Savta steps

Recently, I bought a pair of shoes.

This is not “the” confession. The deeper confession is I bought them because I noticed the particular shoe on a young, stylish woman looking chic and satisfied in her personal glamour. I approached her by asking
a non intrusive question. I asked if her shoes were comfortable, fearing not to get too personal or stalker-like by asking the real down to business important questions — where did she buy them or how much she loves
having them was what I really wanted to know.

“Very” she replied.

Yes! I found a similar pair. Knowing quality, these were mere copies, not the hand stitched and hand crafted ones she had on. The ones I found were similar, not in a shabby store, in a boutique. Quickly, I tried them on and it took me zero minutes to conclude they were not going to be comfortable on my high arches. I bought them anyway.

Why? I was searching for the memory of “the” look, “the” style that reminded me of carefree and comfortable. I wanted to be… what? I wanted to be… who? No need to tell me that investing in an uncomfortable pair of shoes to become comfortable in your skin is pretty darn counter intuitive. I realized that fast too; I am no dummy.

However, truth be told, I had just become a grandmother for the first time. Mazal tov to me. It is supposedly the greatest feeling, so people told me as they welcomed me to the “club”. I have done nothing for this grand title. This happened to me. I knew the minute we got the call, I needed to work “him” into my new persona. It was hard for me to even figure out what to be called. As I “tried on” each name, the “shoe didn’t fit”.

I have worn the awful shoes every day for the past few days, trying to break them in, trying to ignore the itchy red marks, soon to be blisters. Trying to create a thicker skin. I ask myself, why? I would like to find an answer. I push myself for the answer as I rub my aching toes.

I wear them to remind myself that this is the last pair of shoes I will buy because of someone else. I wear them to remind myself that I have proudly become a person who needs, yearns, breathes in deeply all through the day to feel comfortable in my skin. I wear them to remind myself that it is time to own up to what I want for myself and for what I want to stand up tall for. If I wish to reach my personal height and see my shadow embrace over my future, my grandson, then I want to be active, standing comfortably in my own shoes.

I feel much clearer processing and rationalizing why I bought those awful shoes. I can share further what I have learned for the next time I pop into a store looking for someone else’s clothes, or walk down the street checking out what someone else is wearing, or decide to do something because of someone else.

I am a grandmother with a grandchild; I am a mother of children; I am a wife to a husband; I am a child to parents. I am part of a community. I have work that I love and I love the work I do. The gift I have received
in becoming a grandmother has given me the golden credit card to spend my time any way I want and do anything I can afford or choose. Damn sure, I know I don’t want blisters on my feet.

My time is too precious, and my love is too deep, and my gratefulness is too strong to dismiss myself from being comfortable in my real future.

So, to all the young stylish girls out there, yes I may peak at what you are wearing or watch you as you stand, but this Savta is literally stepping into  her future, maybe one day with ugly  thick soles, but with comfort and with tons  of personal pizzazz.

About the Author
Karen Zivan is a mother of five boys. She is a practicing AEDP and School Psychologist who practices therapy with teens, adults, and parents. Karen is a Yoga Teacher who enjoys traveling around the world to donate yoga. In Israel she donates yoga to soldiers and to her community in Hashmonaim.