Friday, December 05, 2008

What's in your backpack?

My buddy Miranda Bennett apparently shares my life philosophy of "Anything worth doing is worth overdoing." She wanted to get more exercise so she took up backpacking on the Appalachian Trail. You go, girl.

Someone in the group she joined was helping her sort through her backpack and gave her the following observation, "Your gear is your fear." Apparently, it's an esoteric principle known to backpackers and essentially means that whatever you're afraid of will be reflected in what you overpack. So if you're afraid of getting lost, you might have four maps, two compasses, and a GPS. Afraid of being wet? Two ponchos, galoshes, and five changes of clothing.

Every now and then I get that old "fight or flight" reflex at work. I doubt if I'm unique in that. But I'm a technical writer, and no one is chasing me with a hatchet and there are no lions hungrily walking our halls. So I have to ask, "What am I afraid of?"

If that happens to you, look at your gear. Not now, it won't work. Wait until you have that adrenaline rush that says get the hell out or stand your ground swinging. When that happens, take a serious look at your gear, that is, the artifacts, books, tools, and other stuff you have surrounded yourself with. You could also check out the emotional baggage you like to haul around as well.

Keep what you need, put some of it away, and then walk your trail.

Thanks, Miranda!

No comments: