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Half Finished Water Bottles

I keep finding half done water bottles everywhere in the house. During summer they crept outside. One by the chaise lounge; lazily forgotten. One tossed on the grass by the half trimmed bush.

I hate abandoned half finished water bottles. And now that summer is over - I have nowhere to pour them out - no flower pots to water.

I holler at the family Who’s water bottle is this?? I get blank stares.

It’s so wasteful!! I am NOT buying these anymore!! I promise. And I secretly love the idea of everyone getting a glass of water from the tap.

I read a South Korean poet who couldn’t believe America and the waste - who says in a poem: “what type of person leaves a half bottle of coconut water on the bleachers?”

The next half bottle I find: I fume and scream. What type of people are you in this house??

There is silence. Then a “That’s not mine.” from somebody. I watch my husband scramble to find a house plant to pour the half bottle into, eyes wide. I slam the empty bottle into the recycle bin and I hear “you know, Mom - recycling plastic is complete BS now anyway - there’s no where for these bottles to go.”

The whole carbon footprint thing is so frustrating. And when I mindlessly pick up another case of water (mini bottles!!) I feel half full myself. Can I do something all-in?

My niece, Meg, is 100% in. She eats her lunch from a mason jar, carries a reusable water bottle, wears only resale clothes. She is an inspiration.

I buy a reusable water bottle and a mason jar. But the water bottle makes this loud whistle noise when I drink out of it, and it didn’t take me long to figure out that what I eat for lunch definitely does NOT fit in a mason jar. So sometimes I use the bottle, sometimes not. Half in. The bottle is a pain to hand wash.

I start to think about this. My God, I am a half in person. And I don’t like that thought. I am sort of half in on exercise and good eating. Half in on flossing. Half in on making beds, answering texts and emails, rinsing a dish before putting it in the dishwasher. Probably half in on living the Love One Another commandment.

We had an event coming up. I decide, dammit - I am going to lose the weight I gained over COVID. The stomach I call “the COVID twins”. I get a sleeveless dress which means I need to lose the COVID cushioning around my upper arms. I went into this 100%.

I need Event Arms and I need to lose the twins. I tell my trainer, Amy.

“It’s a month away…” Amy says. Like this is impossible or something.

I spend every day doing push ups, and (as my physical therapist once taught me) “recruiting my abdominal muscles.” I take the damn half water bottles I find and drink them. Water is good. It’s part of the plan. I am all in.

One night I am scrolling through messages I haven’t answered and find an old one from my friend Kathy. She had asked what she should wear to the event. I apologized for not answering sooner and sent a picture of the sleeveless dress. So sorry I didn’t respond!!

“No worries,” she texted right back. “We’ve had a gut punch and haven’t even thought about what to wear!” She said Brian, her husband, was diagnosed with a late stage cancer a few weeks back.

It’s hard to worry about your dress when you are taking your husband to chemotherapy.

My arms, my dress, my twins faded away. I thought What kind of person am I?? A message like this makes us roll our eyes at ourselves as we realize what is really important. Brings one back to what matters.

All that matters, really. And that, to me, is those around me.

That’s my precious husband who claims he has no idea what I am talking about when I point at my arms. Sons who love me as unconditionally as I love them. My brothers and their families who I love with all my heart and soul. Friends who I cherish fiercely- every minute that I am given with them.

I want to be the person who goes all-in on the Love One Another commandment with everyone I meet. 100%.

Unless you don’t finish that water bottle. I am only human.



Loving the people I love.


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