Life is like a Pair of Mismatched Shoes



The other day, as I walked across the parking lot to the gym, I realized my feet felt strange. I looked down and was surprised to see that, in my rush to get out the door, I had put on two different shoes.

One old and one new.

How I didn’t notice that until that point, I’m not sure.

I guess they do look similar…
pink athletic shoe







orange athletic shoe






There I stood, staring at my feet, laughing.

And I had a choice to make.

I could proceed to the gym, feeling (and looking) a little funny, and still get my workout. Or I could go home.

I shrugged and went in.

Right. Left. Right… My feet felt even more strange on the stair master.

And as I worked out, I thought about the fact that, really, my mismatched shoes were similar to how life is sometimes.

Because sometimes, things are not always balanced.

Life is not always neat and orderly.

We may have unmet expectations. Or get answers we don’t want to hear.

And when that’s the case, we have a choice to make.

We can move ahead, trying to make the best of the situation. Or we can let it cause us to turn back. And even though moving forward can be hard, chances are, it will make us stronger.

I’m glad I exercised that day, in spite of my shoes. Because I ended up having a great workout.

And, as someone who is big on matching (and planning and organizing…), I think I needed the reminder that life can be very mismatched sometimes.

In fact, I’m sure I needed the reminder.

I must not have gotten the message the last time that I left the house with two different shoes on (I’m not kidding)…

Years ago, before we had kids, I hurried out one morning to get to work early, only to notice when I got there that I had one navy blue high heel on, and one black one. I went the whole day, running from meeting to meeting, with two different color shoes.

And now I’m looking back at that and cracking up. Because I’ve done it again.

Which reminds me all the more that life is about being flexible and making the most of any situation.

And about slowing down and paying attention.

Especially when I put my shoes on. :)

35 Comments on Life is like a Pair of Mismatched Shoes

  1. Shannon
    August 11, 2008 at 7:17 pm (9 years ago)

    What a great connection your drew there. I love how you talked about pushing through the challenge and coming out stronger. Worked perfectly with the fact that you were on your way to the gym. I sometimes like those unexpected shake-ups. Reminds me that I am alive. What fun would life be if it was all predictable and planned? Great post!

  2. DotBlogger
    August 11, 2008 at 7:31 pm (9 years ago)

    Fabulous analogy!

  3. Robin
    August 11, 2008 at 8:31 pm (9 years ago)

    I love the way you think.I’ve gone out with mismatched shoes a few times, but I’m much more likely to look down and find that I’ve left the house in my slippers! Now THAT happens all the time – I even went out to dinner that way once! (Thankfully they were a fairly respectable looking pair of loafer style slippers, I don’t think I could ever allow myself bunny slippers, given how often I actually do leave the house in my slippers.)

  4. Amanda
    August 11, 2008 at 8:34 pm (9 years ago)

    Isn’t it funny how when we feel “out of the norm” we feel our behavior is extra scrutinized by others??? I know that wasn’t really the point of your words… just got me to thinking about how I get so caught up in how others perceive me, that most of the time I just try to fly under the radar. Not anywhere near how God wants His precious children to live.Thanks for the thought!God bless-Amanda

  5. Munchkins and Music
    August 11, 2008 at 9:07 pm (9 years ago)

    That is something I can do a little more for sure. Life comes so fast and sometimes I need to slow down. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. Breanne Vasquez
    August 11, 2008 at 10:13 pm (9 years ago)

    That was so great – and to funny. I love that you went on in to the gym. Thanks for the post – I am feeling mismatched!!

  7. angie
    August 11, 2008 at 10:24 pm (9 years ago)

    I LOVE the insightful connections you always draw. One time when I was HUGELY pregnant a good friend wore one blue shoe, one black one. I found it highly amusing and could not. stop. laughing. And my stomach just kept rocking. Hugely. I’ll never forget how funny it was, or how I couldn’t miss my stomach jiggling even when I tried to look away. I enjoy your thoughts so much!

  8. Kellie
    August 11, 2008 at 10:33 pm (9 years ago)

    Such a great post! I love hearing stories of women who take the “mis-matched” parts of life and learn from them! Thanks for sharing so all of us other “matchers” can remember that life really will go on when things don’t go as planned!

  9. Kristen Andrews
    August 12, 2008 at 1:18 am (9 years ago)

    been there done that, and usually noone notices. I find sometimes these little things do teach us lessons. Great post Genny.

  10. Kelly - PTT
    August 12, 2008 at 3:00 am (9 years ago)

    This is so great – and so true! Things can’t always be perfect – we have to accept the mis-matched pieces of our life too and find out how to go through the paces in spite of them.I bet you had fun dreaming up this post on the stairmaster!

  11. RR Mama
    August 12, 2008 at 3:32 am (9 years ago)

    My mother in law does this all the time. I thought it was funny the first time I saw her with one blue and one black shoe one. But if you move beyond the outward appearance and focus on the inner, you will see God loves you know matter what color shoes you have one.

  12. Cheri
    August 12, 2008 at 3:36 am (9 years ago)

    THANK YOU for the reminders. They are what I really needed to hear tonight.

