Tag Archives: baby steps

Letting Go Challenge: Week 26

THE JUNK:

  • 16 plastic containers and at least a dozen extra lids (lids without bodies, not counted)
  • Coffee cup
  • Expired license (as of May of 2015)
  • “New Pet folder” given by Vet
  • Book: Booker T. Washington’s Up from Slavery
  • Med Bottle
  • Dog food mat

Twenty-two things.

I try to get my food together for work on the weekends: Yogurt, nuts if I have them, cereal, etc. and something for lunch, but I’ve been pulling my hair out lately trying to find stupid containers that are a) easy to transport and b) actually have a mated lid.

The first time I cleared out my cupboard, I took pics and pretty much texted them to everyone. It was that momentous of an event.

And there I was, back in the same situation without knowing exactly how I got there. Well-trained by my mother, I’ve held onto every ham/turkey plastic package, every yogurt tub, every little thing. It wasn’t even conscious. More things were migrating back into my house, and it was making life more difficult.

I really like the Rubbermaid Easy Find Lid set. They stack well, the smaller ones are perfect sizes for individual servings, and they’re just so simple.

This is what they look like. I’m not promoting Bed Bath & Beyond (I could never with their careless disregard for commas), but the site does have a “zoom over” so you can see exactly what they look like up close.

I need a couple of more of the smaller pieces to do exactly what I need: have a very compact storage set for five days of three or four different items. I’m trying to pay closer attention to my eating and eat smaller things every couple of hours. These storage things are perfect. I don’t have quite enough for five days of cereal, so, in the mean time I’m using sour cream containers until I replace them with what I really want. When stacked, they take up a LOT less room than what I had before, therefore making room for actual cooking things.

These things work for me, and I’m really loving not feeling guilty about spending money about something that really, really works for me.

I haven’t finished the garage still, but I did have room for both the water filtration system and for the people to work in, so I’ll take it for now. I got away from my filing, and I realized that, here it is the end of March, and I still haven’t done my taxes. I put my W2 somewhere “I wouldn’t lose it,” and now need to make the filing part of organization a priority. So there’s that.

In other news, I finally finished Up From Slavery. I had started it months ago in my quest to read the books I have, only to misplace it, start another book, misplace that one too, and so on.

Washington earned a lot of criticism–both fair and unfair, I think. One of his greatest talents, though was having two messages. One was of “racial accommodation,” that is, leading African Americans through the paradigm that whites had created–that is–stressing education only to the level that allowed them to work with their hands, all the while backhandedly stressing equality very subtly. Washington was gracious and warm in the face of detractors and yet worked around differences in opinions to accomplish his vision.

I think he was a called statesman who was unrelenting in his efforts to better the lives of African Americans while working toward a unified nation of people. The criticism he received from other African Americans was that he wasn’t doing enough.  He didn’t push hard enough or expand his goals far enough.

Washington was accused of being an incrementalist–a gradualist.  And he was. When others called for more dynamic changes, he took one “baby step” at a time, over and over and over again.

And what he created was magnificent: Tuskegee. It was and still stands as a stepping stone to further progress. Read a little here on Wikipedia if you’re interested.

Sometimes I get caught up in other people’s progress, measuring my accomplishment of goals against that of others. But I can’t. In the end, the only thing that matters is how I stack up against yesterday. Or a year ago. Or decade ago.  Have I slacked off, or  am I still taking baby steps?

Because many baby steps over a period of time can cover a hell of a lot of distance.