About Me

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Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Six years ago I decided (age) 42 would be my magic number. I stepped on the scale for the first time in a LONG time. It was a BIG number, it was a SCARY number, but mostly I knew I had to own that number. I lost 40 pounds, leaving the obese category behind. In 2014 I committed myself to working out HARD and a low sugar diet, losing more weight and gaining nice definition. Then life happened, and I lost momentum, gaining some weight back. My goals now are different, and include completing my first ever marathon at age 48. GULP! You can read about the next part of my journey here.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Wasteful Society

Deb's post got me thinking. What I say is no criticism of her, because her decision is well thought out, and sensible. She has decided to give out mini pinball games for Halloween, rather than candy, because she doesn't want a trigger food around, and does not want to give junk to kids that she does not eat herself. And that makes a lot of sense. We are giving out mini candy bars, same as always. My husband got them a few weeks ago at a good price. They have been sitting in the basement since then.

Here is my issue. Our kids (and ourselves!) are so inundated with junk of both the food and non food variety, that for "special" occasions like Halloween it is hard to think of something that is truly a treat.
When I was a kid (back in the year 1), getting those mini candy bars on Halloween was like a dream come true. Sure, I had candy other times of year -- I would go to the corner store to buy candy with my friends, but we never had candy just laying around the house. Candy was truly a treat. When I went to college and could have soda every night at dinner, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Soda was a sign of a very special event in our house.

Now, there is candy around 24-7. We still have chocolate bunnies from Easter! I don't eat candy (even when I was at my highest weight I didn't) and even my kids cannot eat the amount of candy that comes in the house through 1) holidays, 2) treat bags at school, 3) ???? We immediately throw out things like Skittles and rock hard taffy that no one would ever think of eating. Eventually we throw out other stuff too.

They get a ton of non food junk from 1) parties, 2) school, 3) ????, much like the mini pinball games, and that goes directly in the trash.

The love to go trick or treating. Who wouldn't? Dressing up is so much fun, and getting the treats and then looking at them later is a blast.

What is the point of this post? I am not sure. I think I am just sad that we, as a society, have become so jaded with stuff. Filling up your life with junk food or junk objects seems very much the same to me, although the health consequences of the former is obviously different. I am no better than anyone else, as evidenced by what we throw in the trash, clearly as a result of choices I make. 20 years ago I moved to Louisiana from Pennsylvania to get my PhD. I could fit everything I owned in the back of my car. I look back that with a sort of longing now.


Thrice Blessed said...

My kids don't always have candy laying around the house, but they do end up with a lot more than I had as a kid.

It is true this is a wasteful society, we have so much that it takes something "really big" to seem special to us.

There are many in this world who are not so blessed. There are children who have never owned a toy, or tasted a piece of candy, children for whom something as simple as a bar of soap seems like a wonderful gift.

If you start saving those skittles, toffee, and small "junk toys", plus add a few other things like toothpaste, bar of soap, comb or brush, socks, school paper, pencils, crayons... you can pack a shoe box for a child who will appreciate the tiniest gift.

Perfect toys are the little ones like the ones that come with kids meals at fast food places, or are given out at parties.

You can find out more here: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/tv/?bclid=36000809001&bctid=260796487001

birchgirl said...

Thank you Thrice Blessed. I do give money and such to various charities, but never thought of saving the toys. I will go to that link

Thrice Blessed said...

Note: Even you don't share the same faith (I don't know if you do or not), you can still give a shoebox, knowing that a very poor child will be made happy.

While the gospel is often preached along with the gifts, there is no requirement on the kids to respond in order to receive their boxes.

birchgirl said...

I will categorize my spiritual status as "it's complicated", LOL, but I am familiar with the shoebox, I gave a friend extra boxes last year.

Raych said...

One of my challenges for the next month is not to focus on the food of the holidays and to focus on the spirit of them next month. I'm not very religious, but I still get into the Hanukkah and Christmas spirit. And Thanksgiving too.