What kind of gratitude do broken boots give you?

Muck, mud, puddles, poo, cold, nails, shavings, dirt.  These are all things my boots are supposed to protect me from, and all things they let in when they’re broken down and full of holes.  But as I head into the flurry of our Thanksgiving week, I’m grateful for my boots, in whatever shape.

See, my closet used to look a lot like this.

I loved black, grey, and tan.  Of course I wore other colors, but these really were the pants I wore almost every day.  I’m pretty sure I took pride in owning very few jeans, and wearing them even less often.  It was a wardrobe that fit well into our lifestyle in Northern Virginia/DC suburbs, and it was what I wanted at that time in my life.

Fast forward seven or eight years, and I’ve swapped that wardrobe out for these.

And yes, I’ve got about six or eight pairs of blue jeans that are equally air-conditioned and fit to be worn only to and from the chicken coop!

The thing is, I haven’t left my old style behind,  I’ve still got a whole row of nice slacks, and the skirts, sweaters, formal dresses and dress coat to match.  I pull them out on occassion, and it feels nice to dress up and discover I’m still here under the rips and dust.  I never plan to give up my city side entirely, and I flat forbid my children ever pick up ‘redneck’ or use improper grammar!

But, is it an easy balance to find?  Is it worth the compromises?  I think it is.  It’s a life I love, and our kids love, too.  As a family we sometimes take stock and discuss whether this is still the path we want to walk.  And the answer is a resounding yes.  The wonderful and amazing part, however, is that we have a choice.  That we can wear different clothes, and take the fork in the road.  So, today I’m grateful that life can hold pretty much whatever we want it to, if only we make up our mind what that is and go after it wholeheartedly.

Mud, muck, poo, puddles and all.

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