Since I accidentally skipped Day 42 the other day I thought I’d crank out Day 42 and Day 44 all at once. Day 42’s challenge was to walk outside in the grass barefoot. Not an uncommon practice for me and one I enjoy so I was looking forward to this one. Day 44, on the other hand, I wasn’t so wild about it. So in combining the two I made the less palatable challenge have a payoff.
Day 44 encourages you to defy superstition. The book suggests you cross paths with a black cat or walk under a ladder. Oddly enough, in spite of all my quirks, being superstitious isn’t really one of them. The only superstition I really even have is one I inherited from my mother, who naturally inherited it from hers. You didn’t put shoes on the table in my house growing up. Not dirty ones. Not clean ones, not brand-new shoes in a shoe box. My mom tells a story about how she came home with a pair of shoes for her mother to wear to a Navy function, and threw them in the house, on the dining room table and left again. Evidently my grandmother hunted her down and she had to return to take them off the table so that she could put them on. If you put shoes on a table, it’s bad luck. But even worse… touching shoes that someone else put on the table. You just can’t do that. I’ve never run across another person that thought shoes on a table was bad luck. But a quick internet search informs me that I am not the only person that feels this way. Granted, a false sense of community is perhaps the internet’s greatest gift.
In order to properly execute Day 42’s challenge, a stroll through the grass in bare feet, I first had to remove my shoes.
I went outside and made sure that no one else had come back to the office for lunch and that my focus on the grass would not be interrupted. After confirming that I definitely had a little time to kill I came back in the office and bit the bullet.
Even looking at the picture now gives me the willies. But I did it. I put my shoes on the conference table and I got the hell out of there.
The grass felt good. I spend a lot of time barefoot but I am not frequently in a grassy area. Plenty of dancing at shows in the dirt and the dust. Quick runs to the mail box or to grab the trash can down our driveway. I frequently run from my office to the office next door across the parking lot in bare feet. But it had been a while since I just strolled around in some grass. It’s crunchy right now, with fall finally settling in. The grass itself was warm and crispy and the earth beneath it cool and soft. I’ve had my office door open all day, listening to the “Boird Pahty.” But it was nice to actually be out and in it. I walked around the back of my office to see if I can see the woodpecker that has been driving me batshit crazy all week. I can hear him. But I still haven’t seen him. I keep thinking if I can see him then perhaps my hate will dissipate.
All in all I convinced myself that whatever bad juju I had been cooking up with my shoes inside on the conference table was canceled out by how great I felt just standing in the grass.
A piano didn’t fall on my head when I walked back in to my office. But I did decide that I hadn’t really “defied superstition” if I was hoping that my karmic good juju was eliminating the potential bad. So instead of removing my shoes from the conference table I sat back down at my desk. And for one hour and thirty four minutes I left them there. Staring at me. Daring me to remove them. Oh, and they stared. Below is the picture of what I see if I look out from my desk, over my phone, through the conference room door.
But I only had to turn my head a little to see this… and then I could feel the grass again. The Day 42/44 combo was a very “Facts of Life” challenge. Yup, “you take the good, you take the bad, you take it all and there you have…”
This book still hasn’t changed my life. But it continues to make me stop, turn around and be mindful of the life I am so grateful to be living.
Speaking of that life… the kiddo went to school today in a new shirt. It is bedazzled with a jeweled purse and a fake glittery chain. She is also wearing her red sparkly Dorothy shoes. With it she elected to pair a Misfits button. After MQD and I told her that under no circumstances could she wear the Butthole Surfers pin. Today has been all about balance.