Nancy Roman

Moving On

Do you ever find yourself in this situation? … (Oh, please say you do… I do not want to feel like the weirdest person in the room)  …

You are getting a bit low on some product – it could be toothpaste or hair spray or even salad dressing, so the next time you are shopping, you pick up a replacement. But because it’s on sale, or it catches your attention, or you are just a fickle brat, you don’t buy the same brand. You try something new.

And then you are so keen to try the new product, you break it out right away. You start using the new toothpaste. You open the new salad dressing.

And the old product, which was just fine, sits there with 10% left in the tube, bottle, can, jar, vial, bag, envelope, box, tub.

And in the fridge, and under the sink, and in the bathroom cabinet are multiple, almost-empty tubes, bottles, cans, jars, vials, bags, envelopes, boxes and tubs. All these lonely vessels abandoned in your eagerness to try something new. Your eagerness, your passion, your obsession to get to the next thing.

Is this an American compulsion? An illness of Western civilization? Or is it part of the universal human experience?

(Or am I alone nuts?)

I am beginning to believe all the nearly-but-not-quite empty containers are indicative of a distinctly American phenomenon:

The Glorification of ‘Moving On’

I believe in Forgiveness. I believe in it with all my heart.

But I also believe there is something wrong with our inability to hold an emotion (or an idea) for any length of time without people thinking we are fixated. That we should just “get over it” – whatever “it” is.

Sometimes it is appropriate to be sad or angry or afraid. And okay to stay that way for a while.

I know people who are considered overwrought because they grieve for a loved one for what is considered “too long”.

I know people who are considered fantatics because they recognize injustice and make it their lives’ work to right that wrong.

I know people who are considered hysterical because they insist on answers to questions and will not stop asking those questions.

And all these people are told to  “Get Over It” – they should just “Move On”.

It’s as if a short attention span is an admirable state.

And yes, maybe we are happier if we just go on the the next thing, and don’t dwell on anything for very long.

But wouldn’t that also mean that love doesn’t last, and lies don’t matter? And people can hurt us without consequences?

It may not matter if the old jar of moisturizer hangs around in the cabinet because I am distracted by the shiny new one.

But it may matter if I don’t hold my government officials accountable for unethical behavior because I am too distracted by shiny new promises to remember the broken ones.

I for one am resolving to do my part:

I am finishing the Colgate before I open the Crest.

I am finishing the muenster before I open the provolone.

And I am reconsidering all my half-used makeup –

To decide –

which ones are worth keeping

which ones were mistakes I made and need to admit

which ones have clearly gone bad.


Maybe there is an analogy here?


  1. Last year I made a decision to finish all those jars of face cream, use up those samples of toothpaste my dentist gives me, finish (or throw out) the tubes of sun screen and so on. It felt so satisfying!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve done my makeup. Now I am starting on the hair products- 3 of which I use, 43 of which I never use.


  2. My husband always opens the new, replacement milk before we finish up the last….drives me crazy….but that’s me😀….I’ve been trying to keep things simple because I tend to over complicate things…..simple is so much better….


    • I have to confess – I always want to dig into the fresh food and toss the older stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. No, you are not alone. I try not to run out of anything but if I have to buy an alternative, like toilet rolls, I do prefer to try them out before I’ve run out of our preferred brand. I don’t buy creams and lotions or cosmetics, so don’t have that problem, but shower gel? Now that is an issue. They don’t do the one we can both use anymore and the replacement is horrible. I have now had to resort to a shampoo and separate shower gel which is working for me, but not Hubby, so he has to have his own! Three bottles instead of one.


  4. Maggie Wilson

    I get your larger point…and I agree. I plan to also do my part to recognize and eradicate unethical behavior in our government. And I just might also use up the last of the toothpaste tube while I’m at it. 😋

    Liked by 1 person

    • Get rid of the shit that isn’t working – that’s my motto. For toothpaste as well as government officials.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have 3 tubes of toothpaste right now. One is maybe 20%, one is 10% and one is new. I used the new one this morning (groaning now). It’s not just you! I swear I will not use it again until all the rest is gone!!


    • I’m so relieved to know it’s not just me!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Moving on is hard for me, because I hate injustice and have to fight it whenever I encounter it. I need to get rid of many issues, and articles of clothing, but I am always searching for someone in need. I think I am a “hoarder” on many levels.


    • Sometimes I think I let too much go… it’s a difficult balance.


  7. I was very excited to vote in our May primary only to find out that the only positions I could vote for were 2 state judges who I knew nothing about. I won’t give up though. Last week I threw out a bottle of buffalo wing sauce. We don’t like buffalo wings. I bought it for a party I had with chicken sandwiches. I though for sure someone would use it. Nope! No one. Out it went and that’s a reminder to me not to buy for others. If we don’t eat it, I’m not buying it. Can’t talk about hair care products without my therapist. BTW nothing really works.


    • My hair is pretty much hopeless. I mostly wear it up now – I feel like it looks better and it’s sort of like a mini facelift. I’ve tried all sorts of product, but mostly I just use Catwalk’s “Your Highness” thickening get.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve found the products that give me the most body do not give me shine. The products that give me shine make it flat as a board.


