I’d made it a mile from home in another attempt at a couch to 5k when I stopped. It was trash collection day in the neighborhood, so maybe that’s all it was.  Trash. I got closer to see a couple of school books sprawled on the edge of the sidewalk, a black spiral notebook beside them.

Had a teen been bullied and their back pack emptied?  Had someone been kicked out of the house by an angry parent?  Was I really nosing around in someone’s garbage? I was.

I looked inside the books for a name. Nothing. I picked up the notebook. Inside the front cover Chuck had written his name and date of birth and created a title page: aka of Chucky Cutty. “Poems and Songs,” and on the back cover he added: “Poetry 2016.”

Surely this was too important to be tossed in the trash. I tucked it under my arm.

Once home I hopped on my phone to search for Chuck. No luck. I pondered returning to the corner of the discovery to knock on doors to ask, “Hey, Chuck, did you really mean to throw this away?” I didn’t.

A year later I launched my spring paper purge. I came upon Chuck’s wide ruled notebook.

I am a 29 year old guy. I have a twin brother two half-sisters… I grew up poor…I lived in Cheyenne, Wyoming…I moved there to try and be a father and work. ..I was injured in a car accident….

There is “Chuck’s first movie script” and “Chuck’s ideas for Travel Green Tunnels—making energy, saving pollution, safe travel, saving the world” —illustrated by an ink drawing.

The walk of life isn’t always what you want…work for it the right way and you will find yourself enjoying whatever it may be with a clear conscious and trust in your gut feeling when you go for it and make the choice… I know I have angels watching over me… Love can change the world.

I return to my filing project. I take old tax records to the shredder. As I toss pages into the recycle bin I forgive myself for all I did not do—send that of congratulations, write that letter to the editor, donate to that fundraiser.

Maybe Chuck trashed his works intentionally. Maybe he knew that the season for some ideas had passed.  Maybe he realized that not every thought he had demanded action. Meanwhile, I struggle to part not only with my own precious papers, but apparently with releasing documents that are the refuse of another.

I choose to take Chuck’s counsel. I’ll trust my gut. I add the black notebook with a few more piles of my own papers.  I’ll use the now-empty space to keep a stack of my own spiral notebooks, treasures that, like Chuck’s, are filled with ideas, poetry and possibilities.

Coach Koenig

What are you holding on to that may no longer be serving you?

Can you trust your gut to distinguish between trash and treasure?

For what do you long to have more room for in your life?

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