I made it home! And my bags arrived at around 2am (sorry delivery driver, but I am not answering your calls at that time of the night). I had to spend the night in a holiday Inn near Atlanta airport without bags. I made a bad decision in SNA airport when I agreed to help out the gate desk by checking my carry on for a very full flight. The result of my act of kindness was that Delta wouldn’t find my bag for me when stranded overnight, and I had left my contact lenses and change of clothes in that bag.
However, they were kind enough to offer me an overnight amenity kit, which is very much like the ones you get on a business class flight, with the addition of a T shirt and deodorant stick. It was actually quite the god send since they couldn’t be bothered to find my bags.
In the morning of departure I made a decision to not don the Delta T-Shirt. I felt that doing so would brand me forever as that guy who lost his luggage…. but by the same token I didn’t want to bring it or the amenity kit with me on my journey, as the last thing I needed was to be clutching onto a ‘man bag’…. I looked at the kit and decided it was too wasteful to discard, so I decided to repack it, putting in the T-shirt and other items (including a used toothbrush and deodorant) I threw in the soap, lotion and shower gel from the hotel bathroom, and at the last moment a Tazo tea bag…
I checked out of the hotel and the shuttle was waiting, so I jogged around the corner and dropped the amenity kit on the ground near a lamp post. I jogged back and manage to catch the bus just as it was pulling away to the airport.
Time Matters, but ‘connection’ counts.
I talked recently about two topics – the value of my time, and of the amount of time I might seemingly waste on things that I could achieve in other ways. A prime example of both is that I don’t go out of my way to MS. I would not have jogged out that morning to buy gift cards that pay me $200 in cash back. The other side of the coin was outlined in my DIY project which I called ‘the Knowledge’. It’s about doing things that put you in closer connection with your surroundings and offer value going forward.
From a pure efficiency perspective my amenity kit play was stupid. I wasted time that I value, and I made a donation that I cannot deduct. However it is one of the things I do that help me keep a ‘connection’ with the world and my place in it. I left the amenity kit like a time capsule for a homeless person. Perhaps one will find it and it will spread some joy. Sure the toothbrush had been used, but its better than nothing! The tea bag I’m not sure how they would figure out, but maybe they could find a cafe that had hot water and make it work.
I do the same with my shoes and clothes. When I buy a new pair of shoes I take the old ones and place them neatly somewhere nearby. Perhaps this would be at home near my apartment in Brooklyn or sometimes even in Manhattan in a quiet corner….I did the same for a Jacket that I bought last year. Buying it in a store, taking off my old one and putting the new one on. I just left the jacket on a bench and within 2 minutes it was gone.
I know it is kinda weird, but in times like that morning I couldn’t have done anything better with that amenity kit, and I doubt a shelter would accept a used toothbrush, so maybe someone somewhere will get some good from it. Or maybe a dog will piss on it and it will be found by aliens in 2027 when the world is overtaken by vegetables…
If you can, find ways to ‘connect’ with the world when it comes to giving something away. The personal touch and thought creates a mindset that thinks beyond the moment and hopefully adds a little happiness somewhere along the line. And if this isn’t your thing- a fantastic use of (unused) amenity kits or hotel soap/shampoo is to donate them to your local shelter.