We need pain, we need variety

You go barefoot. There are rocky, muddy, sandy and grassy sections. A nature preserve in Belgium allows you to experience a wide variety of textures as you explore footpaths in the slightly hilly park. As their website says, you can feel the extremes of “hot and cold, moist and dry, pleasant, exciting and stimulating.”

In western life, our feet are not used to feeling much beyond the insides of our socks, the floor, grassy lawns or sandy beaches. The Lieteberg Park allowed my vulnerable feet to experience something different. The pain of rocky sections made me appreciate the squishy mud.

bath-matAnd as I recently bought a bathtub mat to prevent slips and falls, I experienced tiny bits of pain from the soft bottoms of my feet. The mat’s spiky plastic tines poked into my soles. At first, I thought of taking the mat back. Then I realized it made my feet feel alive.

Life is like that. If we live a life of ease with no pain, we cannot truly understand pleasure. And variety keeps life interesting. You know this. I’m just reminding you – and me – that pain is OK. I also hope your life has variety and some respite from pain.



KombuchaI like the weird taste of kombucha. It’s a fermented tea beverage (with little or no alcohol). There are many touted health benefits, such as reawakening your mind and repurposing your life (at least according to the brand I tried most recently). I don’t believe that any more than I believe the tooth fairy will visit me again next week.

But I like the taste. It’s a refreshing break from the coffees I love so dearly and so many sweet drinks.

The problem is that I normally get a headache after I drink some. But the unusual taste experience is worth the pain.

Update: When I looked at this post about seven years later, I can now report that I no longer have any headaches after drinking Kombucha. Yay!