An Open Letter to Shoeless Maddie

Dear Maddie,

When reading your blog post about the day your forgot your shoes, your emotions were palpable:

  • Your initial distress and limited options
  • The progressive series of embarrassments
  • Your healthy choice to laugh about the situation

I appreciate that you chose the refreshingly mature option to claim ownership of your predicament in retrospect, as well as inviting us along for this recounting of your “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad morning.”

Deep in the psyche of most people are the echoes of past events or encounters. These can either define us, or, like you, we can choose to shine the light of self-deprecating humor on these lurking shadows and transform them into springboards launching us forward to face with greater courage the challenges of today.

While some days are long – life is short. Choose resiliency!

Thank you for reminding me that:
  • Moments that seem like crises now will fade in the future. They may even be something we can laugh about.
  • Trying to avoid the challenges on the direct path can often lead to messy outcomes – sometimes literal (mud and grass clippings), sometimes figurative.
  • Jerks will be jerks. One shouldn’t waste precious time or energy trying to change or impress them. We can still hope that, with time and life experience, they will mature.
  • Have a solid support network. With the roller coaster of life – we all need a little support now and then. Sometimes you will be the one receiving support, and other times, you’ll be giving it.
  • Most of us can benefit from improved organizational skills. I sense much job security for your mom.
  • Happiness is greater when we are willing to laugh at ourselves while still honoring our intrinsic value and self-worth.

Your talent, as well as your vibrant sense of humor, resonate in this post. I look forward to your further contributions and publications as your rich spirit embraces new adventures in life with – or without – your shoes.

Cindy Rima


About the Author

Cindy Rima is an adult nurse practitioner who teaches nursing at Southern Adventist University, helps at a clinic for low-income uninsured patients, and is a doctoral grad student in the Lifestyle Medicine DNP track at SAU near scenic Chattanooga, TN.  She is also the proud mother of a teenage daughter.  In her spare time…wait…what spare time!?!



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Dr. Melissa GratiasMelissa Gratias (pronounced “Gracious”) used to think that productivity was a result of working long hours. And, she worked a lot of hours. Then, she learned that productivity is a skill set, not a personality trait. Now, Melissa is a productivity expert who coaches and trains other businesspeople to be more focused, balanced, and effective. She is a prolific writer and speaker who travels the world helping people change how they work and improve how they live. Contact her at or 912-417-2505. Sign up to receive her productivity tips via email.


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