I have been walking for…well let’s see…yeah, about 40 years now. And you would think that after 40 years of walking that I would have learned by now that that when one intends to go to the mall shopping, one should wear their comfortable shoes! Just like you’d think I would have learned that when going to Disneyland it would be wise to wear comfortable shoes, or when going out in the snow it would be wise to wear warm shoes. Yeah, you would think…right?!? But no, no those callouses on my heels and those blisters on my toes have clearly not taught me yet the important life lesson that when one intends to do a lot of walking, that one should wear their comfy shoes!
And so tonight, after a marathon day of taking my daughter shopping for Spring clothes, wearing my most uncomfortable shoes, I sit nursing blisters on my feet thinking “what the heck is wrong with me that I have not learned my lesson by now?!?” Seriously – I am a grown woman! And I know full well that if I am going to have to walk a lot in a day, that if I don’t wear appropriate shoes I will surely get blisters. I knew that when I left the house this morning. So then why??? Why didn’t I choose the comfortable shoes?
I can tell you why. I wore the uncomfortable shoes because they were cute. Now if that is not the dumbest answer I have ever heard then I don’t know what is. But that is the truth. I wore the uncomfortable shoes today because they looked good with my outfit. Plain and simple. And tonight I am paying the price for it as I sit nursing my sore blistered toes.
Thinking about what lesson I should learn from my experience today, it strikes me that these stupid things we sometimes do are not as rare an occurrence as we probably wish they were. How many times do we do something unwise, knowing full well that there will be consequences for our actions, but justifying our behavior because of something silly or shallow? And how often do we come to the end of our day and sit nursing our wounds from consequences that could have been avoided all together if we had just made the smarter choice up front?
So often we do unwise things for the dumbest reasons – such as “yeah but they look cute” – let’s face it, that was a dumb reason. But at the time when I was dressing this morning I let that reason matter enough to put on the pair of shoes that I knew would cause me pain later, telling myself “surely this time it will be fine…maybe if I just walk carefully I won’t get any blisters today…I am sure I can handle it”. It’s so easy to tell ourselves exactly what we want to hear when we are trying to justify a dumb decision, isn’t it? I swear we all become master negotiators with ourselves with the most ingenious arguments to back up the stupid choice we want to make. Yet when the actions have been taken and we are left to sit and face the consequences of our bad decisions, it’s always the same story…”how could I have been so dumb? It’s not like I didn’t know better”…
We can’t take back our stupid decisions we have made in our past, and we can’t get rid of the consequences we face today for the bad decisions we made yesterday. But what we can do is to be smart enough to learn from our mistakes and setup boundaries to keep ourselves from making those same mistakes again in our future. Sometimes it may be necessary to set traps for ourselves that will catch us if we are about to do something dumb – for example, I seriously need to put a post-it note on my shoes I wore today as a future note to myself that reads “no matter how cute these look they are not worth the pain you will feel later”. That way when the master negotiator in me gets started with the “they are so cute…surely this time it will be fine”, the stronger and smarter Amy will see the note and say “I am not falling for your lies this time…no, this time I will wear the comfortable shoes that won’t cause me pain later on.” It may sound juvenile to have to write future notes to myself, but what is more juvenile? Writing a future note to myself, or making a dumb decision that will cause me pain later on? I say WRITE THE NOTE! Do whatever reminders and tricks you can to make sure you don’t repeat the dumb mistakes you have made in the past. You are smarter than that. And no bad decision is worth the consequences you have to pay for them later. So the morale of today’s story is, for heaven’s sake people, be smart enough to wear the comfortable shoes!!!