clean shoes

I was looking through photos from my Canada holiday the other day, and came across a photo that I took of my feet (wearing shoes).

Clean shoes near clean water!

My first thought was “Wow! My shoes were really clean!”, instantly leading to, “Oh… my shoes are really dirty.” (Photographic evidence not supplied… you’ll just have to trust me!)

I started to then think how my shoes have got to their current state. Maybe it was that walk through the mud at Hampstead Heath. Maybe it was getting caught in the rain and getting soaked through. Or maybe it was just the hours that I have walked through London, exploring.

Sometimes when I look at life, I get frustrated at things wearing out. I’m annoyed with my body for being tired, or sore. I’m irritated because my clothes are starting to fade or tear. But as I was trying to think why my shoes have got to be in the state they are, I realised that their dirt and their wear are a sign of life.

Years ago, my beautiful grandmother gave me a book that she was incredibly excited about, because she knew I would love it. It’s called “Witty Wisdom: The Cynic’s Dictionary”. It is wonderfully funny. One of my favourite entries is the one listed for antique.

Something that has been useless for so long, it’s still in pretty good condition.

Witty Wisdom – The Cynic’s Dictionary

Things wear out because they are loved and used. Things wearing out are a sign that their user is living life.

I collect a lot of china. And when I say a lot, I mean I own at least sixty tea cups, a full dinner service, fifteen tea pots, and I don’t even know what else. In my defence, most of them have been given to me. It seems that when you show an interest in something, people never stop buying it for you. One of the reasons I enjoy it is because I often know where it came from, and the story of the person who gave it to me.

The ones I love the most are the ones that have clearly been used and loved. Whether by me, or someone else. When they are used, they have a story, which, as I’ve already stated on numerous occasions, I’m obsessed with stories. But more than that, they are serving their purpose, as, unsurprisingly, they were made with a very certain one in mind.

As was I. And as was everyone.

It’s time to start celebrating the things that we have worn out. They’re not a sign of things falling apart; they’re a sign that you have been living.

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This post was originally published on October 17, 2019.

5 responses to “clean shoes”

  1. […] the beginning of our epic Canada adventure, my sister and I were in Vancouver. Both of us, especially my sister, love to bake, so we were […]


  2. I really love this post, Jenny. Very original. I too am obsessed with stories. Along with accepting that things wear out, we also need to accept that they break or get lost. This means not having too strong an attachment to the object, rather we need to focus on the meaning and memory behind it. I’m also a proponent of USING good China rather than for special occasions. Who knows what tomorrow may bring?


  3. Thank you Evelyn! I couldn’t agree more.


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