Expiry Date

Last night I went to use my debit card to pay for a meal and it was declined…never a good feeling. The account had funds but attempting to use the same card again led to a second rejection from the EFTPOS machine. I slipped that card back into my wallet and found another one to settle the bill.


This morning I had a closer look at the details on the card.

Valid from 12/14 until end 02/17

My card had expired.


I presume banks assign their cards expiry dates for security, or perhaps they’ve determined the average lifespan of a card and plan to replace it just before it dies.

Other things in our lives that are traditionally given expiry dates because they’re either not safe or not as effective past that time include:

  • Milk – gets sour (and chunky)
  • Batteries – start to expire as soon as they’re made (whether they’re used or not)
  • Mascara – grows bacteria within 3 months of opening
  • Sunscreen – stops working at full strength after three years

Checking the expiry or ‘best before’ date on products around the home reminds me that we often hang on to things long after they’ve stopped being effective.

What if we put expiry dates on other things in our lives?

  • Shame
  • Toxic Relationships
  • Holding onto criticism
  • Grudges

Just as a carton of spoilt milk takes up valuable space in your fridge, noxious thoughts and worries waste time and energy that could be invested better elsewhere.

How could we apply this?

Estimate how long you think it will take you to process a challenging experience. Then actually plan the expiration date when you’ll close that chapter and record it somewhere that you can’t ignore.

For example –

Didn’t get that awesome job you applied for?

  • Set a reminder in your phone for 7 days in the future that says “It sucks you didn’t get that job, but it’s time to move on.”


Your relationship failed?

  • Write a note for your future self (1 month, 3 months and 6 months from now) as a reminder that on this day you didn’t know how or if you’d ever get over this. Today you feel unlovable, or unable to survive in a relationship. While we don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future, there every chance that by the time those notifications pop up on your phone you’ll have healed a little and things will have started to look up. It will be a timely encouraging to have a reminder of how far you’ve progressed in that time.


One more thing. Set expiry dates for your underwear too. Buy a new set today and put a reminder in your phone one year from now that it’s time to replace them. If the least this post does is freshen up your socks and jocks drawer, I’ll consider it a success.

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