After visiting her in DC (driving trip, not a flight, at least this time), I got to thinking about my packing strategies (this always happens when I travel). I'd been keeping a packed, under seat (nominally) roller with all the non-clothing stuff (spare glasses, OTC meds, toiletries, charging setup, laundry pellets, etc.) read to go for a few years, but I didn't do the same thing for a bag of clothing. I had an odd night on the trip and woke up thinking, hey, I know how to do that now. I figured I'd forget it by the end of the day, or by the time I got around to being able to implement, but nope. I got home, I got settled in, and I promptly packed up a bag with clothes. It was weird. I'd been trying to figure out how to do this on and off for a while, ideally in a carry-on form factor and all of a sudden it just came together. I didn't even buy anything for the project (altho inevitably, the project spawned other thoughts so shopping happened anyway. I have the cutest 250 ml cocktail shaker now).
Mostly, the success of this endeavor confused me. Why hadn't I done this sooner? I had bought an Osprey Porter and Daylite and everything went in beautifully. So I could have been backpacking for how many trips? And I wasn't? Why wasn't I? What Had I Been Thinking?
After pestering my friends with this tale, R. and I worked out the details while having lunch at Raven last Friday (dear goddess, I hope I haven't already posted this story once -- my brain is wonky at times). Late summer 2014, we went to the World for a very short trip, carry-on only. I bought the Osprey bags but did not use them on that trip. Why didn't I use them? Because A. was still needing a stroller sometimes. I rented strollers in the parks up until April of _this year_, and I still would carry her on the Zuca bag as recently as a couple years ago. No point in going backpack if you are stuck rolling a kid. It's just miserable, especially without a stroller to stack the bags on.
Also, backpacks really didn't work for me -- not substantial ones, anyway, day bags were generally okay -- for several years after A. was born. The details are none of your business, and I don't say that often.
So. I was using rollers because I toted a kid on one of the rollers part of the time. And I was backpack averse because of some ... issues. Now that A. can get through a whole trip to the World without a stroller at any point along the way, I don't need to bring a roller. And I have figured out how to get all her stuff into her carry-on-able small world duffle. And how to get all of my stuff into the Osprey bags. But it took me _days_ to puzzle out why I hadn't done it sooner, because I'd forgotten all the constraints.
The brain works in mysterious ways. If you're ever trying to figure out why someone did what they did, just remember me. It can take me a really long time to figure out why _I_ did what I did. And I was there.