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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cleaning Out the Fridge

Last weekend my wife and I took our son to the beach for a well-earned 3-day trip. It was surprisingly relaxing, given our family's history of travel together, mostly because the hotel we were at had an awesome Parents' Night Out option on Saturday night, which allowed my wife and I to act like adults for a couple of hours and our son to be able to play with other kids. It was mos def a win-win.

Anyway, I say all this because while we were enjoying ourselves in paradise, mother nature was busy destroying our neighborhood back home. Our house was thankfully spared, but there was no less 10 gargantuan trees knocked down within three doors of ours, and the power was out for almost 3 days. Given that our house was spared and we were out of town the entire time the power was out, it was probably the least painful storm experience I've ever gone through.

That was, until it came to throwing away everything in our fridge and freezer. This was unaccountably emotional for me, given it was just food, and most of it was spoiled or expired anyway. But I think the act became symbolic because I am just a few weeks away from yet another transition in my life. I will be graduating from the MBA program and my "baby" boy will be starting pre-K both at the beginning of August, so my brief respite from the working world will come to an end and I will have to start looking for gainful employment. This is both exciting and terrifying (though, mostly exciting) because I feel I have been granted this very rare opportunity to reshape the rest of my life in a way that will please me and provide for a better quality of life for my family and I don't want to screw it up, or rather I don't want to make a misstep that will lead me right back to the treadmill of an unhappy working life. This is, admittedly, a very first-world problem, but I live in the first-world and I have this opportunity so it would be silly to squander it. Besides a great deal of what I plan on doing involves utilizing my experience and education and ideas to help shape a better world for everyone.

So, I threw away all my food and we went to the store and bought only those things that we needed to get through the following day. Everyday, I go to the store and buy a little bit more and a little bit more. Today was taco shells to take advantage of the hamburger and cut veggies from last night. Tomorrow might be butter or more milk, or mayo. But, everyday I build things back up and the refrigerator fills up a little more and starts to resemble the fridge I remember from before the storm. Everyday I take another little step toward building the sort of fridge I can be proud of, that will be filled with the sort of things that will feed and nourish my family for the days and months and even years to come.