I look at the pile on my bed. When did it start, I wonder. What was the first breach in the dam? The first tumbling stone in the avalanche? The first unheeding step down that slippery slope? When exactly did I start travelling heavy?
Was it when I started carrying two kinds of toothbrush: an electric toothbrush and a proxabrush with two snap-in heads — each one matching only some of the gaps between my teeth — to keep my dental hygienist happy?
Was it when I started carrying two kinds of toothpaste: the regular one and a high-fluoride one that I use once daily to shore up the soft spots on my teeth to keep my dentist happy?
Was it when I started carrying 50 SPF sunblock to keep my dermatologist happy?
Was it when I started carrying Vitamin D and Omega 3 capsules, one of which I take to keep my doctor happy, and one of which I take because it’s made people I know happy?
Was it when I started carrying prescription anti-inflammatories to keep my back happy, and over-the-counter antacid tablets to keep my gut happy after taking the anti-inflammatories?
Was it when I started carrying pseudoephedrine and acetaminophen in case of migraine, to keep my neurologist happy?
Was it when I cut my hair to a length that required something approaching daily styling and started carrying a hair dryer, a round brush, and what the industry calls Product, to keep my hair stylist happy?
Was it when I started carrying exercise clothes and gym shoes and two undeniably two high-tech exercise aids–a stretchy yellow band to strengthen my shoulders, and a blue-and-white checked tie from an old housecoat, to stretch my quads–to keep my physiotherapist happy?
Was it when I started carrying foam to regrow hair on my scalp or a battery-operated, whirling-dervish of a set of tweezers to degrow hair on my face, to keep myself happy?
Was it when I started carrying a laptop computer and spare batteries, or a camera with a battery-charging station and lens-cleaning tools, to keep the Muses happy?
As I head back downstairs to get the bigger suitcase, I reflect that I’d better put more effort into divesting myself of opinions. I think I’m carrying enough baggage.