Every time I tie my shoes I remember some valuable life lessons!

Every once in awhile I get a life lesson that continues to serve me well beyond what is normal.  Or I should say what people consider normal.  Normal, I hope , has begun to have a wide range of meanings but that is another topic.

For me one of my early life lessons came when I learned to tie my shoes.  I was five and heading to kindergarten. My parents had successfully taught my older siblings the fine art of shoe tying so this should be easy.

Except that it wasn’t.

I just could not get the concept of making a bow, wrapping the other lace around it and pulling it through, tightening it and ending up with two bows.  Even at that age I thought whoever designed this process had made it way too complicated.  This might have been a predictor for my poor math skills but who knows.

I’m not sure if it was a requirement to learn this before I headed off to school but it seemed like it at the time.  Everyone kept telling me it was soooo easy.  That statement would be followed by a demonstration of how easy it was and my attempt to copy it which always ended up with untied shoes. ( obviously this was way before velcro shoes)

I don’t remember stressing about it.  I remember thinking that it was really no big deal but evidently my parents thought perhaps I would be considered “not bright” if I couldn’t even tie my own shoes at school.  In any case I was saved by an angel of a next door neighbor, Dorothy Drewes who offered to teach me “bunny ears”.  What 5 year old can resist “bunny ears”?  Five minutes later I was tying my own shoes with two bunny ears crossing over and making the bunny ( well his ear) jump through the bunny hole.

Made absolute sense to me.

Run quick before she ties our ears in a bow

Run quick before she ties our ears in a bow

So I learned early that there is almost always a different way to do things and sometimes it is easier.  Also it helps if you give it a fun name and make it fun.

Never thought a thing about it or bothered to learn the “right way” until I was in college and one of my friends saw me tie my shoes and she was appalled and amused that I was still doing it that way.  So I tried the “normal” way and gave up.  I had better things to do and could do it way faster xanax with bunny ears.

Even though it was done in good fun I didn’t like the teasing and I learned that people don’t like to see things done in new and different ways.

That didn’t stop me. I continued to do things in new and different ways that made people sometimes shake their heads and ironically  those things are now the norm.  I guess I was ahead of my time.

Fast forward to my children learning how to tie their shoes. Settling into my protective mother mode,  I refused to teach them bunny ears and made my husband teach our daughter “the right way”.  Since my hubby traveled quite a bit I had Sarah teach her sister and then Julie taught her brother.  I knew I couldn’t save them from being teased for something or other at some time in their life but it was NOT going to be about how they tied their shoes.

That may have been a mistake ( teaching them the “right way”) because a little later I realized the real life lesson was: Be unique, be who you are and love yourself for it and anyone who doesn’t like it can take a hike.

So with a tiny bit of remorse and wistfulness, I wish I had taught my kids to tie bunny ears..it could now be “our” thing.  All my children are now rolling their eyes and thinking “seriously Mom”?child-542146_1280

As I coach women to “Kick Ass as they age”  I think back to those “bunny ears” and understand ( and see it often) the many different ways for each of us to kick ass in our own way.  There is no “right” way to do it.  Some of us will be loud, some quieter.  There are those women who want to rediscover the “daredevil” and bungee jump or skydive or get a tattoo and others will want to write a book, learn a language or even go back to school.

Being healthy isn’t  all about eating and exercise.  A big portion is feeding our spirit with what makes us come alive and not giving a hoot what somebody else might think.  It’s being active in every part of  our lives and forgetting what things are “suppose” to look like.

So go out and wrestle that rascally rabbit and tie his ears into a bow ( send photos)  Or just tie your shoes differently!

I would love to know what simple  event in your life keeps teaching you life lessons.

Now go out and be healthy today in every way!



  1. Hi Jennifer, great post. It makes me think of my daughter and everything she has taught and continues to teach me. Since she has autism, she’s socially awkward and she does everything differently. I used to worry about her not fitting in, but she is who she is and she’s happy. She’s taught me to be more comfortable with my own quirks and just be happy and grateful for what we have.

    • I’m learning that more and more Monica..we just have to be who we are and not try and fit into any mold. I hear more and more about how autistic children and adults are teaching us fabulous new ways to do things and to accept everyone where they are in their life. Saw a photo of your daughter and son..so cute!!

  2. So excited I found you! As I was reading through your post I was smiling and getting excited by each word I read and even how you had your husband teach your children the right way. I am screaming no! Bunny Ears! Some day you will have a chance to teach your grandchildren how to tie their shoes the Bunny Ear Method!

    So excited I have met you through Blogging On Your Own Terms! I am new to the group and will be doing a major overhaul to my blog. I coach others in areas of taking care of themselves, their family and their home. Most of the concentration of details are in the home area.

    I too have never been able to get it in the homekeeping area. I am simply not Born Organized. That said, it didn’t keep me from creating a system called Marilyn’s Way Dance Till You FLY! System To Remove Clutter & CHAOS Your Way.

    The core of the system is 9 specific habits I ask everyone to practice each day. There are levels to build towards. In fact much of it happens indirectly because of sticking to the basics of life.

    I believe in the power of habit. It leaves me with PLENTY of room to have fun! My passion is Gardening and I am able to enjoy simply because my home is now in order and by simply practicing the 9 Habits, my home is always Company Ready!

    I too wrote a blog today and would love for you to read and comment. And if it is something that interests you, I would love for you to join!

    Here is the link https://marilynswayhomegarden.com/march-event-declutter-clothes/

    This reminds me in college as my degree is in Home Economics. I had to do a display for easter and the subject was shoes. My theme was ‘Hopping Down The Bunny Trail!’ I had different shoes along the trail! Thanks for helping me recall that fun memory!