I cannot throw stuff away fast enough.
B.K. (Before Kids), I was always highly conscious of recycling. Of holding onto things and sorting them and eventually donating them to charity. Of attempting to put things back. Of being conscious of my stuff and where it ends up.
But now it cannot get into the trash fast enough. Old socks? Trash can. Kid’s artwork that isn’t up to snuff? Trash can. Receipts from my husband that I should probably hold onto as God knows what they are for? Trash can. Magazines in my bedroom that I’m too tired to walk down the stairs to recycle? Trash can.
You get the picture.
Let me say here that I’m still pretty good about donating used clothing and recycling. That I try to not make too many extraneous purchases from Target that will just eventually go into a landfill (unless I’m feeling low, and then I buy ALL THE CRAP).
Some nights, I’ll sweep up the kitchen floor and there will be some LEGO pieces that end up in the dust pan. Now, I no longer sit and sort them. I don’t wash them off or walk them into the playroom, where I will then sort them into the correct Tupperware bin.
I will throw those suckers right into the trash can. And it feels good.
My friend, who just had a new baby, texted me that she held up a banana peel to her husband and sobbed, “I just can’t compost right now.” And then threw it in the trash.
It was an act of rebellion but also one of exhilaration.
The shame. The elation.
I know all of the feelings.
And so I rationalize. “Look, brain. Look, Planet Earth. I love each of you so much. But if I did everything I needed to do in order to reduce, reuse, recycle and sort with two small children, a home, a dog, a full-time job, and all the trappings my life now contains, I would literally become a crazy person.”
And so, I open the lid of the trashcan, and —plop! — in they go.
Sometimes, in the end, you just have to save yourself.