N is for: Let Go of What’s Not Needed

Whats not needed

Today we took one of our frequent trips to the Mayo Clinic. We sit in waiting rooms for long stretches of time each day. And each trip can take 2-3 (sometimes 4) days. So, I filled a bag with my kindle, my phone, charging cords, my purse, a sleep mask (in case I was able to catch some zzzzs in the quiet lounge), some snacks, a book to read to Dan on the drive down, another book that I’m preparing to review, and even more things that I later learned were not needed.

I often overpack, as if I’m afraid I’ll run out of things to do, or have some sort of crisis where I will have to rely on these things that under normal circumstances are relatively unimportant.. Did I use all of these things? Yes. Could I have gotten away with packing less? YES! I have to haul all of the things I pack, around the clinic campus. It’s a big place. Eliminating what’s not needed, would have made getting around, much easier.

Needed vs. Not Needed

I recently won an award from Jack’s Caregiver Coalition. my prize was a really cool backpack, perfect for carrying my stuff around the clinic I’ve also reassessed what to bring and what to leave at home.

  • I really didn’t need to shove my entire purse in my bag.
  • The extra books were unnecessary, too. I could bring my Kindle Fire.and leave heavy books at home.
  • If I really wanted to get crazy, I could have read a book on my phone like the young people do these days (Did that make me sound sufficiently old?).
  • The sleep mask was a must. It turned an adequate time in the quiet lounge into a dreamy nap.

I think we often do this. We complicate when we should simplify. I will have an opportunity for a do-over in the very near future. Next time, I’ll travel lighter.

The A to Z Blogging Challenge

A to Z Blogging ChallengeI’m doing double duty this month during the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Here at Heather Erickson Author/Writer/Speaker, I will share ideas for “Thinking Creatively.” I’ll also be doing the challenge at Facing Cancer with Grace, where I will focus on “Avoiding Burnout.” I hope you’ll visit me at both sites. While you’re here, sign up for my email list. Today’s post is, N is for: Let Go of What’s Not Needed.

The artist Hans Hofmann once said, “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” Budget airlines have built successful businesses around this philosophy. Minimalistic design has done the same. Google’s home page remains the epitome of a “less is more” approach. Think about a concept you are shaping.

  • What’s not needed?
  • How could this be eliminated?
  • What is the minimum viable concept?

What Are YOUR Thoughts?

I’d love to hear in the comment section, below. I appreciate my readers as well as the writing community. To show that appreciation, I use Comment Luv. Just leave a comment below and your latest post will get a link next to it. Thank you!

About Heather EricksonThe Ericksons

I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, in spite of their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace. My books are available at Amazon.com:

The Memory Maker’s Journal 

Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone Who Has Cancer

Facing Cancer as a Parent: Helping Your Children Cope with Your Cancer

I also blog about living with cancer at Facing Cancer with Grace.



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4 comments on “N is for: Let Go of What’s Not Needed

I have been guilty of overpacking with yarn. You can imagine how bulky my bag gets. I tell myself there’s no way I’ll use up all the yarn, but a girls gotta have options right?! lol But seriously, save your back. I know it’s a ‘back’pack but they do get very heavy.

Stephanie, you would enjoy hanging out with my daughter. She carried a pile of yarn with her, wherever she goes. She gets a lot done, though. 🙂

My school bag is full of things I never use. Totally should cull it down a bit.

Hi Liz. Definitely give your back a break and clean out your school bag. 🙂

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