Waiting for Things to Take Care of Themselves is a Waste of Time

It was time to clean the refrigerator. I’d put it off far too long and, try as I might, I hadn’t been able to locate an outsource service to take over this unpleasant job.

I put the excuses aside and decided to block out thirty minutes of precious time I’d never get back.

Reluctantly, I approached the fridge and opened the door. I paused, wondering if I should go to the linen closet to get a pair of rubber gloves and a mask. But my schedule was tight, and another delay might convince me to squash the clean-out idea completely.

Tackling the chore a shelf at a time, I moved food up, down, and around so I could lift out the glass shelves and empty the drawers. While everything soaked in soapy water, I scrubbed the rails, support frames, and interior walls. Yuck!

If I’m being honest, I’d have to admit I found the process a bit cathartic.

Shuffling plastic containers, bottles, and jars gave me the opportunity to reacquaint myself with all those intentional purchases. What took me by surprise was realizing there were a few items that had overstayed their welcome and needed to be discarded — quickly. 

Why had I let those expired intruders continue to take up residence when they should’ve been tossed weeks ago?

Decisions had to be made. 

Should I open lids, untwist bottle caps, or peel back foil seals and take the chance a quick sniff might permanently damage my lungs? I decided it wasn’t worth the risk. If something even looked questionable, I pitched it to the trash can.

And as I progressed through the vetting process, my mind began feeling a little lighter. Replacing the clean shelves and drawers was inspiring, because now there was lots of room to rearrange a few things. I could see clearly now and had a handle on what was still good, what was important to keep, and what had enough shelf life to retain a little longer.

And all because I decided to do what I had to do when I should do it.

Was it the incessant nagging in the back of my brain that pulled me toward the refrigerator like a magnet seeking a polar opposite? Perhaps guilt had finally taken center stage and could no longer be ignored.

I may never know. In any case, when the job had been completed, I scanned the clean, fresh inventory of healthy food and took a deep breath. Having a stock of edible items I could easily recognize and eat without having to subject myself to a scratch and sniff test felt pretty darn good.

Maybe next week I’ll tackle the pantry. Heaven knows what’s lurking in the deep, dark corners of that closet … and I’m pretty sure it’s not going to do itself.

In health & happiness,

Jill Reid

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