My husband and I are headed to Scotland in the near future. We’ll be rambling in the Highlands, seeing the sights of the rugged terrain of the Isle of Skye, and taking a walking tour of Edinburgh, among other adventures taken on foot.

The tour company assures us that we won’t be walking any higher than 1500 feet in elevation. I’m not too worried about the elevation as long as it’s not straight up. In fact, our house in the North Georgia mountains sits at over 2000 feet.

But we are concerned about our shoes. So, we both went online and ordered ourselves a good brand of hiking boots. We’ve been wearing them around the house, in the yard, and even in the grocery store. Who wants to lug a pair of hiking boots all the way to Scotland, sacrificing precious luggage space, only to discover that they hurt like the dickens when we wear them?

A strange phenomenon occurred. I was walking around the grocery store last evening, and perky music was blaring out and filling every corner of the store. I discovered that my feet were moving faster than usual, as if I were on some sort of grand journey, hiking up and down the aisles at a brisk pace. Then all of a sudden, somewhere between the greeting card aisle and the detergents, my feet wanted to dance. Who dances in hiking boots?

Was there some kind of genie inhabiting my new boots? Was Terpsichore casting a spell of inspirational dance on my feet? I tried to control myself, but the beat of the music begged for dance steps.  I did manage to get in a few steps before the thought occurred to me: How must I look on the security camera? A lady of a certain age acting like a teenager.

Then I decided: My feet are happy. If my feet are happy, go with it.

Sissie’s mother was always worried about what other people might think. Sadly, as a proper Southern woman, so was my mother. On my birthday this month, I entered a new decade. As I was standing in the middle of the kitchen floor a few nights ago, thinking of my upcoming birthday, I raised my hands in the air and said in an overly loud voice, “Mama, I hereby declare that I no longer care what people think about me.”

My husband looked at me like I’d gone over the edge, which, in fact, I had—sort of. I actually jumped over the edge. We spend so much of our time seeking the approval of other people and worrying about what they think of us, when, in fact, their opinion doesn’t really matter. We rob ourselves of spontaneous joy and laughter. We lose touch with our innocence.

I thought about my grand pronouncement of independence when my feet suddenly felt happy. My boots were giving me freedom, and I gladly accepted their invitation. Now I’m ready to go wherever my dancing boots take me.