The other day, I was at a community centre doing some voluntary time there and I came across nearly a 100 brand new magazines most of which were still bundled up in their delivery tape. What I was aiming to do, before finding them was quickly jump in to clear away the large pile of things that were stopping us from using the bench for 'cuppas', getting to the safety phone or even knowing there was a kitchen there. 'Easy peasey' I thought. I'll just return what I can to its homes, consolidate the rest and wipe the bench down "- it won't take any time at all" I said to myself in a cheerfully deluded fashion.
But then I found the mags;....brand new. Never been read. Pretty.
Brightly coloured covers all of them and filled with information and things for parents with little ones in tow. They might have really important things written in them, ideas about how to survive parenthood or other crucial or interesting information amongst the advertisements . Maybe the advertisements might even be useful. Then I checked the dates - oh dear - all past there official used by date. I've seen these magazines build up to this number and higher in the past and not get used.
What's worse, is that a big bundle comes each month so there was going to be even more arriving soon - half a metre high stack here we come!
Hmmm what to do I pondered; whilst trying desperately not to read through each one - if I did that I'd never get out of there on time! But then inspiration struck! I thought 'maybe, maybe they could be used for some kids or adult craft activity like these ones?' They'd be easy to carry with the tape on them and they're large mags so there'd be lots of the same cool piccies in each one. Then I thought, but 'no Sal, this will be an ongoing job if I take them to the kids/art clubs - I've got lots on my normal to do list and twice as much on my never gets done but soon list.'
Okay, I sighed. I definitely needed to do something today with them, maybe they could be recycled? It did seem a shame to 'waste' the printing and that they were almost 'too good' to recycle. I've heard my brain use this logic before. That's the thing about useful, new or even unblemished things sometimes. (Or if you like up cycling old things even. But perhaps if you're one of the crew who like the idea of doing that but never seem to get around to doing it then check this challenge out.)
And that's the challenge - 'useful things' - and lets face it we are very good at finding uses for everything no matter how broken, decrepit or if the item in question is sitting there with lots of friends of the same sort next to it - some of us will find it really hard to figure out what to do.
Others would have binned them about 20 minutes ago and moved on.
That is 20 minutes ago if you didn't decide to read through them an hour or two ago which will be tempting. I hope you're smiling at us because I am. It's okay. It's okay to find yourself feeling this way - every body does at some stage - even the 'chuck-it-Queens' amongst us, go through it now and then.
It can be very hard to think clearly about things in this situation but practise is always important and although it can feel uncomfortable whilst we're stuck there, I've found that the discomfort is similar to the 'good pain' that exercise coaches talk about. So when I thought about just throwing it out/re-using or recycling it myself or whether I could find some one else to do this it got confusing. For some of us 'the wrong thing' would definitely be to throw it away - for others they might have left the magazines there as the decision would by now have been just to hard to make.
In the brilliant book, Buried In Treasurers, we find the team of writers talking about "the Bad Guys" and the "Good Guys" and these 'sneaky' and wonderful team of behaviours are worth talking more about. Some of them stop us from moving forwards and others we need to join hands with them to walk with more confidence towards our goals.
If you're wondering who won this battle (the good guys or the bad guys) or have any similar battles or challenges with useful stuff to tell us about then leave a comment below or keep watching this space as the next few blogs cover the 5 'bad guys' and the 6 'good guys' that either hinder or help us when we find ourselves 'buried in (useful) treasures'.