Ads 468x60px

Friday, 9 September 2011

Stinky Cheese and Other Life Lessons from a Failing Fridge by Sonia G. Medeiros

It's a HAPPY DAY! (Lisa at TTS)

It's another happy day for the Life List Club!

Today I am more than happy to host Sonia G. Medeiros for the second time. You might remember her lovely thoughts on brewing and writing a month back. Today she'll entertain us with her story about Cleaning Up Her Fridge (get it?). Meanwhile, I'll scadoodle over to Diana Ligaya's place and talk about my childhood dreams and how they've morphed into... well, my adult dream. 

So let the hopping begin! And don't forget to spread the love. :)

Stinky Cheese and Other Life Lessons from a Failing Fridge
by Sonia G Medeiros

Not long ago, our beloved eight year old fridge began to show alarming signs of illness. It groaned, fevered and started making puddles on the floor. And, although we tenderly sopped up the mess and spoke encouraging words, our fridge seemed destined for a bad end.

(fridge cemetery by funadium)

And here was our glorious stash of cold food, about to become collateral damage. Stout gallons of milk. Rows of gleaming condiments. Homemade jam. Flirty fruits and veggies. Slumbering meats. Stacks of leftovers. Something-or-others moldering at me from their various plastic and glass tombs in the furthest reaches of shelves and drawers.

How was I supposed to fit all of it into a dorm-sized fridge and a cooler? Obviously some of it had to go but what? And no better time to figure it out.

But oh the torture of letting go. Not so horrible to pass along things that are still useful but traumatic to throw stuff away. And what if I end up needing that whatever-it-is at some point in the future? Worse, what if I don't sort carefully and toss something valuable?

(Cat Yawning by Fabrizio Cacciatore)

Fortunately, I've learned a great deal on my writing journey so far about trimming off the unnecessary bits. If I can write a 50-word story, I can sort out a fridge.

As I separated keep from toss and pawn-off-on-somebody-else, I discovered a lump of what might have been cheese - long, long ago. Said cheese had beguiled me at the market with its pretty packaging and exotic name I could never remember more than three seconds after reading it. I'd brought it home and stashed it in the fridge, planning to use it someday on something.

There it sat as civilizations rose and fell and continents slipped forever beneath the sea. Its aroma had gone from delightfully stinky to what-in-the-name-of-all-that's-holy-is-that-apocalyptic-stench stinky. And I'm reasonably sure it didn't have those little green bits in it before.

When I consigned it to the garbage can abyss, I realized that this stinky cheese wasn't the only thing in my life that was taking up valuable space. Hardly noticeable when there's plenty of room but, as my life fills up with family obligations, increased homeschool demands, writing, blogging and work, space becomes increasingly precious.

And that space is jam-packed with all the ways I waste time and energy. Watching tv shows or reading books that are marginally enjoyable because I feel I should finish what I've started watching or reading. Letting my email or laundry pile up and up and up. Playing a silly game app or puttering around the house. Drowning myself in outside commitments.

(Hide and Seek Cat by Naomi Lir)

All these things have their purpose. Some of these things need doing and some provide much-needed relaxation. But there must be balance and the waste-of-time stuff needs clearing up before it grows furry enough for a collar and a name.

To me, that means making a schedule for the day, week and month and sticking to it. Getting to all the necessary tasks like housework, email, phone calls, etc. before they pile up. Spending leisure time on activities I really enjoy instead of wasting time on things that are just ok. Saying "no" to outside commitments that take too much time from family and writing.

What things in your life end up being stinky cheese? How do you balance all the things you need to do with the things you want to do?

Sonia G Medeiros is a writer of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. She's the author of more than a dozen short stories and flash fiction pieces, blogs at WordPress, and is working on her first novel, a dark fantasy. When she's not wandering along the tangled paths of her wild imagination, she wrangles home life with one fabulous husband, two amazing, homeschooled children, three dogs, one frog and two cats who battle each other for world domination.