Why "71º & Sunny?"

I consider 71º to be the perfect temperature. Not too cold and not too hot. I also love perfect sunny days. The vast majority of days are not 71º & Sunny and yet, all days were created by God's hand and they are still gifts, even if they don't fit my ridiculous definition of perfection. My struggle with OCD has at times imprisoned me in an impossible attempt to achieve perfection. I'm now learning to love all kinds of days that don't even come close to 71º & Sunny.

Please leave me a comment below. I really want to know what you are thinking!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ode To My Flip-flops

Ode To My Flip-flops

More comfortable than any other shoes,
oh flip-flops, how very much I love you.
by 71º & Sunny

Yay for purple nail polish!
Many of my fellow bloggers are incredible poets, and I was feeling left out, so I decided to get in on the action too. Um, ok, I know my poem stinks. However, it does highlight one very important point - a total 180º shift in my thinking. A few years ago, it would have been unthinkable for me to wear flip-flops and not worry about my feet all day. I would have been obsessed about dirt and germs getting on my feet, and you can believe that the first thing I would have done was to wash them as soon as I got home. I almost never wore flip-flops.

During CBT/ERP, my psychologist challenged me to start wearing flip-flops everywhere. She wanted me to wear them in the city, on the subway, in public bathrooms, you name it. It was really difficult at first. There were times that I would come home and wash. There were other times when I would just use wet wipes after coming home. Finally, sometime this summer, I completely stopped washing at the end of the day. (I still take daily morning showers, of course!) It took a couple summers of wearing flip-flops for me to get to the point of wearing them without any follow up cleaning.

Today, I have very little anxiety about wearing them. The funny thing is that I now love flip-flops. I have several pairs, including a pink pair, a purple pair, one pair is black with silver sparkles, one is brown with gold sparkles, and I even have a pair with a little wedge type of heal. Wearing them gives me a great excuse to go to the salon, get a pedicure, and try all kinds of fun nail polish colors. Oh, and they are so much more comfortable than regular shoes! I'm actually dreading the cold weather when I can no longer wear them. Hopefully I can wear them into November!

My experience with flip-flops illustrates one key thing - successful ERP requires practice, practice, practice. I guess that is no different than anything else. We need to spend hours behind the wheel of a car in order to get a driver's license. Prior to a music or dance recital, kids can spend weeks on a performance piece. I had to play several rounds of Words With Friends before I started winning a few games. : ) In fact, most people who are good at anything are good because they worked at it. I want to be good at beating anxiety.

25 comments:

  1. Good for you! You are so right--practice is so necessary. I tend to forget that and think one ERP should fix it all up. Doesn't work like that, does it?

    You have such pretty feet. I love purple polish--that's the color I have on my fingernails.

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    1. No, unfortunately it doesn't work like that, Tina. I have to remind myself about that all the time. This post is as much for me as anyone.

      Ah, so we match color!

      You know, you were one of the poets I was thinking about when I referred to my incredible fellow poem writing bloggers. I was trying to be silly and funny with my fake poem, but in all seriousness, I love your poetry and the way it expresses the pain of OCD. Though I can't write poetry to save my life (obviously!), I can appreciate the depth of emotion that is relayed by your writing. I think it must be scary to post such an intimate glimpse into your soul. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    2. thank you, Sunny, you made my day! :-)

      And you don't have to write poetry to be an excellent writer, which you are!

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  2. "I want to be good at beating anxiety."-- love that, Sunny. I'll remember that phrase.

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  3. Oh! ps-- love the purple polish, too. :) I like Nicole O.P.I. lately-- especially the glittery ones like "follow me on glitter".

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    1. Hey there RT! I'm glad that phrase spoke to you.

      Yes, I love Nicole O.P.I. as well. Such pretty colors. I love the ones with glitter in them, but boy they are so hard to take off with nail polish remover. The nail tech at my salon told me it is because they use a type of glue in the polishes that have glitter!

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    2. Sunny- My mom gave me this tip: place a polish remover-dampened cotton ball on top each toe nail (the amount you'd normally use to remove polish). Then press down a strip of aluminum foil (shiny side down)to cover the cotton ball. (I use enough to cover my toe so I can walk around if need be.) Wait a few minutes (I usually give it 10 or so) and it wipes glitter polish right off, very clean.

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    3. Great idea, RT. I will definitely try this. Thanks.

