In my last post I wrote about completing a daily gratitude list of a minimum of 20 items. Some things that I am most thankful for show up repeatedly, such as indoor plumbing. (See previous post for the reason I don’t take indoor plumbing for granted.)
Why purposely practice an attitude of gratitude? As it turns out, according to the Psychology Today website, author Amy Morin, claims there are seven scientifically proven reasons why one should practice gratitude. Gratitude improves one’s physical health, mental strength, psychological health, opens the door to more relationships, build’s self-esteem, reduces aggression and builds empathy. Interestingly enough, thankful people sleep better and longer.
For the past couple of weeks, gratitude for garbage collectors has cropped up on my list a couple of times. This also ties to my childhood, country living days when our household was responsible for hauling our trash to the local landfill (or the dump as we called it), burning it, or sometimes Dad would even bury it. That’s country living.
In my country-living days, we children were responsible for getting trash outside of the house. Once outside, getting it off the property was up to Dad. There was a special, sturdy barrel for burning. Once, a can of hairspray escaped our notice and it exploded sending shards that hit my younger sister near the eye. Dangers abound with this method. Some things were burned inside the woodstove, our only source of heat.
Things that couldn’t or wouldn’t burn were piled up until a pickup truck bed was filled. Then it was off to the landfill. The few times I rode with Dad were father/daughter bonding moments until he began backing the truck to the edge of the stinky gorge. Panicked cries of warning––“Stop, Dad! You’re going too far!” and “We’ll fall in!” –– were met with chuckles. It didn’t occur to me that Dad didn’t want that to happen anymore than I did.
I know some city dwellers who opt out and carry away their trash to the local waste disposal site thinking it will be cheaper. Tally up at least twice monthly trips at an expense of about $27 a load, it works out about the same amount of money as the city charges for curbside service. Not to mention garbage sitting around stinking and attracting vermin for weeks at a time. EW!
I’m thankful that all I need to do these days is collect from the house, toss it a bin and wheel it out to the street curb and wait for man and machine to haul it far away. Besides, I don’t quite trust myself to stop the truck before it rolls into the reeking ravine.