If the Shoe Fits…Keep the Box
I used to be a CBS. I’m not talking about being dedicated to specific TV networks (although Beverly Hills 90210 used to air on CBS so maybe I am a die-hard fan!). No, this acronym stands for something a little more detrimental to the wallet…I used to be a Compulsive Buyer of Shoes. In high school, you could find every color of the rainbow decorating my shoes. I had powder blue shoes; I had shoes covered in flowers; I had red shoes, black shoes, brown shoes, boots, flip flops, heels, flats, tennis shoes…my feet were never boring! My mom would cringe any time we would even approach a shoe store. And packing? How do you find a bag big enough to carry a weekend’s worth of clothes AND all the matching shoes? Let’s just say I never had carry-on luggage.
I have (thankfully) grown out of my shoe fetish, partly because my feet get too tired and sore when I’m wearing 3″ heels and partly because I just can’t fathom spending the money on shoes that aren’t practical (boy have I grown up). But, as I was cleaning house, I found, packed away at the back of my closets, some refreshingly, nearly financially redeeming Unexpected Health…in shoe boxes.
Shoe boxes are usually packed full of mementos; vignettes of specific times, events, and people in our lives… and keepsakes promote health. I have had lots of shoe boxes in my life. I had a shoe box for every boyfriend, which was filled with cards, notes passed in class (remembers those days?!), poems…you know, the usual mushy stuff. Some of those shoe boxes are still around. But sometimes, shoe boxes were also beneficial because once the relationship ended, a shoe box fits neatly into a recycling bin (yes, sometimes the healthiest action you can take is to get rid of old keepsakes). Recently, I found a shoe box full of somewhat unrelated yet profoundly meaningful times in my life: my college graduation tassel; my best friend’s wedding invitation (of which she designed herself); an inspirational note from my volleyball coach; and my welcome letters to both my undergraduate and graduate colleges. I may never create a scrapbook to visually display all of these special times in my life, but I don’t have to. I know that stacked in one of my rooms will be a bright orange Nike shoe box that will safely keep all of my memories (at least those I want to remember) in one location.
Health is a two-way street. Sometimes health means holding on to treasures: special people, special memories, and significant times that we never want to forget. Other times, the most healthFUL act we can do is let go: some people in our lives aren’t meant to stay forever; some memories and events we hold on to can keep us ‘stuck,’ and the best propellor of change is to ‘clean house’ of those memories to make room for new memories to be made. The trick is to learn to decipher which route (holding on or letting go) is healthier to take.
But when you decide that those keepsake baseball cards, love letters, and invitations are worth saving, shoe boxes can be snug little keepers of those healthy times. When you are feeling a little under the weather, you know exactly where to go to relish in happy times. -Until tomorrow, Jaime
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