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  4. I so enjoyed reading this and how victorious you were in this area. What a tremendous feat! You have cute toes. I used to wear flip flops a lot (also know in the 1960's as 'thongs.' Not the thongs we know today.) My feet sweat too bad and flip flops and sandles do not do well on my feet. Blessings to you.

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    1. Thanks so much for your support, JBR. : ) Yes it was a tremendous "feet"! Ha ha pun intended. He he

      When I was a kid (I'm 44 now), we used to call flip-flops thongs as well. AND, no one would dare be seen in them anywhere but at the beach. I remember about a dozen years or so, when people started wearing them as shoes, I was totally shocked. It seemed so funny to me. Joke's on me, I guess. Cause now look at me . . .

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    2. Oh wow, I am glad I found someone else who is familiar with the phrase "thong" for flip flops. Yeah, my last place of work some of the women were brave enough to wear them. Even if it was forbidden in our dress code. Blessings.

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  5. I want to be good at beating anxiety too!
    I am a fellow flip-flop lover and your polish is awesome.
    Isn't it great to be able to find joy in something that previously brought you anxiety? That is just the ultimate reward.

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    1. YES, YES, YES - you speak the truth Krystal Lynn!!! To find joy in something previously painful is AWESOME. That is total victory and just makes it all the more sweeter.

      Actually, I think you are pretty great at beating anxiety. I love reading about your adventures and how you just push through the scary stuff.

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  6. This is such a great post! You're right when you say most people who are good at anything are good because they worked at it. I think it is wonderful that you are pushing through and as you can see - you can succeed!!

    On another note - great polish! I love flip flops and live in them! There was a time I had more flip flops in my closet than any other type of shoes. Love them, and glad you get to enjoy them as well.

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    1. Thanks, Yaya! The neat thing is that I believe almost anyone can succeed at ERP. Actually, studies prove that the majority of people who try it do get at least some improvement, and in many cases, a lot of improvement.

      I like the polish too. It's called Suzi & The 7 Dusseldorfs, from the OPI Germany Collection. I just love all the fun names they come up with. I think they must hire someone who just sits around all day and comes up with names.

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  7. Sunny, you are the poster child for ERP...such a success story! And your sense of humor makes up for your lack of poetry writing skills (I also lack the poetry writing gene, and am always impressed with poets). Also, flip-flops will always be thongs to me! (is that a New England thing?)

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    1. Janet, you are very sweet. : ) I find my sense of humor makes up for a lot of things I lack! ha ha ha

      I don't know if the word thong is a New England thing or not. Maybe it is?

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  8. Very nice, brilliant might I add, poem about your flip-flops! .. the purple nail polish is pretty.

    You must have a wonderful counselor who helps and encourages you with ERP , for now after hard work and persistancy you enjoy flip-flops. And if for some strange reason you ever found that you move to Florida -you'll be so happy that you did! As it is flip-flop central here.

    ~~~~~~
    That's exciting about going back to school for class on the sound board. I hope you really enjoy it and feel more confident working the sound at church after you finish.
    Blessings to while on this little adventure.
    ~ Deanna

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    1. Ha ha ha you're so cute, Deanna. Yes, my poem was brilliant. Not!

      Like I said to Tina, I also wanted to tell you that you were one of the great poets I was thinking about too. Your ability to put words together to paint a mental picture is awesome.

      I am no longer in therapy, but oh you are so right. My psychologist was an amazing and skilled counselor. She taught me so much about how to make better choices in the face of fear. I am so thankful that God led me to her.

      I am enjoying the course so far. It is not easy, but that's ok. I know I will feel like I really accomplished something when it is all said and done.

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  9. I still have trouble with flip flops. It's funny I read this post today, for this morning I ran across a very cute pair of flip flops that I had bought last year... brand new and very comfy but I have not worn them at all this year. I've been keeping my feet covered all summer.

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    1. Oh, I had a LOT of trouble with them at first too, Elizabeth. But look, now you have set up a perfect exposure for yourself next summer! You've already got the shoes. : )

      I KNOW you can do it!

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  10. You are so right Sunny anything worth while we need to work at it and it can take a while. I love that you can now wear flip flops and have a few pairs-good for you. I love putting nail polish on my toes but I can't wear post flip flops as they rub my skin at my toes :-(.

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    1. Oh, I got confused and put my comment to you about your poetry on my other post (about the t-shirts). I wrote there about how much I love your poetry and that you were the other wonderful poet I was thinking about when I wrote my silly poem. he he

      Oh, it can take a while to get through stuff. Very frustrating. But also, very rewarding when you finally get there!

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