        • I learned in art class years ago that shiny hair is mostly the result of having a really smooth surface for the light to reflect off of – so flat and shiny makes sense.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Paula

    And to think–the reason advertisers say they never target those of us in the AARP zone is because their gospel is that we NEVER change brands. So not true!
    But if I really hate something or think it’s past its best, I dump it. The rest I use up to the very end. And it is strangely satisfying.


    • I think your system is better than mine! I can see where it is satisfying to throw away what doesn’t work… I need to do more of that.


  9. daveyone1

    Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..


  10. itsacrazycatladything

    This post is very timely, I have always hated waste but lately thinking I need to do more. I stopped buying xmas and birthday cards and wrapping paper years ago – it made no sense to me to purchase something that was going to end up in the bin after a week. I removed nearly all plastic containers from my home a few years ago. Just this week I stopped buying bottles of shampoo and conditioner and use bars instead. I try to do my bit for the environment and believe its up to us to make small changes because our governments are too busy with economics and wars to consider the devastating impact of over consumption of things we really don’t need and that hurt our planet in disgusting ways. Some of us are masters at ‘Moving on’ very quickly myself included, its how governments want us to behave, its how they get away with so much. Sorry if this feels more of a rant than a reply, thought provoking post which got me thinking much more deeply about the subject.


    • The government definitely wants us to “move on” and not think about anything for too long.


  11. You are not alone I think many of us have done that opened the new product because it is new and we think I should open it and try it now just in case I don’t like if that happens I still have some of the stuff I do like to use


    • Exactly! I can’t wait to try that new thing. I am probably the least loyal consumer out there.


  12. Sandy

    What great responses. First of all, I think the people who were brand loyal were the parents of baby boomers, not boomer themselves. I do find myself being a tad more brand loyal for a few things (cause they work well). I occasionally do that “open the new before the old is done” with things like face creams and such.

    Here’s what I do with those “old” face creams I don’t want any more – it gets slathered on my hands and neck/decolletage area. Also on feet. Why waste perfectly good cream? 🙂


    • OMG – what a good idea! I am going to have the most beautiful feet ever!


  13. Maybe it’s the time of year, but even I, pack rat that I am, am using up those bits. But I have to say, mostly those creams and lotions stay there because everything is sold with a pump that leaves the bottom full of product.

    But I hope we don’t need to leave that crappy stuff in the White House. America should never have bought it 😬


    • Lots of Americans fell for the snake oil. Let’s hope it is returnable.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Pam

    Ha! There is definitely an analogy!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. That is such an interesting observation. No way is more or less “nuts” than another, but I find myself to be just the opposite of you. I stubbornly refuse to open the new product until I have finished the old one. Contrastingly, I have little trouble setting emotional issues aside and moving on. I think it has to do with “closure”, which is a driving force for me. It makes it hard sometimes for me to feel compassion for other people’s more typical need to hold onto things (especially emotions) longer than I do. Every tendency has a good side and a bad side, depending on your point of view.


    • My husband is just like you! I think sanity lies in a balance – so maybe between my husband and me, there lies sanity.


  16. I have written in detail recently with regard to our impending house move and your post really resonated with me. Today I filled a bag with hats, scarves and gloves many of which have never been worn, many of which have been given as presents but when the weather is cold both my husband and I reach for the old favourites, the woolly layers we have come to regard as old friends over the years. So I have donated a huge bag full to our local charity store but the same pattern has been repeated with stationery, cosmetics, china,books, ornaments and clothes. Downsizing and having a huge clear out has been an uplifting and energising experience and I have made a promise to myself to avoid becoming bogged down with ‘stuff’ for the remainder of my life. We truly don’t need it to be happy.


  17. There is an analogy and I love it. De-clutter every aspect of your life and feel free again! Loved reading this.


  18. Lovely post.
    It’s the excess of wealth (relative to the rest of the world) in the West.


  19. Tonight I had Camenbert, Epoisse, bleu d’Auvergne, so for cheese I cannot agree. The more the merrier and i will often taste the new one before finishing the old. However the old one will get finished as I do not like to waste.
    There is also the question of patience and perseverance in spiritual matters so there are situations when one should hold on. Other times, indeed enough is enough. 🙂


  20. florealzz

    I love what you’ve written and totally agree! This reminds me of an article by Jankelevitch “Should We Pardon Them”. I do believe that too often, those of us who are in pain are deemed as “overemotional”. It seems like the “civilized” society fixates too much on equating forgetfulness with forgiveness when by doing so, forgiveness would lose all its meaning and this definitely provides loopholes to shoulder off accountability. If we forgive all the time, then what would be the meaning of apologies then? Great post!


  21. It’s a tricky discussion, to be honest. On one hand you are encouraged to not waste your time/energy on things which are not useful or don’t bring happiness, but on the other hand you are told to be careful and think twice before changing something. And, just like you mentioned, this ranges from minor daily necessities like toothpaste to long-term relationships.


  22. awesome post and so meaningful description . I also wrote my blogs how one can get rid of such negative emotions and lead a happy and peaceful life.
    Good work Nancy 🙂


  23. Yes, there is an analogy here and it is a part of the universal human experience. Beautifully written..
    Here’s my post regarding the importance of the past


  24. I was very moved and also amused by your posts. Very good stuff. I too am a free spirit


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