Nope – found a case of beer with a “drink by” date in 2012. This is, sadly, not the only food/drink item I found from 2012 and had to toss. Given the reason for our move this aspect of packing has been eye opening.
I stood over the sink pouring out the beer so I could recycle the cans and I was struck, as I have been again and again in this move, by how incredibly lucky we are in North America.
I’m contemplating moving to Africa, Asia, or South America, places where the things I’ve discarded in the last several weeks would have been, for many people, welcome, and even life sustaining additions to their lives. I packed C’s clothes today: they filled an entire adult sized suitcase, and that is just her summer 3 year old clothes. She could, quite literally, wear a different outfit every day for months on end.
I’m trying to give myself some slack. I did pour out the beer to recycle the cans rather than throwing them away. I have made trips to the Humane Society, the Homeless Shelter, ReStore, the Salvation Army, and Beds for Kids to donate things to the most appropriate charity. We’ve tried hard to eat everything in our freezer. But when it comes right down to it I have discarded food, clothing, toiletries, toys and just about any thing else you can think of that couldn’t be donated, eaten or used without much more than a pang of guilt.
I’m falling asleep on the couch now, so I must go to bed and slip into my lovely soft high end sheets, and drift off to sleep without any fear for my safety or that of my child and family. I hope in a few months, if my bed is surrounded by a mosquito net to keep off the malaria carrying mosquitos, and my house is surrounded by security guards supplied by the Marines, I can remember this feeling of abundance and luck that I’ve felt while I’ve packed and know that even then I will be one of the lucky ones.
Pack out is Monday, so more to come when I am awake and sitting on the couch. For now, I’m going to take my lucky, lucky self to bed.