  13. Jessica
    August 12, 2008 at 5:40 am (9 years ago)

    Awesome post!! I just came across your blog, and have enjoyed it. I once went jogging with a good friend (my baby was 2 months old), and realized when I got to her house I had thrown on two different shoes. I was just thankful they were a right and a left.

  14. The Broken Man
    August 12, 2008 at 12:51 pm (9 years ago)

    I’ve done the same thing! I went to work with one black shoe and one brown! I did get some funny looks!The Broken man

  15. Mary
    August 12, 2008 at 1:31 pm (9 years ago)

    Good for you! I think I may have gone home. Wonderful message.

  16. Growin' with it!
    August 12, 2008 at 1:43 pm (9 years ago)

    hey, maybe you’ve started a new trend! great optimism

  17. The Dishes Will Wait
    August 12, 2008 at 3:19 pm (9 years ago)

    So true. (But the one time I did leave the house with my t-shirt on inside-out, I did have to duck into the restroom in the mall and turn it back…)

  18. His Girl
    August 12, 2008 at 4:07 pm (9 years ago)

    *sigh*I totally heard that one today in my heart!

  19. Joanne
    August 12, 2008 at 4:25 pm (9 years ago)

    Genny,Ok so now I know that you are organized too! As you can tell by no picture being sent of us to your email…I am not. Actually I did just download them to my computer yesterday. I will send them off soon. It’s my son’s bday today and I am headed out the door to do some shopping….and as far as wearing mismatched shoes, you are gorgeous enough to get away with it!Hugs, Joanne

  20. Sandy C.
    August 12, 2008 at 5:58 pm (9 years ago)

    At least they were the same brand ;) You are so awesome, always finding the silver lining :)

  21. mandy
    August 12, 2008 at 7:56 pm (9 years ago)

    i’ve gone before with mismatched socks, cybex-ing so fast that no one would notice… it was a GREAT workout motivator!! but i don’t know if i could go with mismatched shoes! are a brave woman.

  22. ttelroc
    August 12, 2008 at 10:01 pm (9 years ago)

    Lovely, just lovely. I really enjoy the way you think and how you get that thought into the blog. Thank You.It would be a real bad day if I left the house with mismatched shoes. I only own two pair lol Tennis shoes and a pair of black pumps.

  23. Elle
    August 12, 2008 at 10:32 pm (9 years ago)

    Oh Man – sounds like something I could do… so funny and so true!Great Thoughts.

  24. Stephanie
    August 13, 2008 at 1:36 pm (9 years ago)

    Now that is a post that I needed to read today! It’s not that I’m necessarily struggling with balance, but it’s a focus in my days at the moment. Thanks for visiting my blog so that I could find yours!

  25. Bella's momma
    August 13, 2008 at 2:24 pm (9 years ago)

    Wonderful post ~ this was a MUCH needed read for me today. Thank you for sharing!Krista @bits and pieces

  26. Amy
    August 13, 2008 at 2:48 pm (9 years ago)

    That is a great lesson! I have a problem remembering to put on shoes at all sometimes. I’m serious too. You may wonder how it’s possible, but I do it.

  27. Jaysi
    August 13, 2008 at 3:31 pm (9 years ago)

    I am so glad that you stayed in the mismatched shoes and went about your work out! That is a great way to reflect on your life. I think of myself as being flexible, it takes quite a bit to rattle me….but this is a great reminder that even the best laid plans…yea, yea. Great post!

  28. Christy
    August 13, 2008 at 11:32 pm (9 years ago)

    Found your blog from Buzzings of a Queen Bee. I have a couple pair of flip-flops, one brown pair and one black pair. Wouldn’t you know that when I was at church I noticed that I had one of each on. I too wanted to run home and get the right one on. I didn’t though and I was able to just laugh about it. The only person that noticed was my daughter.This was a great analogy. Thanks for sharing!

  29. The White House
    August 14, 2008 at 1:16 pm (9 years ago)

    Oh that is so great! I am so glad that you went on and worked out- good for you. I am constantly putting on my husband’s flip flops b/c I can’t find my own and one day, I forgot I was wearing them and wore them to the store. His feet are HUGE and I looked ridiculous. Oh well!

  30. An Ordinary Mom
    August 15, 2008 at 4:19 am (9 years ago)

    I need to learn to enjoy the mismatched opportunities of my life more often :) !!

  31. Kate
    August 17, 2008 at 12:17 pm (9 years ago)

    First ha!…then hmm…..ha because you must have loved that flavor of shoe!! :D And Hmm…makes me wonder what I would have done. But your thoughts are so right on….life def isn’t as tidy and neat as we’d like it to be. But GOD delights in making sense in the midst of confusion….He is so good!!! Have a wonderful Sunday!!

  32. Indy
    August 18, 2008 at 3:27 pm (9 years ago)

    Feeling like this because school is starting and things feel a little hectic. Good for you for still wearing them. Brave!

  33. Monica
    August 20, 2008 at 12:23 pm (9 years ago)

    You aren’t the only one who left home with one black and one navy shoe! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one!

  34. Anonymous
    November 10, 2010 at 2:55 am (7 years ago)

    Thank you, I have recently been searching for information about this topic for ages and yours is the best I have discovered so far.


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