I’ve always loved to walk, and even before we had a dog in our lives I’d often take myself off to walk, ponder and explore.
As a bi-product of all this walking, I’ve grown very fond of my walking boots. They’ve been good to me over the last couple of years, and they’re now so comfortable that I could walk all day without any chafing or blistering. They fit my feet perfectly!
But, a few months ago on a particularly cold, wet morning I started to feel a creeping cold around my left foot and I knew all was not well. My favourite boots that had seen me safely walked for 100s of mile had started to leak.
I tried to prevail by reproofing, by re-stitching and even persevered with a plastic bag sock combo, but to no avail. There was no option; it was time for new boots.
Shiny, stiff and clumpy, yet beautiful in their own way my new boots arrived home.
Over the next 2 weeks my new boots and I bonded by hours of wearing around the house every day. The uncomfortable stiffness started to fade, and then one equally soggy and chilly morning I could no longer bear to don my old, cold damp boots, so I put on my new ones and headed out for the first time onto the roads.
Even after weeks of bedding in they still rubbed a bit; having never hit the trails before they didn’t give and bend as I jumped the rocks as my others did – and I have to admit to a few grumbles as I returned home with blistered ankles and achy shins.
But now, a few weeks on, my new boots and I are once more the perfect team. I love them just as much as I did my old ones, and I trust that they’ll keep me safe through storms and snow and summer rambles.
It occurred to me while I was walking that sometimes life can feel very much like the tale of new walking boots.
We grow accustomed to the things that we’re used to, that we’ve bed into our lives so well that they feel as though they are a part of us,
And often it’s not until we’re forced to change – because that uncomfortableness is no longer the safe warm place it was before – that we have to face the reality of something new entering our world.
Often that change, that newness chafes a bit. It’s easy to want to be back in the warm comfortable place we were before, and that’s often the point where our will power crumbles and we ‘go back’. Even though it can never be as it was before, that old comfort still pulls us back. The old relationship that although it’s broken still fits like a glove; the safe job that we really don’t like; the old behaviour patterns; we go back because we know it and we feel reassured by the comfort of it. The old patterns of life that we know really aren’t right for us, but feel less jarring, less chafing, less difficult than the new.
But overtime it always becomes the reality that the old comfort we’ve gone back to, is not as it was. It’s not as safe or supportive, or as comfortable as it was before – and so the new life gets tried on again only this time the newness of it feels safe in its own way.
The fresh new feel provides the support for the new you you’re stepping into and the odd chafes here and there are easily overcome with a little time and a bit more self care and love.
So how do we make that transition less painful? How do we make it less likely to make us slip backward and to feel safe with the new?
The simple answer is… to take time to bed in your new life.
Allow your new life a chance to be a part of you by having the courage to see the chafing as a bedding in process that will soon pass, and to not look back. Give it time, and allow yourself the odd grumble and feeling of awkwardness – that’s all that needs to happen for change to take hold.
And just like new boots, your life will soon adapt to being the new you and the old will be remembered but no longer a place to return to.