Littering Is Allowed Here…
25 December 2015
There are signs everywhere – moral and otherwise. Don’t litter. Keep your trash picked up. Hefty fine doled out upon your bank account if we catch you littering. This roadside is cleaned up by <insert your local do-gooder here> and the like. Your mother hassled you about keeping your stuff clean. So did your roommate. Maybe even your spouse. Let’s face it – littering is bad. Never has anyone ever said to us that littering is allowed here or anywhere.
But I beg to differ.
Getting rid of unwanted stuff is a common enough thing in our lives. I have ditched that funky container of cottage cheese that’s been lurking in the back of the bottom shelf of my refrigerator for who knows how long now. In fact, I am so afraid of it I sometimes pitch the thing without even cracking open the lid just to be sure. If I don’t even remember buying it, there’s a strong possibility that this is the most solid, not to mention sane method of disposal available.
And email. There are dozens upon dozens of emails that I never even get close to opening. I get eyebrow lifting offers from lonely Russian women (I know, right??), incredible ways to make buku bucks with this one simple method, how to lose those pesky 50# by tomorrow, ads to buy everything under the sun – some of which I was not even aware they even make, not to mention the why involved in that one. Phone calls I field that make me crazy. I throw most of them out by just looking at the number on my view screen and thinking to myself,” Hmmm… Do I even know anyone in Oregon??” I have been known to throw away things that mattered once a loooong time ago, but now are just taking up space around here. I’ve got reams of magazines that I thought I’d catch up on reading someday. But then I don’t. That one is harder for me than it looks – throwing out an interesting magazine before I’ve even given the thing a just and proper flip through just to say that I did look at it. For about 1.4 seconds… I have even devoted an entire sorter section on my desk to “Stuff to Read When I Have Time”. I routinely give away clothes, cooking paraphernalia, snacks even!
But. The littering that I really mean to tell you about is deeper than these things. In fact, I believe that the Straight and Narrow Path is the only path that I am aware of where Littering is Allowed. And now is an excellent time in our year to ponder over your life and conduct that inner review of What or Who is good to keep in your life and Why. There are those items, be they living or non, that are simply put – dead weight. We keep them around for lots of reasons. I’m sure you could easily spew forth 13 really good reasons why they are still there in less than half of the time it takes to think of them in the first place. I’m not saying that you should just ditch everything that bugs you – but then again, there is stuff that you would fare much better without. Maybe the future is scarier to face without the crutch of them. Maybe the thought of what in the world would take it’s place or tide me over until I get stuff figured out stalls me. And then there’s the classic of “But that’s what we’ve always done/had/used/said/believed/pursued” thing. Or perhaps it’s a habit that you know full well is not a good one to keep. You have known this for quite some time now.
Have you ever unloaded something heavy in your life and then much later still felt that fresh breath of relief again and again? This is what I’m talking about. So I guess what I’d like to say is that littering is allowed in our lives. It really is okay to deep clean your soul, your thoughts, habits, your emotional inbox. Delaying it (yet again) is of no service to you or yields a spiffy star sticker on your forehead either. And you will live to tell about it.