How a Pair of Flimsy, Old TOMS Taught Me a Lesson about Luxury

August 30, 2015

(This post was originally published here on the Huffington Post.)

When I talk about Drinking the Whole Bottle I’m (usually) talking less about my wine addiction and more about learning to savor all of life’s yumminess. Somehow harping on the sour tastes of situations is far easier than raving about the sweet, full-bodied tastes. Maybe we don’t want to seem smug or maybe we don’t want to jinx ourselves (the “evil eye” is a real thing as far as my Cuban family is concerned). I don’t know what it is but I do know that I can complain like a hungry toddler even though my pool of complaints is usually quite shallow. It’s too hot today on the tropical island I call home. I have nothing to wear in my full drawers and closet. There’s nothing to eat in my stocked fridge. 

But last week, as I was walking past one of the Haitian workers here in Santo Domingo, I looked down and noticed his shoes. There wasn’t anything too strange about his TOMS shoe except that there was just one. Yeah, one. The other shoe was an old loafer. Both were flapping and flimsy and utterly in shambles. This guy was working construction in a pair of mismatched, disintegrating shoes on ironically, the same day I was going to get a pedicure. I have a pair of olive green TOMS that I’ve had for years, worn out with a peep hole where my big left toe is – not to be confused with a peep toe which is a purposeful hole, no, this is just a hole. I love these shoes so I refuse to throw them out. But, here’s the thing, I have the option.


I have many options. I have the option to throw them out and buy the exact same pair and I imagine this guy probably doesn’t. Actually, I imagine he didn’t even buy thatpair and got them as hand me downs. And it made me sad and very appreciative of my options. I have general shoe options. Jean options. Restaurant options. Book options. Don’t feel like cooking options. School options. Career options. Location options. Life options. I even have TOMS options. Heck, my kids have TOMS options. All options that on any given day I completely glide over and take for granted.

I don’t normally think of having options as a luxury but having them is certainly not a bottle that everyone gets to sip from; so it is, in fact, a luxury. Choices are a delicious and sweet, full-bodied glass of luxury that will hear no complaint from me today but whose every drop I will savor instead.

What will you be grateful for today?

Photo Credit: 
TOMS – micah ogle

    1. This is a great post! When life gets to be a bit much, it’s so important to step back and really appreciate what you have! Freedom of choice and options are indeed a blessing. Thanks for that reminder!

    1. Wonderful! Your appreciation for the things we take for granted and noticing this poor man trying to work construction in dilapidated mismatched shoes makes us truly realize our blessings. Everyday, I’m grateful for life and what it has to offer. I’m thankful every morning before I rise, for my family and my life situations for they each have something to teach me. Have a wonderful day!

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