My ripped old messenger bag has been replaced with a more versatile (and easier to clean) bag. (Sarah Simpson)

Sarah Simpson column: Change is hard, but it can be a good thing

If something works, why mess with it?

Admittedly, I’m not big on change. If something works, why mess with it? Plus I’m cheap. Practical, too. So this change was a long time coming.

I’ve had this old green canvas messenger bag for 15 or 20 years. So long that I don’t remember my life without it.

Other bags have come and gone but I’ve always gone back to the green one. It had just the right amount of pockets (five if you’re wondering, including a zippered one on the inside) and it really did fit everything I needed.

When I had kids, I had not one but two diaper bags. I tried to use them but eventually just stuffed everything baby-related into my green bag along with my notepad for work, my wallet, my gym stuff and whatever else people tend to carry in their bags.

It was a sturdy bag. Not at all pretty, and definitely not in the same ballpark as the fancy ones everyone else in my demographic carries around, but it was oh so functional. I won’t say I loved it, but it was a consistent part of my everyday life. Much like my dental hygienist, it was with me through a multitude of major life milestones.

I don’t remember exactly when it happened but I know it’s my scooter’s fault. I was taking my bag out of the little trunk and it got caught on the latch and tore a hole right across the back. Not a little rip. A giant hole. My bag was broken. And so was my heart.

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I carried on using it for a few weeks thinking most of the stuff inside was so big it wouldn’t fall out. But one day I was at the gym or at work, I don’t remember where, but I was in public. Particularly full, the tattered old thing couldn’t help but expel some of its contents onto the floor. Including my gym clothes, which included my underwear. If you’ve been reading my columns you know all about my underwear. Embarrassing.

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I could handle the fraying along the edges and the broken inside zipper but when my unmentionables started spewing out the hole in the back I knew the bag had to go.

My husband and I were on the mainland recently and were able to ditch the kids with their grandparents and go to the mall after bedtime.

We had exactly one hour to find me a bag and him new shoes.

We both hate shopping.

As luck would have it we were both able to find what we needed on sale and within 45 minutes. I’m a big fan of efficiency.

When I returned home my family confiscated the weathered old canvas bag. I don’t know what’s become of it. I think they know if they let me keep it I would have just kept using it.

My new bag is also green because, like I said, I’m not big on change. I don’t want to disparage the dead but it’s got way more pockets than the old one and even a special zip-up pocket for my soggy gym clothes and underwear so nothing embarrassing will fall out in future. No doubt I’ll get ribbed by folks who know how attached I was to my ugly green canvas bag, but I’m learning in life that just because something has always been that way doesn’t mean that’s the way it always has to be.

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