Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Not Sure if I Should Be Ashamed or Proud

I cleaned up the mess from opening Christmas presents in record time this year. I think it was partly because of my new method. Santa left his gifts in the family room, while all of the nicely wrapped presents from Mom and Dad waited in my nice room. Surprisingly, opening presents in two different rooms did not create double the mess, it made managing the miles and miles of ribbon and wrapping paper manageable.

A couple of days after Christmas was trash and recycling day. It might seem strange but I love piling the trash and buckets of bottles, old newspapers and food packaging by the curb every week. Every time I get rid of stuff-donations to the thrift store, garbage, recycling-I feel like a little weight is lifted. Of course I just fill the space with more stuff, but purging still feels good.

I dragged the two cans from the side of the house to the street. On the left was our garbage can. It was light. and easy to move. The handle is broken off so we rigged it with an old dog leash-which actually makes it easier to pull-but looks really pathetic. The recycling bin was really heavy, and overflowing with paper. I placed it toward the right side so that there would be enough room for the rest of the pile which was stashed in the landscape trailer that we keep in our driveway. The HOA hates us for it because it's ugly-but we don't pay too much attention to the notes they leave on our door. 

As I lugged bag after bag of used wrapping paper, perfectly stacked Barbie and Fisher Price boxes neatly bound with string, and electronics's Styrofoam packaging to the curb, I created a neat and organized pile-well mountain-of recyclable waste. It was beautiful I thought, especially in comparison to the single, lowly can of trash next to it that would undoubtedly sit in a landfill for the next hundreds or thousands of years. I was proud of my dedication to recycling instead of discarding recyclable materials as trash. Then I started thinking about what other people would think about my pile. Would they see it as an accomplishment or a failure? Should I be proud of the huge pile of recycling that I saved from the landfill? Or should I be ashamed by the amount of waste my huge family creates every Christmas?

I have more to say-and a picture of the pile-but it is so late I have to sleep. I will write the rest tomorrow. Good night.