Below, is a list of all the items that I kept in my Timbuk2 messenger bag at all times.
- hemp shoulder bag (for groceries)
- ear plugs
- ear buds
- zip-lock bags
- hand sanitizer
- e-book reader
- reading glasses
- bike light
- business cards
- pens and pencils
- cell phone charger (for outlet and car)
- USB memory stick
- loose change
Basically anywhere I went, I took that bag with me, carrying all the aforementioned contents. It was essentially my purse, and with it, I was ready for any situation the world could throw at me. I never had to worry about packing for a trip or being an hour away from home and wishing I had my cell phone charger. Earlier this year, when I was given short notice that I had to fly to LA, all I needed to pack was a change of clothes. When I decided to go to the beach on a whim, I already had sun-screen ready to go. But because of the sheer amount of crap that I carried I found I could not carry the bag for an extended amount of time without my should hurting. This should not be any great surprise.
So in light of that, I've changed to a more minimalist carry along, eschewing everything except for my reading glasses and whatever essentials I know I will need. For example, now when I go to work I only carry my reading glasses, gym clothes, and laptop.
Of course, now I am completely unprepared for my everyday trials. Last Sunday I was in San Francisco, when a pebble in my shoe caused a cut on my heel and I was forced to duck into a drug store to buy some band-aids, a situation that could have been avoided if I had had my messenger bag stocked with band-aids with me (or if I had just taken the pebble out earlier). I foresee many more such instances should I continue in my minimalist carry-along lifestyle.
Clearly, the only solution is to work out more until my shoulder doesn't get as tired as quickly.