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The Other Shoe

You wait… and wait… Sometimes it drops. Sometimes it doesn’t.

I’ve known the saying probably all my life but was only familiarised with its origins courtesy of the TV show Grimm around a year or so ago. Workers would return to their high rise apartments / flats around the same time each day. Whoever was living below would hear them come in, take off one shoe and drop it on the floor, with a lull of indeterminate length while they wrangled the other one off then thump! as it made its landing too. There might be days where no thumps were heard – did this mean the upstairs neighbour had finally had a bout of social conscience or was something wrong? And possibly worse yet the days where there was one thump and then…. Was that the first shoe, or the second? Had one been dropped and one carefully placed? Had they got distracted, was it still to come? Or had there been some horrifying loss of limb and there would only ever by one shoe from now on? (OK, that last one might be taking it a bit far…)

Waiting is hard, especially when the outcome is expected, anticipated, structured, patterned. Information and updates are available constantly – the idea that ‘no news is good news’ is either more accurate than ever or completely redundant, depending on how you look at it. We are virtually never out of contact, and in a world where news can reach us in real time waiting for results and outcomes can be onerous, particularly where it seems like the underlying process for getting to them is unwieldy or unreliable. I definitely have limited patience for delays – admittedly that’s not a new thing, but I feel like more of them could/should have been done away with by now!

Magic can be trying in that regard. There is rarely, if ever, any kind of instant cause-and-effect correlation. The work, the will, the effort, the energy expended will take time to come to fruition and in the meantime it can be difficult to tell if, when or how it will take effect at all. How long do you leave it before trying again? Is there any point trying again? Could jumping the gun cause problems? Could doing nothing?

I’m not going to advocate for interminable patience because that would make me a complete hypocrite, and ultimately it’s hugely dependent on the individual circumstances. Some things are worth waiting for, and some things need a bit of a nudge. Trusting your instincts can be good but so is questioning them, honing them, refining them.

No matter what you think, know, plan, will or want, sometimes the other shoe simply doesn’t drop – or does so just when you least expect it…