There is nothing more satisfying than throwing away/recycling your old used stuff, right?
So why was it that I was staring at this pair of shoes and toying with the idea of throwing them away. I tossed them into the skip and walked away.
I am the proud owner of many shoes but why was it that I could not bring myself to throw these shoes away. They had been my ‘go to’ shoes, just the right fit, supportive, adaptable and very versatile.
And then I began to reflect upon some memorable journeys that I had in them.
They made the impossible possible when I had walked the Canadian Rockies post-surgery. It was an incredible achievement for me at that time. I struggled to make it to the top of Whistler but when I did it was an impressive mental accomplishment because I rediscovered my physical strength.
I felt confident wearing them to my CRISIS volunteering weeks during one Christmas, I was exhausted when I had completed the assignment. While waiting for the bus home, I remember sitting on a wall, swinging my legs and looking at my aching feet but feeling spiritually content and full of pride after successfully connecting with the community at that level.
I took these shoes to many excursions and remembered how they had protected my feet during a slippery downhill fall into a muddy ditch in Tegalalang Rice Terrace. I was hoisted out by the locals who had scurried over to pull me out. And then it began to rain, heavily. My new-found heroes disappeared as quickly as they arrived. I looked at my shoes and laughed out loud. I got up and danced away in the rain, throwing caution to the wind feeling carefree and exhilarated as I returned to the car.
I wore them during the time of the much-anticipated arrival of my ‘grandson’, pacing up and down the ward in them. I was so overcome with emotion when I first cradled him in my arms and I was officially bestowed the title of ‘Nonny’ on earth by his mother, as his real Nanny, my sister has passed. I promised myself that I would perform this role with all the commitment and passion that my sister would have shown if she was with us.
As I recalled these memories of journeys past I found myself walking back to the skip and yanking the shoes back out. As I reflected upon these experiences, I realised how much I have travelled and grown personally and professionally, and how rich my life experiences are.
Before they became the trusted footwear of choice I went through the break-in period when I first invested in them after much research. I did experience some discomfort in the beginning as I needed some time to let each shoe and each foot find a way to adapt to each other in harmony so that I could commit to the task in hand. After some time, whether I was working, training or simply seeking energy to do more, those shoes were trusted to let me get on with it, make me feel good and support me throughout my day.
My new PULSE assignment is not going to be easy as an old shoe.
I am off to start a new journey and walk into an unfamiliar, strange situation over the next few months that will change the way in which I interact with my work colleagues, family and friends. This journey will take me completely out of my comfort zone and test my endurance as I will be stretched in so many ways.
Before I am walking on air and standing tall, I must be brave during my transition, adjust to another culture and embrace new ways of working within a committed team in another company … a breaking in period.
For now, I am attached to those shoes which will provide the psychological comfort I need and so they are going to be packed away with my potential and everything I have experienced and learned so far as I head out and try to change a few things.