I Always Feel Like... Somebody's Watching Me!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Refrigerator Zen

We returned Sunday from a week-long vacation from Holden Beach (more on that later) and began that tedious task of unpacking and readjusting back into our home. Some parts of this process I find annoying, like finding all of the spots where the cats threw up hairballs. Other parts of coming home are very comforting, like watching Ayla & Jackson settle in or going through a week's worth of mail.

But it's a curious process how people/families begin to "nest" immediately after being away from home. We wanted to get everything back in its proper place. Empty the coolers, dump the laundry in the basement, pet the cats, clean off the carseats, water the plants, organize the digital pictures. And in the process of cleaning up as the four of us and our stuff comes back in, I find myself taking a little effort to clean up the messes that were already there.

I read the book Eat, Pray, Love on vacation. Highly recommend it. Among other things, the author was discovering yoga and meditation. She was desperately trying to re-balance her life and "quiet her mind". I can relate to that. On my most frantic days, I frustrate myself by trying to accomplish a million tasks at once and somehow being surprised that I can't do them all... immediately! I can look into any room of the house and start thinking about all of the projects I want to do - put up a picture, cement more bricks in the fireplace, paint the attic steps - and my mind is running like crazy.

The worst spot, however, is the refrigerator. I plague myself with Tupperware containers because of a refusal to throw away leftovers. We have the most random condiments and salsas leftover from strange recipes I wanted to try out of Food & Wine. I see all of the remnants of meals we've already eaten AND ingredients to recipes I want to try. And in the end, most of the food is thrown away on Monday nights right before garbage pick-up. This is shameful and wasteful and it doesn't make me feel good about myself. Seriously, I can have an identity crisis about the contents of the refrigerator.

So, this past Sunday, as we were bringing our road snacks out of the car and looking at what had gone bad while we were away.... it was a great opportunity to clean everything out. Shelves were wiped down and produce drawers emptied (they are the worst). And now I am reaping the benefits of Refrigerator Zen. Only one salsa, one package of shredded cheese, some milk, jellies, sour cream, oranges, tortillas and no mystery Tupperware! In only a few days, it has truly brought me happiness every time I open the door. No meditating required.

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