Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Clean Trash Cans

I washed out one of my trash cans this weekend. It's the one I use for recycling, so I don't generally put a liner in it, and drips and splashes had congealed into a sticky mess at the bottom. I could no longer look at it without grimacing. So, a few spritzes of 409, scrub scrub, scrub, and voila! a clean trash can. I immediately tucked it back under the sink where it lives, unseen by any but me, and felt good for the rest of the day about getting that taken care of.

I'm actually kind of pleased that I felt compelled to wash out a trash can. I know, it sounds totally silly -- both to be pleased and to wash out a trash can -- but it's the kind of thing my mom and my mother-in-law do, and I like the fact that maybe I'm starting to be more like them. You see, both are extremely intelligent, capable people; of all the yardsticks I use, I measure myself against them the most. None of this "what would jesus do?" stuff for me. Nope, Meredith and Vi set the standards for me. Not in a nagging back-of-the-head kind of way (unless I'm beating myself up, but I'm practicing being nicer to me) but in a "this is the right way" or "this is how it has been done traditionally" or, best of all, "this is the smartest, most efficient, and it'll make your life easier in the long-term" kind of way. For years I teased and laughed at the "silly" things they would do -- like scrub a trash can until it was nearly new. But (finally!) I believe I am starting to learn basic wisdom, and much of it is being handed down by these two wonderful women. So when I feel compelled to clean out a trash can which only I ever see, and at the same time I know it's the kind of thing my role models would do, I'm kinda pleased with myself.

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