The Wisdom of Jars

Hellman's is sold under the brand name of "Best Food" in the West.

I didn’t realize how smart the contents of my fridge is. The shelves are stocked with jars and packages of good advice, cheerful philosophy and clever ideas.

From the mayonnaise jar: “Keep cool. Don’t freeze.” Exactly what you need to remember when going to a meeting with a difficult client.

Capers are flower buds packed in vinegar.

From a jar of capers: “Do not use if lid is popped.” Good advice. When I’ve built up a head of steam, I’m not much for being used either.  Followed by the advice on a bottle of  fizzy stuff: “Leave closed for 2 hours after agitating.” Wish I’d remembered that last week.

The container of spray whipped cream says, “Keep away from direct heat,” always good advice for those who have colleagues who are described by the other sentence on the can of whipped cream: “Contents under pressure.”

Contents under pressure. Aren't we all?

Moving into the pantry I find a box that reminds me that a little time to reflect is useful: “May settle in transit.”

On a beautifully packaged tin of cookies, some advice about hanging with those who are attractive, yummy and fun, but “not a significant source of nutrition.”

And finally, from the shampoo bottle: “Wash, rinse, repeat.”  Each day is new. We do not solve problems or create good habits in a day. But each day offers a fresh way of looking at life, from the label of my favorite jacket: “Wash gentle. Do not wring or spin.”

Quinn McDonald is a writer, life, and creativity coach. Her book, “Raw Art Journals: Making Meaning, Making Art,” will be published by North Light Books in June of 2011.