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Oh, Lion’s Head Garbage Can. You are as useful as you are treasured.

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Meet Lion’s Head Garbage Can.

It occurred to me this morning for the first time ever — and I do mean EVER — how ludicrous it must seem for a grown woman to keep — and use — a garishly colored plastic garbage can in the shape of a cartoonish lion’s head. But I honestly cannot picture my office without it.

I’ve had him (and, I assure you, he’s a he and not an it) for as long as I can remember. I’m pretty sure my mom got him for me in the 1970s using trading stamps from the grocery store.

And just let me add here that everyone should have a mom who answers random text messages like “Did you get my lion’s head garbage can with green stamps?” with the same lack of surprise or suspicion that mine does.

Lion’s Head Garbage Can has been to college and made it through several moves. He has suffered the indignity of being stored in a closet for months on end. Tragically, his name is, indeed, Lion’s Head Garbage Can, which I can’t explain given my penchant for naming anything and everything.

I suspect he caught my eye, or my mom’s eye, because of my favorite childhood book: Crosspatch. I can’t quite remember what Crosspatch was about, although I’m pretty sure the plot revolved around a grouchy little lion cub. I apparently had grouchy little lion cub tendencies as a baby — my father claimed that my early grouchiness was the reason that he nicknamed me Bear.

But Lion’s Head Garbage Can can’t be renamed Crosspatch, because I actually HAVE a small stuffed lion named Crosspatch, which my mom recently rescued from my grandmother’s house for me.

So, here sits Lion’s Head Garbage Can, essentially nameless, but useful and loved, a somewhat ridiculous item that I cannot imagine doing without.

This is the best thing about paring down your possessions to only the essential and the treasured: You figure out the things that you simply adore, and you give yourself the physical and mental space to enjoy them.

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