#12 Chris Jennings, Kitemath / Retrobotics

Chris Jennings,
Kitemath / Retrobotics

Time for a new balance.

As I’ve crept into my early forties I’ve caught myself fumbling with some of the cultural clichés attached to this time in a person’s life. A time when the distances of one’s past and future equalize and tug on the present with an introspective tension. In these moments of introspection I’ve been thinking a lot about time, its passing, and how the more that time passes the faster it seems to, feeling like some sort of existential time dilation. It’s in this reflection on time that I’ve grown to feel the simple truth that there is a finite amount of daily energy available to put towards anything one wishes to do. Every thought, decision and action draws from and depletes this limited daily resource. So in order to reserve this energy for the most important things, I’ve begun making decisions about things I no longer wish to make decisions about. Starting with little daily things that accrete into a tangible amount of distraction and focus pulling.

One casualty of this energy management program has been my minor sneakerhead tendencies. I used to have a fair amount of shoes and part of the morning routine was figuring out which pair to wear. After awhile I noticed that I would favor the same pair of beaters 95% of the time, so what really was the point of all the rest? I was making the same decision everyday with basically the same result so why spend any energy on this decision at all? Where else in my life was I doing this? Where else could I simplify in order to filter the signal from the noise?

To that end I decided that, with regard to daily wearing, I would keep one pair of shoes and ditch the rest. I picked a pair that’s comfortable, practical, and works well with my increasingly clichéd black on black creative professional wardrobe. A pair that walks a thin line between just stylish enough and “dad shoes.” With the choice made I now have one active pair and two in reserve so if it’s not a blizzard, wedding or a run I’ve already decided what shoes I’m wearing for a good long while.  

While walking my old shoes and other casualties of a simplified wardrobe to the Goodwill dropbox, I was reminded of the timeless words that Buddha never said: “The foot feels the foot when it feels a pair of New Balance Classic ML574’s.”