A Curated Life – The Refrigerator


Curation:  select, organize, and look after the items in (a collection or exhibition)

I have just read (listened to) an awful book.  More on that in another post – I don’t want to confuse this post with my spitting hatred of that book.  Despite my dislike, one of the concepts that hit me BAM! on the head, is we are responsible for curating our lives.  And mine is poorly curated.

As I started to think more about curation – I thought more and more of my parents’ refrigerator.  It is a good representation of good curation.

I aspirationally grocery shop.  I do not have the skill to cook well – and I do not have the patience to cook enough to get better. But I keep thinking I will suddenly become a dedicated and skilled cook.  I plan meals and make lists.  And, well, I don’t follow through.  So my pantry (and sadly, my refrigerator) is full of things I will not use. That is embarrasing to admit.  There are salad dressings, spices, teas, oils, vinegars, meal packets, soups that I will never ever use.  This shameful list of aspirational foods is topped by a jar of vegetarian peking duck.  Not kidding.  So not kidding. 

This is the opposite of my parents’ refrigerator.  It could be used for refrigerator photo shoots.  My dad has very clear likes and dislikes, my mom cooks the meals that they both like, and buys only the ingredients that are needed for those meals.  Can you imagine?  And because she knows what they like, what they will eat, she can buy in bulk.  And still have vast space in her refrigerator.  It truly is beautiful.  It is curated.

So, when my parents want to eat some sharp cheddar cheese, my mom will go to the refrigerator and pull out some sharp cheddar cheese.  When I want some sharp cheddar cheese, I will go to the refrigerator and pull some sesame teriyaki marinade and get frustrated when I have to move several items to even get to the teriyaki?  Sigh.

Here’s the thing – when your life is full of crap you don’t want, then it is hard to find and appreciate the stuff you do want.  It is MY job to curate.  I need to let go of the fact that I will never be remembered by my stepkids as a great cook.  Their dad is a great cook.  And we just need the food in stock for the meals he makes.

Over the next several weeks I am going to work to curate my life – whittle it down to the hobbies, posessions, relationships that are worth my time and money (freedom).  I may even get to the refrigerator.  Stay tuned…  I hope reading this blog makes the cut of your curation choices.

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