Back in the day of when I worked in financial markets, I would have to give training and seminars to groups of suited types on all facets of the markets. When I started this, I was a bit quiet and so was sent to a public speaking course.
The woman taking this course was really helpful, but her first challenge for me was to talk for five minutes on “The Meaning Of Life”. Impromptu and off the top of my head. As I strolled to the podium, I was completely blank on how to even start, and then it came to me. Shoes. Or more specifically, cowboy boots.
Now anyone who knows me also knows that I have a serious and life long attachment to beautiful shoes. Not high heels, not necessarily brand names or expensive items. But good quality, long lasting, interesting and comfortable shoes. I also have a weakness for cowboy boots. I have around seven pairs of them, in a variety of colours, and I do actually wear them most weekends. The reason that I love them is that they make me feel confident. There is a certain swagger which comes with wearing a pair of boots, and this always affords me an inward grin.
So on the day of my first foray into speaking about the meaning of life, I was wearing a pair of old favourite tan leather Justin boots, and so I swaggered up to the microphone and started my talk. I can’t remember much about the actual content of that first talk, but it has provoked a lifelong habit of noticing just how different I feel when wearing different shoes and what else provides that sense of wellness in the world. You know – when you feel that you are competent to meet any expectation, when you have pride in yourself, when you are able and strong and complete in your own ability to enjoy life to the full. That kind of meaning of life. Because I prefer to see the meaning of life as a journey, not a destination.
It is not about where you end up. The meaning to life is about what you see and experience on the way.
So in my life I have realised that my enjoyment of life is enhanced by wearing shoes which make me feel more like walking than dancing, and by weather which allows me to embrace and appreciate the outdoor world. So my latest recipe for enjoyment of life is to wear hiking shoes and go for a walk in the sunshine. It’s simple, but it leaves me feeling joy. And to experience joy is to allow yourself to find meaning in life.
“Give a girl the correct footwear, and she can conquer the world.” Bette Midler.
18 July 2018