Checking our expiration dates

Who knows what all we’re hanging onto

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Is it time to retire the low risers and move on to the mom jeans? It’s a question I have asked myself any number of times since hitting the age of 40.

Maybe some things are timeless, but there are many items in our pantry that are way past their expiration dates. I have no doubt I would find at least a dozen items in my fridge alone that hold the promise of food poisoning based on how ancient they are. But it’s just so hard to throw away an almost full $14 jar of umeboshi plum paste some recipe called for 7 years ago. The sunk cost is just hard to get over. And even though I don’t consciously remember it being there anymore, on some level I’m still clinging to the idea of being a person who regularly uses fermented plums, though all viable life in that $14 has long since left.

The same truth could be applied to dozens more things we carry around in our lives that have way run over their expiration dates. Just think of all the categories we can find expired stuff: grudges, goals, people, activities, self-concepts, attitudes, values, viewpoints, beliefs, pants, make-up, hair styles, jobs, responsibilities, roles, judgments, worries, socks, Tupperware, stuff, plans, preferences, feelings. The list is endless. And what about this doozy: guilt. Honestly, there should be an expiration date on guilt. In fact, let’s just call it for this Wellness Wednesday. Here’s the first of my old guilts to go: Aunt Jean, those bath towels you gave me as a wedding present back in 1985 that I never thanked you for? They were the best bath towels I had ever owned! I am so sorry I fell down on the thank you note. And now, in exchange for you letting me off the hook, I’m going to let someone else off the hook.

What about you? What is something in the Big Pantry of Your Life you are due to re-examine for current value and truth? What do you have taking up space and psychic energy that really should be pitched out?

On the chance that you, too, have been pondering whether mom jeans are right for you, this Saturday Night Light clip will help you try them on for size.