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Do You Have a Strong Move-Along Muscle?

by Kim Ades September 9, 2016


Today is Thursday, and in my neighbourhood, that means it’s recycling day.

In north Toronto, we take recycling pretty seriously. Everyone has a blue bin for cardboard, plastic and paper, and a green bin for compost.

On a daily basis, I find myself moving “stuff” from the wrong bin to the right bin in an effort to obey the so-called recycling laws. Today, apparently, I failed miserably.

Shortly after we renovated our kitchen, I discovered recycling bags. I was super excited at the prospect of leaving the ugly, blue, dirt-covered bins in our garage in exchange for filling up some new, clean, blue recycling bags with our paper and plastics.

Early this morning, I was rushing to get both the recycling and compost to the curb before the truck appeared. I was just on time, placing everything neatly at the corner of our lot.

I was literally standing at the curb when the gentleman who picks up the bins hopped off his truck and, without a single word, handed me two pink slips. He took the compost and dumped it into his truck, and left my three blue recycling bags behind.

I guess they didn’t meet the recycling standards.

pink slip

“Do these bags not work?” I asked him, wondering why they had accepted my blue bags without issue for the past four months already.

I quickly scanned the pink slips and still couldn’t quite understand where I had failed the system.

He ignored me, hopped back onto the truck and drove to the next house. The minute he jumped out of the truck again, I asked, “what did I do wrong?”

Still, no response.

“Excuse me!?” I shouted.

At this point, he was three stops away. After he carried on his way without even the slightest glance in my direction, I clued into the reality that he had absolutely no intention of talking to me, ever.

I brought my blue bags back into the garage, stormed upstairs and began my rendition of the event to my husband, Allan.

“What an a**hole! He literally ignored me and I still don’t even know why I got these pink slips!”

I was fuming. My mood had shifted from pleasant and optimistic to pissed off in under two minutes.

How is it that some random recycling man whom I have absolutely no relationship with could rile me up to that extent? Did he have a remote control in his back pocket that he used to flip my mood so easily and effectively? Who was in control here?

I took a minute to climb back into bed and restart my day. I needed to pivot.

This was not at all what I intended for the day and I certainly did not feel that a silly recycling incident warranted such negative feelings. I decided to just let it go.

I had planned to have a great day, so I took some time to get back on track and carry on with my plans. I decided to let go of my anger and simply move along.

It takes muscle to move along. It takes a certain level of determination not to let petty experiences dictate your mood, your attitude and your view of the world. At times, you need to remind yourself that what you’re upset about is just not that important.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s just recycling for Pete’s sake.

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