Friday, September 12, 2008

Not Food Anymore

I knew it was inevitable. Sooner or later I'd have to clean the fridge.

You understand, though, that the conditions have to be just right for that task. The garbage can must not be more than half full and the dishwasher must be completely empty to hold all the freshly emptied but riper than a big city garbage truck plastic containers.

If for some reason I don't return from the conference next week, I don't want my funeral conversation to center around the unmentionables...or rather, undistinguishables...I left in my refrigerator for my poor widow to deal with.

So, today was the day.

One of the reasons I despise the job is because I really do hate to throw away food. I'm growing more frugal as I linger with my husband. But the good news is the impetus that got me through the task without guilt. Some of it wasn't food anymore. Technically.

I recognized applesauce under the colorful patchwork of mold. I knew that the one item was a meat product at one time--from the sheen. But several things in zipped bags had morphed from solid to liquid form and who but God Almighty knows their origin. (Don't tell me it hasn't happened to you).

My guilt lifted as I tossed away things that were no longer food and therefore no longer a waste to dispose of.

And that got me thinking.

Are there things in my life that are no longer fun, so I can throw them away without guilt? Like sewing my own clothes? (Okay, I gave that up in the 90s). Crafts? Canning enough harvest produce for the whole neighborhood? Planting a garden of vegetables my husband won't eat?

Some I've already given up but retained a little reminder of guilt. But why feel guilty if it wasn't truly fun anymore?

What if it isn't productive anymore? Or meaningful? Or necessary? Or satisfying?

Can it be tossed without guilt?

Yes, with two exceptions. Love and commitment. Doesn't matter if they're no longer fun, productive, overtly meaningful, or perpetually satisfying. They're not disposable or discardable.

They are, however, redeemable.

Unlike the pool of what I think used to be a leftover burger.


Sharon A. Lavy said...

We have enough real things to feel guilty about, without false guilt. And our Lord takes care of the real guilt when we go to the foot of the cross.

About the refregiator thing, been there done that.

Looking forward to seeing you at conference!