These shoes…

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I love these shoes. We have done a lot of life together. They have taken me places I never expected to go. They have also been with me faithfully through the daily grind that makes up a job on my feet. Back when I was using a pacer faithfully it was clear that I am putting in somewhere between 55-65 miles a week. Almost all of that for the past years has been done in these shoes.

Some people might have a color for every outfit. Others might have a pair for every occasion. Not me. I have a pair of sneakers for daily life, a pair of sketchers for nicer occasions, and a pair of flip flops that I will put on two or three times a year. If that.  95% of my life is worn in these sneakers and I have had the same pair for a bit over two years now. They have lived out their days. They have climbed mountains with me… but they will not cross oceans.

About a dozen years back I packed up and moved from Binghamton NY to Houston TX. In the packing I had to pair down my life to what would fit in my car. Anything I could not cram in to the trunk, the seats, or the turtle above had to go. Two years later I found myself doing the same thing when I was moving from Springfield MO up to Long Island. It was amazing how much I had somehow accumulated in the two intervening years.

This time more than a decade of accumulation has passed. This time having an entire car of packing space is a luxury I cannot afford. I have three suitcases. I have a hundred pounds. If those two guidelines are not met, something else has got to go. There are things that have just been sitting around accumulating space I won’t miss. There are other things it has been a joy to place in a new home. I have found takers for things like my tent, a space heater, coffee maker, toaster, jumper cables, a fairly large dvd collection, and more. Other things, like my worn down shoes, are only fit for the dumpster. But some things will be hard to give away. I started boxing up some of my books that will be donated to a local college. Lets just say there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

What does it mean to live simply? This has always been a value in my life and I have tried my hardest to never become too attached to my “stuff”. Yet still the stuff accumulates. And still it is hard to let go. There are things I will need to buy when I get to the other side. Something to sleep on. A place to write. A new pair of shoes to do life in. Beyond that, how much “stuff” do I really need? How many of those I am going to be living for would have considered three suitcases a luxury when they were forced to pack up and move?

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2 thoughts on “These shoes…”

  1. The last two years of my life I’ve been undergoing surgeries (very unexpected!)from doing the splits on tile after getting out of my swimming pool. I fractured my pelvis, and it goes on and on…. After sitting here and taking inventory I came to the conclusion that should we have to move in the next year or two i would pack up the things necessary to live… necessary to pass on our roots as a family. I have been cleaning out closets and giving things to charity and still they are full. When we move we shall have a enormous estate sale to fund the last years of our lives. 3800 square feet chuck full of memories. I’m giving things to the people who admire them, and thoroughly enjoying seeing the looks of delight on their faces. Better to give them to people I love NOW ,than for my kids to mark them down to a quarter for an original worth hundreds! Maybe I should hold my own episode of Road Show: Is it valuable?
    I wish I had started out as young a you to know how to PARE DOWN! LORD,A MERCY!!!! GOOD POST!

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  2. I used to refuse to throw my shoes away as a kid. They had been all the way around the world with me – there was no way I was ever going to give them up. So, my mom would put them in the garage and then she would throw them out once I had forgotten about them. Shoes go wherever we go, and if they had souls (oh wait lol…shoes do have soles…badum chhhh), they’d be able to tell quite a story. Living simply is a challenge, but there are some things that Dad gives us as reminders, so in your travels, allow for things that are the safe-keepers of your memory if you can (because as we age, it becomes harder to use). There are some sacred objects that not only keep our stories for us, but you can pull them out of your bag and teach others with them too. You can show someone a piece of your life, tell the story, and they’ll remember it because you had a visual aid. So…look for the packable things of high value (I know, packable things are hard to come by haha). I hope next time you get to keep your shoes lol. 🙂

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