Featured Journal

The Garbage Can Reminder…

Written by Leslie Means

I hit a trash can this week.  Actually, the dang thing hit me.  It did.  It just jumped right out and smacked the side of my car.  The passenger side mirror is gone.  Not the whole thing – just the glass.  You know, the most important part. 

I was pretty ticked when that trash can jumped out at me – Ninja style.  I saw it coming on the side of that narrow road, but I didn’t think it would hit me.  I didn’t think about it at all.  My daughter was in the car too.  But I wasn’t thinking of her either.  Instead, my brain was fixated on something else.  It’s been there a lot lately – more than I’m willing to admit. 

I was thinking about me.  I was thinking about my projects, my business, my home, my life. 

Me.  Me.  Me.

Do you see the trouble in this?  I’m sure you do. 

I didn’t. 

I write a column about myself each week.  I run a business that often reflects my daily life.  Surely you can understand how I am always thinking about myself.

Not convinced?  Me either.

This week I learned my business partner was going through some pretty tough life changes.  I worried about her – I did.  But that night when I heard she might be moving – I cried.  Not for her, but for me.  I was worried it would ruin the business we worked so hard to launch.  I was worried all the hours, all the time away from family, friends, obligations and work – would be for nothing.

I thought about me.

I had a little chat with myself on Friday night.  God was included in that conversation as well, which might surprise you after learning how much I think about moi. 

After a bit of soul searching in the silence of that night, I heard my sister’s voice.  I’m pretty certain it was a God thing reminding me of this comment from my sister years ago.  In the struggle to understand why I was feeling so frustrated I heard….

“Leslie, you aren’t that important.”

Translation?  There are things bigger than me in this world – people who need more help, situations that are a lot more dire than anything you or I can possibly understand. 

 It was something she told me a while back, likely during another me marathon.  It’s always stuck with me. 

It was an “Aha” moment.  You might recognize this?  It’s that moment that Oprah coined to be hers – even though people have been having them for centuries.

Yeah.  One of those. 

I was ashamed.  I’m still ashamed.  But I’m working on it.  I made a list for myself.  It’s a simple reminder that I’m not that important.  Yes.  I need a list for this. 

  1.  Look up from my computer when Kyle gets home.  Tell him hello. 
  2. Bring my girls to the park, to a hockey game, to the children’s museum.  They are always more important than work. 
  3. Really listen when I’m on the phone with my friends.  Don’t be making mental “to do” lists when I’m talking to them. 
  4. Say a genuine prayer for my business partner.  Have faith it will all work out. 
  5. Lend a helping hand to a co-worker or even a stranger. 
  6. Don’t let my favorite season pass me by because I think I’m too busy to pause. 
  7. Pay attention to my surroundings.  Like the gorgeous fall trees or a field in harvest.  Or a trash can, in the middle of the road – just waiting to be hit. 

I have a confession.  It’s about the trash can.  It didn’t jump out at me – I hit it.  It was farther in the middle of the road than expected.  I saw it but was too busy thinking about myself to swerve, or stop or do much of anything, so I hit it.    If my brain had been where it was supposed to be – maybe my mirror wouldn’t be in pieces in someone’s driveway. 

Are you like me?  Have you been thinking about yourself a lot lately?  Do yourself a favor.  Recognize it before someone or something else does.  I bet you’re not that important either.  

About the author

Leslie Means

Leslie is the co-founder and owner of Her View From Home.com. She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well.

She is married to a very patient man. Together they have two pretty fantastic little girls ages 8 and 6 and one little dude born March 2017!

When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.

4 Comments

  • Oh, Leslie!!!!
    I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been crying.
    I have been, too. In fact, you’re SO not alone. Call my mom. She’s super angry. She can barely even talk about the move.
    My friends here are sad as well.
    But it will all work out. For sure. I have decided it will, so I will make it work out. 2 hours isn’t that much different. The kids are bigger and I drive there often to see my folks anyway. It isn’t going to change things.
    Except I’ll be ‘distracted’ in my own ‘me world’ while we’re finding a house, packing and moving. Seriously, I don’t know how you did that. You’re so lucky your house is getting close to done!!

  • Leslie…GREAT post! Thanks for reminding me to “look for the trash can”. And by “trash can” I mean everything amazing and wonderful in front of me! My eyes are WIDE open! I’ll spread the word.