Being the Best Trash Man: A Motto for a Fruitful Life

Hey Liv in the District readers! My name is Tori, fellow policy wonk and bestie to Liv. Over the last nearly 5 years as friends, Liv and I have supported each other through some of the most exciting and trying times in our lives. That means we spend a lot of time giving each other what we hope is sound advice.EAA2ADD5-EF9B-454B-BE00-582BB8DCE8ECI don’t know if my advice always helps with the problem that Liv is facing, but most of the time it stems from a life motto that I’ve had for years. That is: be the best trash man. 

Now, you’re probably thinking…what the heck does that mean Tori?!

First and foremost, the best trash man is someone who gives 110 percent to the task at hand, no matter how trivial or annoying it might seem. They do what needs to be done and they do it better than anyone else around them. The best trash man does the work that others won’t do and completes tasks without being asked. Most importantly, they do these things all the time…especially when no one is watching.

They work for the job they want, but they also respect and master the job they have. Being the best trash man, no matter how crappy a particular task may seem, shows your boss that you’re willing to go above and beyond. It shows them that you are made for more. 

More than all of that, being the best trash man is having a certain confidence in yourself and the belief that you are made for more. But you must balance that confidence with humility because the best trash man is never too good for any task.

So now that you know what it means to be the best trash man, I wanted to share how you can apply this philosophy to three aspects of your everyday life.

1. With your family and in your home

Let’s be honest here, we all have that one family member who annoys us to death right? We love them dearly of course, but maybe sometimes you’d rather find a distraction than spend time with them. If you don’t…bless you. There are other ways you can apply this philosophy to your family life, but bear with me for a second.

Tori and Ryan
Photo credit: Finn LIvely Photography

Being the best trash man with that person might not be the thing you want to do in the moment, but just give it a try. Put the annoyance aside and try to just listen to them. I mean really hear them and respond to what they are sharing with you. You just might find something new that you have in common and in the future you’ll be so thankful that you took the time to develop a deeper relationship with them.

Now the best trash man at home can be as literal as taking out the trash! But it is really more about doing the things at home that you know you need to do. For me, cleaning out the fridge and sweeping the house regularly are trash man tasks. 

My husband Ryan’s are doing the dishes and cleaning the bathroom. What’s most unique about Ryan’s trash man tasks at home is that they are actually a couple of the chores I despise the most. But for him, being the best trash man at home is doing the things he knows I hate. Ryan doesn’t particularly like them either, but he just does it because he’s the best trash man.

2. At work

This one is really the most obvious application of being the best trash man. How many of you have that one thing in your job that you just can’t stand? For Liv it was administrative tasks like filing expense reports. With a little help, Liv took steps to be the best trash man with things like this. 084FC6CE-328E-4CEE-95DF-13A2F13A06D5In my opinion, one of the best ways to start being a better trash man at work is to create a system or checklist for yourself. Some way to hold yourself accountable. (PS: If you know anything about enneagrams you’re probably learning right now that I am a one.) 

I did that by getting this cute weekly checklist from Rifle Paper Company, but you could also set reminders in your phone calendar. I keep my schedule on my phone, but there is something about writing tasks down and crossing them off that helps. Every Friday, I prep my checklist for the next week, assigning tasks to specific days, and then at the end of every day I update it with anything new that comes up. 

I put the silliest “trash man” tasks on this list, like email so and so or turn in such and such form. It keeps me accountable because at the end of the day if one of those more annoying tasks isn’t completed, I have to finish it before I leave for the day or do it first thing the next morning. After a while, this process just becomes a habit and the annoying things don’t seem so bad. 

3. Taking care of your body

How many of you have been saying for weeks that you want to start eating better and exercising more? Maybe you had a routine before that you loved, but you fell out of it. Or maybe you’ve tried every fad diet and program under the sun, but none of them stuck. 

Being the best trash man with your health doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process that is best done step by step, especially if you’re like I was and have really unhealthy habits. 

Step one for me was PureBarre classes with an accountability partner (yes that person was Liv). The trash man part of this was that we went to class at 6am most days!! We did great for a year or so, until life happened (mostly just lots of travel for work) and we fell out of it. 

The good news though, was that we developed habits and a joy for our workouts that we could return to later. I’ve been using this crazy time of working from home to get back on the workout train and I’m loving the online classes with Barre3DC

I’ve also really enjoyed developing clean eating habits over the last year and a half (that I try to practice 60-70% of the time) combined with nutrition products from Arbonne. You can learn more about those here! For me, getting my digestion and gut health in order has been key. Plus these habits have been especially helpful while staying at home with all the boredom snacking!

For you, being the best trash man with your health might be cooking more meals at home, cutting out artificial sugars, or committing to moving your body every single day. Whatever it is, have the discipline to build habits that put your health first and will stick with you for the long run. 

If you take one thing away from this whole be the best trash man thing, let it be these next few sentences. 

So many people say that they don’t make changes in their life because they lack the motivation to do it. Here’s the thing…if you’re waiting for motivation to show up you’ll be waiting a whole lot. Being the best trash man is about having the discipline to do what needs to be done and doing it with intention.