Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Changing perspective

"Pride goeth before a fall." You know that proverb--your grandma quoted it to you, maybe even the whole thing from Proverbs: "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18)."

Uh, oh.

I wasn't prideful about going to Paris. I was humbled and excited at the prospect of this long-awaited anniversary trip with the love of my life. Oh, no, it wasn't that. It was how I was going to look on this trip that was my downfall.

I was not going to be just one more tourist in shorts and T-shirts, looking more as if I were headed for the gym than for some of the most beautiful and famous museums and palaces and churches in the world. I was going to treat my host city and its residents respectfully, and I was going to look tres chic while I was at it. So I carefully, lovingly, pridefully packed darling little summer dresses and comfortable but cute sandals. I even got a pedicure before I left. I meant business.

You know what's coming. On the third night of our trip, just before bed, I ran to the bathroom. And my right foot had a fight with the door facing. I'm ashamed to admit that a not-very-nice word escaped my lips as I sat down. Man, that hurt. And it hurt even worse the next morning to discover that my little toe was a sickening shade of purple--almost black.

Yep, I went to Paris with my cute clothes and shoes and proceeded to break my toe.

Luckily, I have experience with toe-breaking, my youngest son having done it twice before. I wasn't really alarmed as I iced it and elevated it and took ibuprofen--just in pain. But I certainly wasn't going to sit around in the hotel room. So I visited some of the most beautiful and famous museums and palaces and churches in the world wearing tennis shoes.

Here, for instance, in the hall of mirrors at Versailles. That would be me wearing jeans and tennis shoes in the palace.



Oh, well. My pride suffered more than my toe, as it turned out. My husband was a good sport about hailing cabs and matching his pace to my hobbling gait. My toe is mostly well now--the swelling is gone, and the bruises have faded to shades of grey and green.

And there was one good by-product of my pain. One afternoon we sat down on a park bench near the Eiffel Tower so that I could rest. My sweet husband said, "Why don't you just lie down? Put your feet up." So I did. Right there in the middle of Paris, I lay down on a park bench.

And I discovered that the view from a humble perspective was a good one.



20 comments:

Dawn said...

thank you... for reminding me that it is not all about me. or my clothes. or my hair. i don't know why i care so much when i kow that i am the only one who cares at all! i am sorry that your purple-ish, green-ish toe and the pain (oh, the pain!) had to teach us this lesson. but you, lying on that park bench, had me in tears. and the view from there... oh dear, friend. a gift.

Sandy said...

Yes, that would be true. I love your humble perspective and how you can still have fun, even in tennies! :) Thanks for sharing!

Lauren said...

Beautiful view! Count on God to remind us of the important things at just the right moment. Sorry for your broken toe, but I'm glad you had fun in Paris. I'd love to go there sometime.

Southern Lady said...

What a beautiful perspective! When I travel I would like to be cute, but I always wind up dressing for comfort! Hope your toe is feeling better. Carla

togetherforgood said...

Oh I would love to go to Paris, even with a gimp toe. I'd have to wear tennis shoes anyway, what with my evil arthritis feet. My hubby and I stopped the other day for Chik-fil-a at this mall where the people who do not let their hair color grow out three inches and also never, EVER carry a denim purse they picked up for a buck at a garage sale shop. It was humbling, I have to admit, but also good. None of those people will ever see me again, and that was one good chicken sandwich. ;) I can't wait to see more of your Paris pictures. :)

Carrie said...

Sorry about the broken toe, but sometimes God just wants us to slowed and look up. What a great view. I dream of visiting Europe someday. Enjoy your memories!

melissa * 320 Sycamore said...

do you remember the little house when mrs. ingalls says that scripture and Pa corrects her?? So sorry about your toe, but glad you were able to go on in your tennies!

Cheryl said...

bless your heart. You had the idea of a special time with your hubby and even though the toe got in the way, you still enjoyed your time there. Love the humble view.thanks for this post.

Phyllis said...

This is a wonderful post. Humility is something we all struggle with.
-Phyllis

melody-mae said...

This is such a timely and beautiful post. Just this weekend we started to plan our trip to France and Italy and all I could think of was I need to go shopping. Thank you for the reminder that it isn't about me!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

You have the best perspective on everything! I would have just whined about not being able to wear my cute shoes...I'm glad you saw it for what it was. :) Great shot of La Tour Eiffel. ;)

Daughter of the KING said...

God does have a way of keeping us humble. Loved your humble perspective.

Kathleen@so much to say, so little time said...

Oh, how wonderful...despite the toe! I dream of a picnic at Versailles someday.

In the meantime, here's my story: envision honeymoon. San Francisco. Upscale restaurant on Fisherman's Wharf. Delicious salmon. Followed by not-so delicious salmonella. On my honeymoon. Phone calls to health insurance in case we had to go to the ER. Fun stuff.

I sympathize.

kanishk said...

I love your humble perspective and how you can still have fun,
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Southern Gal said...

I think you look cute anyway. And if I ever got the chance to go to Paris I would so look like a tourist! Hope the trip was everything you wanted it to be.

Playing Sublimely said...

ok...i totally get this. I tried being all cute the first day too and then quickly realized that I wasn't going to make it the week if I kept that up! I resigned myself to the tennis shoes also ;). I will tell you though that within minutes of us arriving at the castle where we stayed a few nights, I was in the lobby bathroom changing into my fancy clothes again...the place was just too dreamy for tennis shoes :)!

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

Oh, I'm so sorry about your poor toe! At least you had your true love with you, and you know this will be a wonderful trip you'll never forget! :)

a little bit of everything said...

Two years ago next week we spent a week in Paris and your post brings back lovely memories. http://robertapm28.blogspot.com/2010/05/crafts-enhanced-wastebasket.html
Even with sneakers I couldn't walk the distance on the grounds of Versailles! Comfort first, is my motto. Dining out at night found my dress shoes in a bag for the walk with a quick switch as we arrived.
We are heading to Venice and Milan in Aug. and I'll be wearing comfortable, practical sneakers once again! Life is too short to suffer with blisters!

BrentDavis1 said...

Tinka, the kids and I did Paris two summers ago in route to see Tinka's sister in Bulgaria (who died a few months after our visit from cancer). Since we were determined to fly to Europe and the kids were mobile we thought, why not see France and Germany en route? N'est'ce pas? I had 2 humbling events, at least two, in the City of Lights, and both related to my generally trusty sense of direction: I got us lost--or at least, dangerously far from our destination as the gloaming descended. In both cases the solution was French natives transporting us in their cars, which is illegal in France. The first time a sweet lady and her daughter drove us to the necessary alternate train station (after Versailles). And the second time two Arab men in a Yugo picked us up--a little disconcerting…but pleasantly uneventful—and deposited us at our hotel in La Defense. Amazingly a family of 4 fit relatively comfortably in the back of two small cars. God was obviously looking out for us, though I left my little Bible and some precious books in the first lady's car. One heck of a way to develop some savoir faire but c'est la vie!

sanjeet said...

I love your humble perspective and how you can still have fun, even in tennies! :) Thanks for sharing!
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