What a pain in the back

Sometime early last year I switched from a laptop backpack to a laptop purse.  This was partially due to being sick of people asking if I was on my way to college.  Yes, I thought I’d take a random trip on a Thursday in July to head back to college.  I guess since I’m enrolled in a masters program now I shouldn’t be too offended, but never the less I decided I wanted to look more professional.

Fast forward to December.  I started getting really bad lower back pain on the left side of my back.  I figured it was because I was being sedentary instead of running or the position I lay on the couch when I work from home.  Now that I’m back on the road the second I swung (probably the first mistake) the laptop bag on my left shoulder and the pain erupted I knew what it must be.

There is a concept in politics called a “zero-based” budget where instead of basing each new budget off the previous budget the whole thing must be rewritten.  I think I need to take the same approach to my “laptop purse” which is really my home away from home.  I wish I had my luggage scale since I’m sure the thing weighs at least 18 pounds.

Some items include:

  • Laptop
  • Laptop charger
  • portable hard drive
  • cell phone USB cord/wall adapter
  • wallet
  • old boarding passes from who knows how far back
  • good headphones
  • freebie airline headphones in case I forget my good headphones
  • gum
  • arm strap for phone during exercise
  • multi-sided nail file
  • business card organizer
  • various papers from long ago for work procedures I only do at home
  • GPS

You get the point.  Mainly it only needs things I like to have near me during a flight (laptop, earphones) and things I need to take to work (laptop/charger, portable hard drive). Since my body only likes to carry the load on my left shoulder (I feel very awkward/unbalanced on my right) I’m not sure if I just need to alternate shoulders, or if I need to switch back to a backpack.  The pain does go away and I get fairly good relief just by exercising so maybe this pain in the back is really my conscience telling me to work out.

I love my eBags purse, but it may be time for a smaller laptop bag so I don’t have as much room to grow.