On Overstuffing

There is an important distinction to be made between packing efficiently and overstuffing.  Packing efficiently means the ability to effectively fit a lot of stuff into a space that seems to small for it.  Overstuffing is on the verge of ripping zippers.  We have all been guilty of packing a suitcase or duffel bag and forcing the zipper shut.

While overstuffing might be a momentary solution, it creates a ticking bomb just waiting to go off.  Believe me, it is not fun to be on the trail when a zipper pops open rendering a pack useless not to mention dumping all its contents onto the trail.

And it is not fun to be in the middle of midterms, juries, a recital, and auditions when the seams of my schedule rip open.  I was in that precise situation my senior year of my undergraduate degree.  I was auditioning for grad school, taking classes, planning a recital, playing in 3 large ensembles and 2 small ensembles, President of a fraternity, staff for the marching band, and a logistic coordinator for a district-level Boy Scouts organization.

My schedule was bursting at the seams because I packed all of that into it and forced the zipper to shut.  While there was never an explosion, the fallout from trying to keep it together was that I became an insomniac and, at the end of the semester, crashed into a summer-long slump.

While creative and efficient packing is a good thing, overstuffing is a situation that no one wants to be in.  If I ever see my zippers start straining, I reevaluate what needs to be in my pack.

(features image retrieved from http://inmyskinnygenes.com/)

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