You Need More Than One Trash Day

It’s a sickening feeling to be awakened by the faint rumblings of that heavy-duty truck. Blinking your eyes fast-trying to get your senses about you, quickly trying to figure out what day it is, you hear the truck drawing closer. As the driver mashes the accelerator, the thick, throaty sounds of the truck’s power cause your windows to vibrate and the pictures on your wall come alive with chattering. Seconds later the engine’s growls are squelched as the driver slams on his brakes-the high-pitched squeal of metallic brake pads grind the truck’s tonnage to a halt. Today is trash day and you forgot to take the trash to the road.  In a maddening fury, you throw the covers back and sprint out of the house-as the garage door creaks and groans upward, you stoop down and dip under the metal curtain, but it’s too late…the trash truck is already down the road.  For a brief moment you battle with the thought of sprinting down the road in your boxers, waiving feverishly with one hand to get the attention of the guys on the back of the truck, pulling your trash can with the other. Left with the visual, you relegate the thought and decide that you’ll have to deal with the trash heap for another week.

The EPA estimates that we each throw an average of 31 pounds of trash away each week- with 6 people in my family that’s over 9500 pounds of trash each year.  Just think of the smell and insects that would be attracted if I only took my trash out once per year? Ninety-five hundred pounds of paper plates, magazines and junk mail, mixed together with rotting food-gross! There’s no way we’d even dream of doing something like that, but the truth is we all do.

Every week, we amass mental bags of regrets, broken promises, angers, and grudges. As each bag is filled to the brink of overflow, we snatch it- toss it untied onto our personal heap, and begin to fluff open and fill another new bag. At the dawn of a new year, we make a resolution to take the trash out, yet we never take it to the road. Months, years, even decades later, we still have the same trash-our spirits decaying, our resolve rotting, and our dreams decomposing.

Don’t wait to take out your trash annually-take it out weekly.

  •  Perishables are short-lived: Milk, lunchmeat, and leftovers have a short life span. What doesn’t get eaten gets tossed. As each day passes, your child’s youth is forever perishing. In the blink of an eye, you’ll be sitting in the audience watching your child graduate-proud of their accomplishment, yet tearful with regrets. Spend time with those you love and care about. Promises of “I will,” turn into regrets of “I wish I had,” quickly. The best things in life aren’t things.
  • If it’s broken, try to fix it: Stop putting things in your attic that you know cannot be fixed. We rent storage units and fill garages with useless junk. Take it to the road-no one goes to a garage sale to buy crap that doesn’t work. If something in your life can be fixed, then fix it. Many relationships, shortcomings, and errant decisions can be mended, but they won’t fix themselves. You wouldn’t expect a broken lamp to jump up and fix itself, yet we wish for the things in life to somehow magically become repaired.  Like the broken lamp, determine if it’s salvageable-if it is, determine how you can fix it, find the glue that will hold it together, and put forth the effort to restore what is broken.
  • Some things are disposable: Plastic forks, paper plates and cups are temporary not forever. This year, there will only be one winter, spring, summer, and fall. Similarly, your life is seasonal- too often we allow the cold, harsh winters to forever dwell in our hearts-we walk around bound with unforgiveness and resentment towards others-refusing to allow one season to eclipse another. Other times we are caught in the eternals of springtime-ceaselessly planting and refusing to come in from our fields of work-alienating the ones who love us most. Treat your life seasonally; there’s a time to work, play, rest, and reflect. After all, there’s not much to life if you have no one to share it with.


Some things can be recycled and re-purposed for a greater good in your life. Other things simply need to be tied up and taken out. But when you take it out, take it to the road.  


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