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A close friend moved to California earlier this year. She’s my age, and this was a major reset for her. She decided to take only what she could fit in her car. Imagine – going through a household of items, decades of things gathered and making a single decision: take, or leave? Only the essentials made the cut. 

Now, as the fires rage nearby her new home, she receives multiple texts every day updating the conditions around her. One of those might be, could be, an order to evacuate. Fire season prompts some preparation in her part of California; now she keeps a “Go Bag” next to her front door.  Again she had to decide: what goes, what gets left behind. Again, just the essentials.

When we’re faced with losing everything, we have to decide what matters most. 

There are certain events over the course of a lifetime that can prompt this kind of thinking. Some we choose, others are thrust upon us. Maybe you can think of a time in your life when what was truly important became crystal clear to you? Of course, this can go well beyond just things, that can be tossed in a bag.

If we’re fortunate when this happens, we get the time and opportunity to focus on those unpackable things. Mark our days with them and build our lives around them.  If not, well, that’s a bit harder and probably more painful. Time not spent, opportunities not taken, words not spoken, paths not explored. We think we have time.

We learned this year, again, how the events of life can suddenly take an incredible turn, eliminating what we take for granted as normal.

What are your essentials? What’s in your go bag? 

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