Realization #3 for 2010: Equity Rescuing is Counter Productive

I realized in 2010 that I have a problem with equity rescuing. Those of us raised on parental mantras such as,  “Waste not… want not,” or “If you don’t eat your dinner, I’ll send it to the poor children in Asia (Or Africa depending upon your parents’ geographical shaming preferences),” will relate to this post.

Photo Credit: Elya Filler

Here’s the concept. You invest time, energy, or money in something and keep it around because of your investment. It can be something substantial like a house, career, or car…or, as seemingly insignificant as salad ingredients, shirts, or shoes.

Even when whatever you put your money, energy, and heart into becomes unproductive, rotten, or useless, you can’t let go.

My mother raised me with the belief that healthy people eat “three square meals a day,” and dinners should always include salads (“Except when Daddy has to work. Then we can eat fun foods”).

So this parental brain message dictates my shopping habits. Yet, I throw away more salad ingredients in a month than I eat. I buy the lettuce and tomatoes and cucumbers and carrots etc… and then after an exhausting day at work, I don’t want to cut up all those vegetables or tear that lettuce for salads. So the vegetables rot, except for the ones I can quickly pop into my mouth. I keep them in the fridge until a pungent order wafts out when my husband opens the door,

“What’s that smell? There’s something rotten in there.”

He always smells the rotten food first. So why do I do this? If I wait until the food rots, then I don’t feel so guilty. I’m trying to preserve an “at home feeling” that I get when I’m a good and conscientious wife like my mom was (I say was because she doesn’t insist on daily salads anymore).

Here’s another example. I’ve got a membership to the gym that I seldom use because I’d rather walk around the block in silence then listen to loud music and bump into people. Will I get rid of it? Heck no! I bought it so long ago that it’s only $8 a month and I’ll never get that price again if I ever wanted to go back (Rome wasn’t built in a day).

I keep shirts with holes in them because they are still my favorites and rationalize, These will be great gardening or painting shirts. Then I never wear them to garden or paint because I don’t want to get them dirty.

I walk around in shoes with buckled arches because I paid a hefty price for them five years ago.

What’s my point? I’m still trying to figure that out, but I think it has to do with equity rescuing.

So in 2011, I want to give myself permission to break from some of my unproductive investments and useless routines. Maybe I’ll eat raw vegetables I can buy already cut up in little bags instead of self-deluding myself that I’m going to make salads.

Perhaps I’ll look for some more enjoyable forms of exercise, like dancing, and get rid of the gym membership? Hold on JoDee…I’m not quite there yet with that one (Talking to myself again).

Today, I’ll throw out the holy shirts and crumbling shoes and go shopping. In fact, this post is proof I can change. I resisted my normal pattern of spending several hours editing pictures for a post. There’s hope!

15 Replies to “Realization #3 for 2010: Equity Rescuing is Counter Productive”

  1. Good for you JoDee. I’m still working on the paper clutter, the closet is next. I did get rid of quite of few of those favorite shirts last summer. The refrigerator is another story. I think I will be able to manage it when the kids all go back to school in a week or so. Right now not so much…..


    1. flyinggma, you’re making me feel better about myself. My husband and I worked on the house clutter over the summer, but I can’t seem to conquer this fridge thing either. What’s my excuse, my kids are grown?

      Funny thing, I vividly remember my dad complaining about the fridge when I was a kid. Maybe I’m recreating my childhood 🙂


  2. Amen and AMEN! I have eaten so many meals to save the “. . . Poor children on China” that I am seriously over-weight and China is so healthy they nearly own the U.S.!!! Now, I’m saying it with you – I will throw it out before it stinks, while I can still sorta recognize it and before it becomes worthy of a science experiment. I will. Do you suppose Madame Curie kept her fridge clean? No! And so we have penicilin. Oh, dear another of life’s dilemas-do I clean the refrigerator or become a famous scientist? Hmmm. We’ll see.


  3. Great post. Equity rescuing. I’ve never heard it put that way, but you are right. I used to do it years ago, and it took years to break the habit. Now, I have to watch myself or I’ll discard something I really need. I was reading along your post and thinking, wow, I don’t do that anymore… Until. You had to mention spending hours editing pictures for a post. Shot me down. I don’t edit but I search tirelessly for the perfect photo until, oh, until… Blessings, JoDee…


    1. Carol Ann, Great comment! You’re giving me hope that I can reform. As far as the posting pics, I’m with you on that account. I love, love, love to find the perfect pictures for my posts.


  4. I’m so glad I’m not the only one with a vegetable problem. I throw away salad makings every week because if I make it ahead, the lettuce rusts, but the weeknights are so busy, I never feel like making the salad. I also keep stuff I should get rid of (usually clothing items), but always come up with excuses not to.

    Now that you got me thinking about it, I need to go find my ‘zoo shoes’ and throw them away (they are these REALLY ugly clogs that I only wear to the zoo because they are so comfortable, and I don’t want to walk around the petting zoo in my good shoes. Thing is, I haven’t been to the zoo in three years…)


    1. Janna, your comment made me chuckle. Your “zoo shoes” reminded me of my pair of old tennis shoes I keep around just in case. Just in case what? I ask myself. Just in case of an earthquake? Just in case I want to go mud stomping? I’ve never answered the question but every day, I move them around my closet because they’re in the way.


  5. Love that term, JoDee – love it! Also am happy you are giving yourself permission to step outside the equity box. Two years ago, I gave myself permission not to finish sucky books because you have to finsish a book and I now turn down pages, which horrified me before. Baby steps, all. 🙂


    1. Izzie, I giggled when I read about your sucky book comment. I have struggled with guilt when I can’t finish a book because to do so would be torturous. How totally amazing! You just liberated me.


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