This week we said goodbye to a pair of A’s sneakers, something that happens every few months with a 6-year-old boy. The difference this time is that I loved these on him (he was quite indifferent, honestly). I love Converse to begin with, and seeing them on him just always made me smile. So when it was time to throw them out, I took a picture. This is just something I’ve always done when getting rid of shoes.
For about 10 years I wore maybe 2-3 shoes. I did own more shoes than that, but at any given time I was probably just wearing the same pair of sneakers every day, for a few years until they simply fell apart. The one exception was between the months of April-October, I would wear the same pair of flip-flops. Every single day.
It happened more than once, and with more than one person (be it my mother or a boyfriend) that someone would try to actually throw my shoes away for me. But to me, they still had life left in them, they were still entirely functional, plus there was a sentimental element after all that time. So I would keep wearing them, maybe for another year or so, until there was an obvious hole, or some part would come loose. The goal was not to entirely destroy them, simply to get all the good use that I could out of them.
With the recent changes that I’ve been trying to make to our lifestyle, simplifying, minifying, trying to give intention, I’m beginning to realize, there are so many habits that have been a part of who I am all along. I just never knew there was a label for what I was doing. Taking a picture of shoes before throwing them out was my way of appreciating the use that I had gotten out of them, and accepting that it was time to move on. It felt like I could now throw them away and know that they would not be forgotten.
I now wear more than one to two pairs of shoes a year, I have a different variety of occasions that I always need to be better prepared for. Days at home, running errands, casual work days, slightly dressier sandals instead of flip-flops, business meetings. A single pair of sneakers just doesn’t cut it anymore, but it’s still close enough.