5 each--pens, receipts

10 each--jelly beans

Holy Shit!!

So why do I have dead batteries even though I've already matched them and bought their replacements?  Why do I have a savings account register when I have no savings account?  How did I end up with two eyeliners in my purse when I have never, ever even once applied eyeliner after leaving the house?  Why can't I find a pen when I need one although I apparently have 5 of them on my person at all times?  Why do I need a mirror when there's one in my powder compact?  How did I not even know I HAD a mirror in my purse?

The answer is the same to all of the above questions: I just have too much crap in there.  I started buying purses bigger a few years back and simply grew into them.  I used to use the excuse that I had a mom purse, back when I carried all of Kalil's diapers in there, as well as the things I kept on hand to keep him entertained.  But the only thing left of that nature is the little box of crayons I got from a restaurant.  And what good does that do if I can't even find it in the event of a True Crayon Emergency (that's a thing right?)?

I've been meaning to do this for a week.  But any sane mother knows you don't dump out the contents of your junked-up purse when there's a toddler around.  So in the wee, quiet hours of this morning, still somehow wired from a decaf Americano, I took on

Today's New Activity: Purse Down-Sizing

The thing is, I LOVE to travel lightly.  I used to be firmly committed to the idea.  But I think it's much harder to let go of things than it is to accept them into your life.  That goes for all things, not just the crap to be found at the bottom of my purse.  But what a wonderful exercise in cleansing and making room and clearing the space in my head (starting, YES, with my purse) for all the thinking and doing yet to come.

First, I whittled it down to absolute necessities:

Essential oils not so essential are ya?  Yes, the camera gets to stay.  Yes, lipgloss falls into the "necessity" category.

Then I opened it up to the not-necessary-but-nice-to-have:

I could fit the USB stick into a smaller container than that giant Babushka coin purse (when did a USB stick become so important to me?), but I don't have one at the moment.  Which brings up another thing: I somehow got rid of all the small purses in my life except for the nice clutches I take for dress-up events.  This is NOT an excuse to go shopping--just an acknowledgement that I'll have to take extra precautions to avoid filling up my big ole purse again.

Eh, maybe it's best to go shopping.

No.  No!  If there's one thing sticking to this project has finally drilled into me, it's discipline.  Stay strong...


  1. Lordy, lordy...I am so impressed that you are grown-up enough to have a "clutch" purse for when you dress up! Wanna know how often I have needed a clutch in my almost 60 years? That would be... never! I think you must live *quite* the elegant life!

  2. Oh, and I was TOTALLY impressed with what you managed to pack into that purse, pre-purging. Man!

  3. welcome to the mom-as-pack-mule club! i'm convinced my purse also contains a black hole somewhere in the bottom that sucks up all the "emergency" stuff (extra crayons, diapers, snacks, etc!) i think this was the same age maya was (2-ish) when i started opting for cute small purses that had no room for toys or crayons or extra kid crap!

  4. I'm a little sad by this one, honestly. Your purse, to me was, a magical source of everything you'd ever need and I remember multiple times being amazed at some of the stuff you'd pull out of it. :)