Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Learning to Rumble

I've been needing to find good shoes for fall and winter but the way I've gone about it has been an absolute disaster. I want something that looks professional and feels like a cloud - not heavy or hard. Is that too much to ask? I came to terms with the fact I may have to invest in these dreamed-of shoes and braced myself to try a fancy shoe boutique other friends had luck at. The brand my friend loved were lightweight and comfortable, but not squishy. The fancy boutique didn't have the color I wanted, but I bought them to see if they were comfortable when I really walked in them. Then I ordered the black pair directly from the maker online. 

When I went to return the first pair to the boutique, I found out they only give store credit. So now I've spent nearly $200 in the fancy boutique and $200 online. My heart seized for a minute. I decided I'd return the online pair and simply try to find an option in the store. I went to the store and found a pair of wedge booties that are lightweight but still not squooshy. They were discounted half-price and I bought them. 

I got home, feeling triumphant, until I tried them on on carpet and remembered how unstable wedges can feel. This would not be good in winter! Or on grass for our upcoming portraits. To make things worse, pulling off the left shoe hurt my right wrist. Sheesh. Then I had a panicky thought. What if discounted shoes were final sales?! 

I looked up the return policy for the online pair of of boots (which I clearly should've done before purchasing) and raced to the calendar. They had to be returned that day. It was evening, so the only option still open was FedEx. My sweet husband took them there, only to call and say returning them to Sweden would cost $225. 

"What?! How can they ship them to me for $14?" I know, I know, mass quantities, blah, blah, blah. Brian brought them home and I tried to call the Swedes. Maybe they could send me a shipping label to print out, at their rate. The phone number was international, so my cell phone wouldn't call it. I emailed. They said they're sorry - try USPS. It should be cheaper. We did and it only cost $50. We shipped them off and crossed our fingers we'd get the rest of our money back. 

This morning I walked into the boutique with the cursed wedges and found out even though the shelf I got these from doesn't say "final sale" like the other shelf, they are indeed a final sale. 

Here's the story I started telling myself: 

I've been so stupid about all of this! I should have known fancy little stores don't always offer refunds and asked. They should've told me, but I suppose most of their clientele aren't crushed by this news like I am. I'm embarrassed. I don't want to be a pain to them - I worked in a small store. I don't want to make a fuss, but I don't have hundreds to burn! I'm struggling hard with feeling like my health has dug us into the deepest debt hole we've ever seen and now I go crazy trying to find shoes I can bear to wear. It's so unfair! I feel like I'm spinning out of control. Why can't something go right for me? I should stop trying because I make everything worse.

While my thoughts raced like this, I sat so still I felt frozen. I do that when I go deep inside myself. It feels like I'm cratering. I've been beating myself up about this and stressing out and all my logic says, "You're adding the negative of stress on top of the money woes. Just stop it!" But I didn't feel like I could. My stomach felt sick. Brian told me I'm worth any stupid mistakes I cost us. That's gone both ways over our 16 years and normally I get it, but this is on top of my health debt. It doesn't feel okay.

Brene Brown calls this phase rumbling.* You have to cross-examine that first draft and throw out the lies. Here's my attempt to throw out some lies:

I'm a smart person. My head is foggy because I'm so tired right now, but I'm still smart somewhere under there. It wasn't wrong to want shoes or feel like I needed to try to find some now (it's getting colder). It just went badly. There's wrong on both sides. I should've asked, they should've told me, or posted that information somewhere in the store. My family doesn't begrudge me the money we've spent to try to get me healthy or on the shoes I still don't have. I'm worthy of shoes that don't hurt my feet. I even think it's okay to hope they look nice. I don't know where to start to find them, but I'll proceed with caution and try to be more patient. 

There's certainly more to rumble with, but that's a good start. 

It's enough for me tonight. 

I'm thankful for Brene's wisdom that shows me what to do with my big, scary feelings. 

*This wisdom comes from her book Rising Strong.

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