On Day 26 of Verb Tribe Patti invited us to empty out our purses and describe the contents and what we might deduce about their owner. This was an enlightening and lightening exercise in letting go! Here’s what I wrote:

This exercise was funny and fun for me! I have SO much stuff!  I have resisted carrying a purse for years and had a wallet in my back pocket which was simple and freeing. As I have transitioned to a part time job outside of my home (and clothes sans pockets) I have accumulated enough items and resigned myself to using a purse regularly. I usually still take my small wallet with me in my pocket and leave the bag in the car. 😉

My bag contains 20 items: Battered sunglasses, key ring with six keys (3 deadbolt, 2 auto, one mailbox) a 'save the tat-tas' fob and a Planet Fitness ID, two lip balms, one hair-clip, one wallet with ID, debit cards and twenty dollar bill, one wallet with membership cards, two wrapped toothpicks, one nail file, one small pink bottle of lotion labeled 'body lotion', one clear plastic case of business cards with beach photo, one tiny travel bottle of eye drops, one note pad reads 'love is everything' on cover, one ball point pen (free from biz), three mini yellow post it note pads, a travel bottle of Advil, one pair of reading glasses in flowered case.


This woman does not drive a new model car—no electronic key fob, possibly out of thrift or a preference for older dependable less complicated cars. She either has several deadbolts on her front door or more than one key at a workplace, she receives her mail in a locked box so may live in an apartment or complex where mail is not delivered to each house.

She has a sense of humor: save the tata’s. She is conscious of her fitness and belongs to a health club but there is no evidence she attends. She has a spiritual awareness: ‘love is everything’ on notepad yet the pages are blank; she chose a nature scene for her business cards, the beach, possibly a sacred place for her.

She is thrifty (and ingenious) note the scotch tape on the sunglasses. They are extremely worn and scratched yet still salvaged—she likes what works and is not ready to let go of the old and invest in the new.  Note the thin men’s style wallet filled with membership cards: Sam’s Club, three movie clubs, a library card. She is a movie fan, probably attends matinees: the movie cards hardly have any magnetic strip left on them and not the two wrapped toothpicks possibly for dislodging stray popcorn kernels.

This woman is prepared: for chapped lips, dry skin, headaches, dry eyes, putting hair up. Possibly over prepared! Yet note the lack of a swissarmy knife or cell phone.  This woman may be in need of succulence as she prepares for lack of moisture: lotion, lip balm, eye drops. This woman travels by plane often enough to use travel size approved and labeled items: lotion, Advil, eye drops, lip balm.

This woman carries little cash but the tucked away twenty dollar bill may be for emergencies or make her feel secure knowing that she could splurge on that one indulgence she sees if she really wants to.

This woman is probably in mid her mid-forties and wears contacts (eye drops are contact lens moistener) but she also needs reading glasses on top contacts to see up close. The glasses are not prescription but drugstore designer chic reading glasses: noting thrift and preparation but also necessity. The decorative flair may be to compensate for begrudging that necessity.

I challenge you Dear Reader to peek into the dark recesses of your purse or bag—dump it out and let the light shine in those crevices! This seemingly silly exercise offered me an important glimpse into who I am, what I carry with me and why. I have been actively aware of lightening my load on every trip since this writing and I was successful in returning only half the items to my purse. Being lighter is a release I wasn't aware would add a spring to my step, a straightness to my spine, and an overall airy feeling of floating instead of trudging through my day.

I'm curious to hear about the things you carry!