I've been called a lot of things, but never a pack mule.
At least not until the other day when I was leaving the office and a co-worker made that observation.
I had a lot of stuff with me, there's no doubt about that.
But then I always have a lot of stuff with me to lug around.
Who needs a gym for a workout?
Like most any day, I had my camera case slung over one shoulder, in it my Canon-G7 necklace as I call it since I'm always wearing it like an outfit accessory bossing people around to be photographed for posterity or whatever.
I had my purse slung over my other shoulder, a purse that I have a love-hate relationship with, but I affectionately think of as the Bermuda Triangle with a shoulder strap.
I never learn - I'm always toting one of those purses with all kinds of compartments that are supposed to keep you all orderly and organized and everything, but it never really works that way for me.
It's just more places for everything to be lost in and inaccessible.
Honestly, I have yet to put the cell phone in the cell phone pocket. Or pens in the pen holders.
Deep down, I'm a rebel, I guess, resistant to what's good for me.
Everything in my purses ends up right smack dab in the middle in what's a grab bag full of mystery.
Then there's my "work bag" because it has all my work-related junk in there.
It is a big, big, deep bag with straps and full of things I assume I can't navigate a day without, so I lug it around like a ball and chain around my ankle, sentenced to suffer all in the name of I might need something that's in there somewhere, some time, some day maybe.
And, oh yes, there's my laptop computer.
It's like carrying around a big skinny book that makes me think I'm back in high school on my way to my locker in between classes. Eeek.
I'm too cheap to buy one of those cutesy laptop computer zip-up bag with handles, maybe because I don't have the hands to carry it around anyway, so why get a bag.
I can't leave home without any of this stuff, which would be a fate worse than managing a day minus lipstick, a cell phone or enough change for a Little Debbie oatmeal pie from the snack machine at work around mid-morning.
So I lug it all from my home to my car to the office and then out of the office back into my car and back to my house, all so I can do it all over again the next day and the day after that and have this strange ongoing sense of deja vu.
I guess I am a pack mule, that I have to be if I'm to transport all my life with me everywhere I go.
So the observation that I am one is pretty accurate.
And that's the way I'll be, I guess, unless I downsize.
No danger of that, though.
(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist and features writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at email@example.com.)