I have a little routine for loading up my car before heading to work—travel mugs of iced coffee and HINT water go into the front and center cupholders (trip #1), then my USPS backpack goes behind the driver’s seat (trip #2). Once at work, since the parking lot I use is a bit of a hike from my office, I drop off my backpack and drinks at the back door to my building, then head off to park. Day after day after day.
My backpack is something of a clown car, packed to the gills with necessities (work keys, wallet, OTC meds, spare earrings, a mini-umbrella, and maybe a lunch) as well as a mini (mid-sized?) stationery store.
1) Levenger Junior Circa for master action, waiting, and someday/maybe lists for both work and home
2) Hobonichi Techo—my calendar “bible”
3) Pocket notebooks—one each for work and personal to-do lists
Weighing in at just over two pounds, this doesn’t seem too outrageous.
The pens, though, are kind of out of hand. No—not “kind of.” VERY out of hand.
What happens is that I spy a pen I haven’t used in awhile then toss the whole case into the depths of my backpack. Repeat that a few times and eventually I find myself lugging around a very hefty load. (Why ever could my shoulders be aching?!)
In my defense, I have a writing implement to suit every mood. A ballpoint mood! A gel pen mood! A vintage mechanical pencil mood! I’m ready for any pen whim, and honestly, find comfort in having so many of my favorite things with me, even if they do weigh as much as a small farm animal. Ah, pens—my personal security blanket.
So imagine my horror when I threw open my car’s back door yesterday morning and realized that I HAD NOT loaded my backpack into the car!! ACK!! Talk about feeling unmoored (and a little bit woozy and disoriented). No notebooks! No pens! No security blanket! However would I face the day?!
I briefly considered driving home (about 20 minutes each way), but then took a deep breath and decided to embrace the challenge. Could I get through the day without all of my stuff? Could I go all “stationery minimalist” for an entire work day? Do I really need to lug around 85 pounds of paper and pens to do my work?
Turns out, I do not.
Coincidentally enough, I’d tucked an unused Levenger Circa Jotlet into my jacket pocket before leaving for work. (Premonition, maybe?) Why not give the Jotlet a whirl, along with the Ti2 Techliner that’s always in my pants pocket.
One pen. One notebook. A mere four ounces.
Oh, plus a dual-ended red/graphite Caran d’Ache pencil. Maybe 5 grams?
This super-minimal stationery kit got me through the work day without a hiccup. A stationery triumph and lesson learned. Travel lightly. Or at least lighter.
I’m not losing the notebooks, but I can surely carry FAR fewer pens. I realize that now.
In the course of the morning, I went from unmoored to unburdened.
Did you hear that? That sound in the distance? That’s my shoulders sighing in relief.