After much consideration, the decision was made. Pros outweighed the cons; intellect won over the heart and so I took the sandals off the exhibit and asked the saleswoman to bring a pair in my size. I sat impatiently in the chair, relishing the very thought of having a new pair of sandals snuggled away in my closet. They’d be hidden from sight for the mandatory 3 weeks so that I could then wear them and say truthfully to my husband, “No honey, these aren’t new. I’ve had them for a while now.”
She came out of the shoe inventory door (also known as heaven’s gate) and bobbed toward me carrying several boxes of sandals that may be of interest.
I took off my shoes, slid down my socks and nearly fainted from the sudden awareness of my aged Post Winter Feet. Good lord almighty, there was nowhere to hide. The saleswoman was upon me. My feet were bare and nearly glowed in the unfortunate retail lighting.
As I shuffled my feet beneath one of the boxes that I pretended to drop, she stood there, refusing to move along and help other swooning women. She asked if I needed a nylon stocking and I whispered yes. She handed me a flimsy film of nylon and remained planted in her spot, determined to watch me pull on the sandals.
I scooped the nylon quickly over one foot and put on the shoe. My thick, jagged toenails ripped through the end of the nylon like shark’s teeth. The hoary, cracked skin of my heel snagged and shredded the rest of it. Scars from my ankle replacement surgery three years ago stood out like purple reminders of putting my foot in a margarita blender. My humiliation was complete. Still, I carried on and minced around the sales floor as if I had just come from the mani/pedi salon. The foot-high mirrors told no lies however and it was clear from the bits of nylon and flaking skin floating to the floor that I would have to buy the sandals or be forced to accompany the saleswoman outside to dump them in an incinerator.
At the register, she thanked me for my business and hoped I enjoyed the new sandals. I blurted out that yes, I would enjoy them greatly sometime after several visits to the farrier salon. She smiled politely, wondering – I’m sure – why I had apparently waited 47 years to apply lotion or a soapstone to my feet.
My female compatriots of a certain age, take this cautionary tale to heart. Take a peek at your feet before you hit the shoe store.
If you read my last blog about “Polarity” (and if you haven’t, you really should) then you know that I had signed up for a workshop to learn about champion thinking, and hopefully develop the tools to get out of my own way as I continue my journey toward wellness.
The group was small which made it difficult for me to hide from facilitator Christine Heilman, PhD. I was the only non-athlete in attendance, and the only person dressed in business-casual instead of jeans and a knitted cap. In other words, I was well on my way to finding excuses to excuse myself.
Being a mind-reader, Christine promptly began our session with some uncomfortable statements about people who isolate themselves from progress through self-limiting beliefs and self-doubt. She said that everyone is seeking ways to enrich the quality of their lives and that she would review basic mind-set tools for accomplishing that.
For the next hour, we did some group exercises, engaged in discussions, and learned about ACE: A = Attitude, C = Concentration, E = Execution (as in “get it done” not as in “let it perish”). I came away from the workshop feeling that I had learned something valuable and no, I won’t go into a bunch of details about the training because you should contact Christine and put yourself in her mind-reading gaze.
Do you like sayings? I sure do. Do you like mangling famous quotes unintentionally? Me, too.
It’s better to receive an honest slap than a false kiss.
As I ponder the ongoing shift of the Earth’s geo-magnetic pole, I can’t help but wonder if my brain is shifting right along with it. Instead of a change in the flow of lava, I’m experiencing a change in the usual flow of my sensors and synapses, which I think is in some way connected to electromagnetics, but then again, I’m an English Literature major with a minor in creative writing so what the heck do I know?
But I do have a few recent examples of significant internal changes; changes that defy all sense of logic.
For instance, my most favorite dog breed has always been Doberman Pinschers. I love their looks, size, sleekness, intelligence and playfulness. Now, however, I’m a slave to my son’s mini-Dachshund. I kiss this dog, I speak goo-goo to him, I carry him in my sweatshirt, and I let him sleep under my covers. My husband is disgusted with me over this turn of events and really, who can blame him?
For instance, my infatuation with Chris Hemsworth has been reduced to an “Eh” in favor of the creation of a separate reality in which I’m the object of desire for Benedict Cumberbatch. Yes, I have a serious crush on a man who looks like an otter. Again, my husband is quite disappointed and he has every reason to be. I can’t help it, honey; my polarity is changing.
For instance, I was watching a recent show honoring The Beatles. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were sitting on the front row and they eventually got up and performed. It was wonderful and fun, and way back in the mid-sixties whenever my three siblings and I pretended we were The Beatles, I was always Ringo pounding on my mother’s biggest pots and pans. Back to the point, though, there were all of these people in the audience dancing and singing to songs that we all know, and I looked at most of them and I thought – Those people are too old to be rocking-out in public. I was embarrassed for them and proud that I have chosen to behave childishly only in front of my children.
Just a few seconds after I silently prayed that Yoko would stop shaking her booty, and that Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson would stop twisting and shouting and just sit down and simply clap enthusiastically, I had a painful shift in my electromagnetic field.
Ringo is 73, he’s a former BEATLE for heaven’s sake and he still rocks the drums. Yoko Ono is 80 and doesn’t need anyone telling her to sit down. Rita Wilson is only four years older than me and could knock me down with one well-toned hip. I was then reminded of Julian Lennon whom I have met and with whom I had a rock-climbing date oh-so-many-years-ago, and who is now 50 and it struck me that I’m no spring chicken. (You’re not either, Julian.) To paraphrase the current Pope: Who am I to judge the behavior of the elderly when frankly, I’ve arrived at that doorstep?
What will I do with the next phase of my life now that I’m firmly beyond the half-century mark? It occurred to me while watching my now-geriatric idols and petting the little dachshund snuggled in my pajama top (while surreptitiously wondering if Benedict was somewhere in the crowd searching for me) that I still have goals from my younger days that I haven’t achieved, and that I had thought were important. What has been holding me back? Hint: ME.
After my head stopped throbbing from all of this electrical exchange, I girded my loins (I’ve just always wanted to say that and what does it mean, anyway?) and signed up for a workshop with Christine Heilman, PHD, ATC, CSCS (in other words, she’s not an English Lit major) that is supposed to help me “discover the central tenants of champion thinking to optimize performance” and “discover tools that strengthen [the] mind and body…to achieve a higher level of performance, health and life satisfaction.”
I’ll let you know how it goes.
Disclaimer: This blog discusses my personal wellness goals and is in no way a soapbox to tell anyone else how to eat, exercise and/or live their lives.