If I could I would wear capri pants and go barefoot every day.
That’s the thought that went through my mind the other day when I was changing out of my work clothes into something comfortable for the evening. The idea of wearing capri pants and going barefoot is more than what it appears on the surface. It’s a desire for summer, for days without committments, for gardening, for spending an hour in the lawn swing with a good book; it’s the anticipation of long, hot, and sunny days when it’s still light when I begin to consider going to bed.
And as I stood in my closet thinking about what to change into I thought, Why not? Why not put on a pair of capri pants and go barefoot?
So I did.
I did today, too.
Something about this simple choice reminded me of something I learned long ago when I was going through a difficult time in my life. Instead of telling yourself that you can’t do something, change the language to say that you choose not to do something.
“I choose not to take that class” versus “I can’t take that class” sounds entirely different. It is the difference between allowing yourself to feel like a victim and taking responsibility for the direction your life moves in; it’s the difference between letting things happen to you and taking charge of what happens to you. I have changed the language of my inner critic many times this way and, in doing so, changed my perspective on my circumstances.
So instead of thinking I can’t wear capri pants and go barefoot every day I told myself I choose not to wear capri pants and go barefoot every day. The difference in syntax reminded me that I can choose to wear capri pants and go barefoot every day if I want, and that’s what I’ve been doing.
Of course I have to dress professionally for work, and I wouldn’t go out in capri pants with no shoes when it’s sub-zero temperature outside. When I’m home for in the evening or on the weekend I can pull on a pair of capri pants and pull off my shoes and socks and make a choice to feel a measure of summer freedom.
I might even choose to go for a pedicure this weekend.