It’s been three weeks since I broke my foot, and since the break was really just a “hair-line fracture” of only one bone, I am now allowed to walk around without my big bulky boot. And while I’m absolutely thrilled that I’m no longer clomping around like the Frankenstein monster, there is a catch: I have to wear supportive footwear for at least the next four weeks. Apparently, it takes a long time for bones in our feet to completely heal, and until they do, they’re still fragile and at risk for a serious break that would require surgery. And obviously, foot surgery is something I want to avoid.
The upshot is that I spent yesterday shopping for shoes and sandals (it’s too hot in July to wear shoes all day) that will adequately support my foot for the next month or so. I quickly realized that footwear falls into two distinct categories: shoes and sandals that are cute and offer no support at all, and shoes and sandals that are supportive, but were designed for maximum ugliness. And I say this as someone who has never been particularly obsessed with shoes. I don’t have a closet full of shoes, and the shoes and sandals I do own were selected more for their comfort level than for their style. I don’t own anything with more than a one-inch heel. So if I call a shoe ugly, you can bet that it truly is ugly and not simply unfashionable.
I finally found a pair of sandals that fit perfectly, support my feet completely and are pretty darned comfortable. They also look like the something my ninety-year old mother would wear, and she buys her shoes custom-made via a prescription from her podiatrist. (She has fallen arches, bunions, and hammer toes.) I’m ashamed to say that I was actually feeling a little sorry for myself when I left the shoe store. Partly because I had just spent a whole lot of money for a pair of sandals I didn’t even like, and partly because, despite my actual age, I still think of myself as far too young to be wearing “sensible shoes.”
But then, thank goodness, I finally began to get a bit of perspective. I may have spent several hours searching for supportive footwear that actually looked good and come up empty-handed, but I did find a pair of sandals that would protect my foot while it’s healing. And they not only look better than the boot I’ve been wearing for the past few weeks, they’re a whole lot more comfortable. Plus, I don’t have to keep a big plastic bag stashed in my purse to cover my boot in case I get caught out in the rain, and I can drive without having to change my footwear. Those are all good things.
As the old saying goes, “You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it.” Sometimes it takes me a little while to remember that, and to stop wasting quite so much time fretting about the things I can’t control (like breaking my foot) and to work a bit harder on how I cope with the things life throws my way. So I’ve decided I’ll wear my new sandals without complaint, and when my foot is fully healed, I’ll store them away for use in my old age. And if that day does come, I hope that I’ll remember to be grateful that I actually lived long enough need, and maybe even appreciate, sensible shoes.