The Writery Ink

Toting Garbage

Toting Garbage


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Driving home from work one evening, I do what I always do; I turn inwards to my thoughts and debrief the day. Rolling along in my SUV in the twilight, I notice there is not much traffic and I feel almost relaxed. It had been a good day. Though exhausted, I feel a thrill go through my body. But there is a tightness across my shoulders as I reel back the scenes of the day. Recently, I opened a business and amazing things started happening. But, after the ‘honeymoon’ phase was over, I became frightened to almost a state of panic. I have never operated a business; heck, I never, ever balanced my checkbook or anything financial for that matter. As I punched numbers on the cash register, I realized that this really was uncharted territory since this was also my first time handling such a device. Repeatedly, over the past few weeks, I have asked myself, “What have I done?” But, I also recognize that I can’t turn back now. I have a three-year lease to remind me of that. Today, a friend stopped by to help me fit together a partition for the office. As he worked, we chatted. He is a man full of wisdom, a kind of Confucius who gives me self-defense tips every chance he gets and sprinkles his conversations with gems of wisdom. What impressed me, what dawned on me, was how he lived his life at a high level of spirituality. I listened to myself in conversation as I admitted that I carried a lot of unnecessary things with me. I don’t call it baggage. Baggage is something necessary. You might need it as well as not. But the garbage we tote around is what we need to let go of. It is the clutter that prevents us living our best lives. When my friend said, “I love my life,” that was the moment I realized that I do need to throw out the garbage. He proceeded to explain that he had not had an easy life. He had really just found ways to release the garbage that threatened to hold him down, in order to move on. A few days ago, I had gone through the closet in my spare bedroom and had cleaned out what I thought was garbage, things I did not even remember I had. However, I had not removed them from the house. Bags of garbage still stood on the landing and in rooms, waiting to be discarded. I also realized that I had returned some of that garbage to the boxes and closets, shuffling them around, as it were, thinking that someday they might become useful again. The closet I packed these boxes in looks much the same as it did before I cleaned it out. I am still holding on to garbage. We spend our lives accumulating things. Often, those things are not even necessary to our existence. But, that’s okay; it is all a part of the journey. Well, there comes a time when we have to recognize the garbage that weighs us down. These could be relationships, or thoughts and fears we have, or just plain garbage that clutters our lives and that plays no role in our present living. They become more than baggage because they are no longer useful; they no longer serve a purpose. Upon arriving home, I grabbed a few garbage bags and headed to the dumpster. Of course, it is easy to pick up a few bags of garbage and thrown them out. What is challenging is determining what no longer serves me; what I truly need to remove from my space. For now, I will start with the garbage that still remains. Maybe in the process I will figure out what other garbage I’ve been toting around that will result in sighs of relief when I do toss them out.


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