How a bag of flour and a container taught me to slow down and relax
This a story is about a container.
The Lock-N-Locks. The fake Lock-N-Locks. The Tupperware (I don't know, do people still use Tuppeware?) The other ones. The ones with the blue lids, the ones with the green lids, and the yellow lids. All slightly different sizes. All piled precariously in the cupboard because there’s no good way to stack them. I still haven't figured out a solution to this problem, so if you have it figured it out, please share. I'm all ears.
I like things organized. I’ve been limited to what I can do lately, so I’ve been making my way through the house, one drawer and closet at a time, organizing the crap out of everything. It’s been fun and it turns out I’m pretty good at it.
I’ll get those containers figured out eventually. In the meantime, I've been organizing the kitchen. The pantry is a mess. I started by pulling things out to see what was hiding in the back. Usually, I can find something that I can give a new purpose. I found a container that I've hated for a long time. It was empty and taking up space in the back of the pantry. I probably shoved it back there when we moved in because I didn't know what else to do with it. This container taught me two lessons I needed to learn and I thought I would share them with you.
The thing about containers is that I’m terrible at guessing what size I need. I always choose a container that is too big. Every time. This container, in particular, I had gotten a long time ago from I don't know where and never knew what was supposed to go in it. It was way too big for everything I tried. Here it is with some sugar in it next to a container I usually use for left over mac and cheese.
I had a 5 pound bag of flour because I was going to bake a bunch of cookies (dangerous side effect of being stuck at home) and thought the flour would be a perfect use for this container. I started pouring the flour and realized that it wasn’t going to fit. I slowed the pour and watched the flour reach toward the top of the container and realized it was NOT GOING TO FIT.
For the first time in my life, I had chosen a container that was too small. And it was the giant container that too huge for everything.
I was furious. I put down the not-empty bag of flour and started a stream of thought that went something like this:
Now I need something to put the extra flour in. Great, one more thing to keep up with. The whole point was to have the flour in ONE container. What the hell is that container for anyway? What is supposed to go in there?
At this point, the alarm on my phone went off to remind me to take my medication. This is a good point to take a moment and point out a bonus lesson of this story. It is wiser to undertake a project such as pouring a bag of flour into a container after you take your medication.
As I reached over to hit the snooze, I noticed that the flour in the container had settled a few inches. I gave it a couple of firm taps on the sides and it settled a few more. I poured the rest of the flour from the bag easily into the container without about an inch to spare.
Lesson One: Sometimes you just need to give things time to settle down before you can fit everything in.
Lesson Two: Just because it didn’t work the first time, doesn’t mean it didn’t work.
Bonus tip: (Recently, I’ve improved my ability to choose the correct size container by finding the container that I think I need, then choosing the next size down. Try it!)