I have to be honest with you guys. At times it is super-easy for me to find the bright side of the situation. Other times... not so much. Yes, I eventually always get there. It just takes a little more work during those more interesting times. Like last night, for example.
Our fridge has been doing this thing for a while where the freezer section frosts over and the fridge part starts losing its ability to stay completely cold. So we have to scrape out the ice (which oddly is not as much fun as it sounds) and wait for things to cool back down.
Up until now it's been a relatively minor inconvenience, and has yet to outweigh the major inconvenience and expense of having someone come out and fix it, so we've just been dealing with it. But this time it got worse. This time, despite our best ice-scraping efforts, things did not cool back down right away.
It didn't take long before the reality of un-refrigerated food set in. I got frustrated. I got a little sad. I got a little angry. Then I got over it, and set about the task of cleaning out the fridge. Sometimes all you can do is suck it up and deal, after all. No use crying over spoiled milk, right?
Anyone who has ever done it knows how much fun cleaning out the fridge isn't. And cleaning it out because it isn't cold any more and all of your food is now in various stages of spoilage is even less fun. (Do you want to know what happens to a brand new tub of cottage cheese when the fridge goes out? I didn't want to either, but unfortunately now I do. ... Best not to think too much about it.)
So after I put the kids to bed last night I got to spend a little time bonding with my garbage disposal. (I'm pretty sure the disposal enjoyed it more than I did.) And as I got through the more obvious stuff that had to go, I realized how long it had been since I had really examined the things that live on the back shelves.
You know those things. Like the almost-empty jar of pickle relish. And the almost-empty jar of salsa. And the jar of mayonnaise that you don't remember buying, or even understand why you did, because nobody in the house is ever going to eat it. Why are those things still in there?
Yeah, I know why they're still there. And it's only partly because we're all too lazy to clean our our fridge until we absolutely have to. It's also because we don't like letting go. (I wrote about this idea once before, as you may recall. But apparently the Universe thought I needed another reminder, because here we are again.)
So as I cleared away all the things that had no more purpose in my fridge (no more stupid jar of mayonnaise!) I realized how good it felt to be tossing away the unneeded clutter. Not only was it incredibly liberating, but it also helped me to better see the things that I could use, but hadn't because they had been left hidden and unnoticed. (Hello BBQ sauce. Nice to see you again.)
And then I realized how much unneeded clutter I've had in my head lately, and how much I really need to let it go, for the sake of my sanity (and that of the people around me.) I might have to live with the chronic pain, but I don't have to hold on to the negative emotions that spring up around it. Those are really hard to let go of sometimes, but I have to try.
So thank you, broken refrigerator, for making me clear away some unnecessary garbage, and for reminding me about an important part of life.