Thursday, March 17, 2016

Winter blues and new shoes

 A fresh brand new year always has me asking myself what my next writing challenge will be. I always have projects on the go...a new year has nothing to do with the amount of words I will write or even want to write...but specific challenges keep the mind sharp and the blood pumping. Keeps the job exciting, new and best of all still teaches you things you didn't know you had to learn.
So 2016 was standing in front of me all bright and promising and I wondered what new thing I needed to learn in the writing world. I ended up choosing column writing. My boss mentioned it to me once last year and I didn't really know where to start so I just left it alone but leaving things alone never taught you anything, right? So 2016 is the year of the column.
What kind of column? How long is a column? What topics would be well received in my readership area? All good questions that required research. Now, 2.5 months into my new endeavour as a columnist I feel like I at least have one foot under me and have been happy with a couple of my submissions and gotten some positive feedback from readers on a few as well.
Not all of my columns will make good blog fare, but here is a taste of last week:
Winter blues and new shoes

As a child I was teased quite a bit for my huge feet. Even today, I am not a small woman standing 5’8” and wearing a size ten shoe. My maternal grandmother always used to tell me I had a “good understanding”, then she would hug me and make me cinnamon toast. Her words have stuck with me even after her passing and perhaps that is why I love new shoes. Of all shapes, colours and styles, I adore them. And my most recent purchase-boots with faux fur trim and bright red laces just make my heart sing. A great pair of new boots will chase the winter blues away faster than you can recite your credit card number. But the way my new boots made me feel got me to thinking about the initial words that made me feel awful about my big feet. Mind you, it wasn’t all meant to be hurtful. “Those are some mighty big feet for such a little girl!” accompanied by a hearty chuckle was a favourite thing for older people to say to me around the age of ten. But I wonder how I would feel about myself today if I didn’t have Gram whispering in my ear that it was a good and special thing to have these feet?  That this is the way God had made me and I was perfect and wonderful? I am the mother of boys but my second favourite job in the whole world is being an Auntie. I have many little girls in my life that I hope and pray every day grow up with strong self-esteem and the belief that they too are wonderful and perfect. In a world full of Photoshop, stick thin models, mostly embellished statuses on Facebook and the unrealistic expectations that bombard our kids every single day to be famous, let’s be that whispered voice that tells them they are wonderful how they are. That every photo does not need airbrushing. That they are smart and beautiful and fun. Let’s keep in mind that our words are powerful things that can’t be taken back after we say them. Instead of commenting on the size of an excited little girl’s shoes, why not compliment her on those red laces? Because I am sure she is pretty proud of them.