I bought myself a new pair of sneakers. Not just any sneakers, but sturdy, waterproof ones made for muddy trail walks with my dog. They were a bit on the pricey side, but a good investment in keeping my feet dry and my body upright on the steeper parts of the trail.

I got the "sale color", a mud brown which I thought was reasonable given what I am using them for. This morning while the dog bounced excitedly at the door I put them on, pulled the laces tight for support, and tied them in a double knot. As we walked down the stairs, I began to feel tightness and discomfort around my ankles. Not a good sign. Halfway into the trail, I was practically crippled. I sat down on a rock and contemplated if I should just go home, pack up the shoes and return them. Yes, but I still had to get back to the car. I untied the shoes, took the laces out of the pre-laced top holes, re-tied them loosely and started back. It didn't take me long to realize that the shoes were now perfectly comfortable. Then, I saw the lesson and in it the answer to something I have been gnawing on. Holding on tight doesn't give you support. When something doesn't feel right, see where you can loosen up a bit, maybe let go of a preconceived notion. You might find that with some adjustment you can keep the shoes. Or, you might see that they aren’t a great fit after all. I’d love to hear any stories you have about seeing where life has been your greatest teacher. Hint: it’s usually in the small stuff. That’s why we miss it!

Photo by Maksim Larin on Unsplash.