It never made it out of the van.
I woke one day and decided our white plastic Rubbermaid flip-open trash bin was too ugly to reside in my kitchen any longer. (That’s how it happens—I wake one day and certain things are no longer tolerable. Could happen to almost anything around here. I do suggest Steve watch himself. I mean, I can’t ditch the kids—you can’t just run around being a bad mother. No, I have to keep them. But bad wife really doesn’t carry the same stigma.)
(Steve knows I’m totally kidding. Or am I?)
I considered decoupaging the trash bin—even found instructions on Pinterest and bought a jar of Modge Podge. But then I thought that project might be too crazy even for me. At any rate, that ugly trash bin had to be relegated to some other, less visually obvious duty—such as laundry lint collection—and a new bin would have to be procured. But those stinkin’ fancy stainless trash bins are expensive. And their purpose is to collect trash—I am not immune to that irony, people.
Typically, I try to find fun, frugal ways to solve dilemmas such as suddenly hating a trash bin I’ve lived amongst for several years in perfect but suddenly defunct harmony. I am hesitant to declare that I’m cheap, but I’m kinda cheap. I like bargains, I like consignment shops, I like finding discarded items on the neighbors’ lawns. But that ugly white trash bin had to go and I happened to possess an expired Bed Bath and Beyond coupon! Pretty frugal right there! I called them up and Chantal, who answered the phone, promised to honor the expired coupon and I set off to peruse their glorious inventory of beautiful—not ugly—trash bins. Shiny and sleek, they seduced me, they beckoned with their come-hither loveliness and I chose a stainless beauty with rails to be secured inside the cabinet. That glorious trash bin would swoosh in and out and I could almost pretend there was no trash bin! (Except when I had trash to dump in it.) The measurements were perfect. Clearly, this was fate. I carried it to the counter, lovingly held it close, presented my expired coupon (which the good people at Bed Bath and Beyond did indeed honor) and $54.99 plus tax later, I placed my pretty trash bin in the back of my van and as I pulled away from the store, I suddenly thought Holy crap I just spent $54.99 plus tax on a freakin’ trash bin. Luckily, Target is in the same shopping plaza and I went right in there and bought a white plastic trash bin whose dimensions could be accommodated under the sink (that part of the idea was still good) for $4.97 plus tax (a lot less tax) and returned the shiny one the next day lest I seem nuts having just bought it. I prefer to exhibit my brand of crazy in more subtle, less conscious ways.
Look how gross the floor of my van is. Popcorn, anyone? It's covered in dirt and filth and dead bugs. Yum! Kids just have a knack of knowing how to enhance everything.
This trash bin triumph leads me to relay a less victorious moment. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had entered my novel, The Mosquito Hours, into a writing contest—big prize, publication with Amazon, waves of accolades. The book made it through the first round, 2000 entrants down to 400—not too shabby.
But that was as far as I got.
I spent about a half hour telling myself it was all over, maybe I was simply no good, I should give up all aspirations and hopes. It was a pitiful 30 minutes.
Then I readjusted.
And that’s what I want to tell you, good people. There is no failure—there is only readjustment. I don’t intend to get all sickly sweet here on you, but one of the things I keep reading and thinking about in all my homeschooling learning and experiences is that there is no failure in homeschool. In homeschool, when you don’t yet know how to read at the age of 7 like you’re “supposed to,” there is not failure in it. There is no comparison. There is only tomorrow and tomorrow to keep on doing. Doing the things that will lead to the reading. There is doing, observing the outcome, doing more.
Do or do not. There is no try.
Where there are no expected outcomes, there can be no failure.
Failure is merely another word for fear. Master Yoda also said, Named must your fear be before banish it you can.
This writing life of mine—this life—is an adventure of doing. I cannot fail. I can make plans, execute them and observe the outcome. I can make adjustments. There is not one singular, right, exact way to do this. There is no try. There is do. I am doing! Look for The Mosquito Hours for your summer beach reading pleasure! It’s happening, people! Fear of failure, hereby banish you do I!
I don’t need the shiny bin, the flashy prize. All I need is to do, readjust, observe and do some more. Place trust in the power of doing.
And never, ever spend $50 on a trash bin.