A few weeks ago, I was at my local recycling center. I keep all my paper in a basic mop bucket. Usually it works well, I hold it by the handle, turn it upside down, and the paper falls in the bin.
But it was after Christmas, and I had been weeding through all my 2018 papers. So the bucket was full. When I started to throw out my papers, some got stuck, and I as tried to finagle them, I lost my grip on the handle. My bucket fell into the bin.
I reached in. The bucket was just out of reach. I tried to lift myself up to see if I could just manage to grab that handle. But then I remembered a story a colleague told me: A woman once fell into a charity bin and died. I was not worried about dying from exposure. Even as I was doing a sad sort of gymnastics trying to reach my bucket, other people were pulling up to recycle. But I would prefer not to be the subject of my neighborhood’s Facebook page.
It seemed that I had no other option than to leave and stop by the dollar store and buy a new bucket. That was not upsetting, but I hated the thought of the entire bin being rejected because of my plastic bucket. I got back in my car and spied my trusty umbrella. I returned to the bin.
I stuck the umbrella into the bin and managed to hook the handle. The bucket still had a lot of paper in it and wouldn’t lift. But I could knock it around enough so that some of the papers came out. And then I was able to pull the bucket out of the bin.
I have to admit that I was pleased way out of proportion to what I actually accomplished. But this is something that I am constantly working on: solving a problem that comes my way instead of moaning and giving up.
Things I learned from this experience:
- Always keep an umbrella in the car.
- I really have to work on my upper-body strength.
- A little thought is often all that is needed when faced with a problem.