Why I wear socks with holes in them

If you wandered in here hoping for an extreme frugality post, you are going to be very disappointed. Trust me, you should cut your losses and leave this page now.

For those of you who stayed – here is your reward. A picture of my well worn, much loved socks.

why i wear socks with holes in them



These are my Sad Socks and I wear them to Remember.





Years ago, before the birth of Toddler BITA, I had a miscarriage. I was nearly 12 weeks pregnant. I had to have a D&C procedure under general anaesthesia. Later, in the recovery room, the nurse noticed that my feet were cold and she put the Sad Socks on my feet to warm me up.

I spent a few days after the procedure curled up on the couch, pondering my loss and working through my grief. The Sad Socks stayed on my feet and witnessed me weep and rage and stare blankly at the ceiling. They witnessed my sadness, and my regret (Why had I waited so late to have a baby? Why had I waited until the biological odds were stacked against me? This was all my fault). They bore witness to my complete inability to Be Strong and Get Over It and Move On. They heard me say things that I said out loud when there was no one else around to listen, things that I am ashamed of thinking, thoughts that arose from the grey depths of my grieving soul (very uncharitable thoughts about pregnant friends and women who toodled around with their children in tow, clearly undeserving of their great good fortune. I was clearly more deserving than they). The Sad Socks witnessed my pain when it was most raw and I inconsolable.

And the Earth kept on turning. And time passed.

For a long while the Sad Socks were relegated to the back of my sock drawer. Looking at them made me, well, sad. They were a reminder of Dark Times, and so deserved to be sentenced to live out their days in the dark dungeons of the drawer.

And the Earth continued its journey around the sun. And more time passed.

And everything that hurt still hurt, but in a more manageable sort of way. The pain became a small part of me instead of being the only part of me. I surprised myself by laughing often. I could once again look upon other pregnant women and mothers and be happy that they were happy. I healed, and I regained my ability to be grateful to be alive.

Cut to Now.

These days I am happy, and contented with my life. And I wear my Sad Socks often. So often that they have holes in them.

I wear my Sad Socks to remind me that Life does get better.
I wear my Sad Socks to remind me that sadness is ok.
I wear my Sad Socks to remind me that some clichés are clichés for a reason (Time is a Great Healer, What Doesn’t Kill You Only Makes You Stronger……).
I wear my Sad Socks to give me strength. When Life sucks, as is tends to sometimes do, I look at my Sad Socks and I think, with confidence, This Too Shall Pass.
I wear my Sad Socks to remind me to count my blessings, for they are myriad, and more than I deserve.

My Sad Socks are my superpower (and way sexier, holes and all, than underwear worn on top of pants). When I have them on, all I have to do is look down and remember, and voilá I am a stronger and better version of myself than I was just a moment ago.

  • Toddler BITA throwing the world’s biggest fit about the fact that her rubberband got wet in the bath? One glance at Sad Socks reminds me how lucky I am to be a mother (and any desire to laugh hysterically at her misery or screech at her like a banshee are easily suppressed).
  • On a late night conference call with a slow gnat trying to impersonate an engineer when I would much rather be cuddled up and warm in bed? I look at Sad Socks, take a deep breath, and I am able to not say all the things that would be so deeply satisfying to say but would constitute a severely Career Limiting Move. Sad Socks whisper to me about the things that Matter. Gnat does not.  
  • Too much salt snuck into dinner? Sad Socks make that a laughable mistake.
  • Dog vomited on the carpet? Sad Socks remind me what true misery is all about (and it ain’t about scrubbing dog puke out of the carpet, I’ll tell you that).

What, if anything, you ask, patience wearing very, very thin, does this have to do with personal finance or FIRE, Mrs. BITA? And if I respond, “Oh! Nothing at all, dear”, I wouldn’t blame you for wanting to bop me over the head rather hard with a bat. Or a fish. Or a slipper.

Luckily for my rather sensitive head, Sad Socks do help me on this meandering journey to financial independence and early retirement. They help me remember what is truly important in my life, and no, it isn’t my Net Worth. They help me remember that the sacrifices I need to make along the way are well worth it. They help me remember why I strive for financial independence.

My Sad Socks keep my toes toasty and remind me that this journey to financial independence is all about Hope. Hope that we can have a tomorrow even better than our best today. Hope for a tomorrow much better than we can imagine when we have just been punched in the solar plexus by Life, and it is all we can do to gasp like a dying fish. My Sad Socks remind me what Emily Dickinson said about hope, and what a very powerful force it is.

Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words –

And never stops – at all


23 thoughts on “Why I wear socks with holes in them”

  1. Wow that’s beautiful and not at all what I expected! Glad you’ve found a happier place in your life since the origin of the sad socks.

  2. I understand. I have several things from when my husband almost died of septic shock (he was on a ventilator in a coma for several weeks) and some of his many subsequent surgeries. They remind me that even when it seems impossible to continue going on-we can go on, one day at a time. They also remind me to be grateful for all the small things. When once climbing up the stairs was impossible, or I thought I might have to tell my children that their father had died, things going wrong at work or at home are nothing in comparison. I also wanted to say that I’m so sorry for your loss.

    1. Thank you for sharing. I can’t begin to imagine what a scary time that must have been for you and your family. I’m glad that horrendous time is now behind you, and can only act as a well of strength and gratitude.

  3. I think it is time to rename those Sad Socks to Bad Ass Socks. You have lived through one of the most unimaginable griefs a mother can live through and gave yourself the time to work through it. “The pain became a small part of me instead of being the only part of me” is a testament to your strength and endurance. I have read many posts about your family and your daughter and the joy you are able to find each and every day even in the most mundane of things…that makes you bad ass and your socks are a perfect reminder. 🙂

    1. And once again, Miss Mazuma, your kindness shines brightly. You always see the best in people. I love Bad Ass Socks.

  4. Wow I was expecting the story to go one way and then it went in a totally different direction. Thank you for sharing your raw and honest emotion with us. It was incredibly moving and I thank you for sharing!!!

    1. I find it strange that I haven’t been able to share this story with most of the folks that I interact with IRL. IRL I’m not about feelings, or about sharing, but I sat down to write my blog, and I happened to be wearing those socks, and it just tumbled out of me.

      And when folks like you are moved by the story, I am incredibly glad that I did share it. Thank you.

      1. I will pass along your heartfelt story to my children and grandchildren and somewhere, someone down the road will read it and relate and move forward. Thank you.

  5. So much <3. Your story was not what I was expecting from the title. I loved it. I agree with Miss Mazuma– you should call them your Bad Ass socks.
    This makes me want to find an item to wear so that when my toddler is being a toddler, I can remember how grateful I really should be to be his mother.

    1. Toddlers do make it really hard to be grateful at times though don’t they? Thank you for reading and for your heartfelt comment.

  6. What an incredibly moving post. I went through 3 miscarriages before my Little Bit, and I think I undertand the appeal of a tangible touch of the missed children and the reminder that i can move past the grief into gratitude.

    1. Oh hugs! I can’t begin to imagine how hard that must have been for you and what it took to get through that.

  7. Excellently written post, and thanks for sharing that. I had a similar experience writing the post about my dad’s suicide. I wasn’t expecting to write that, but I sat down, and that’s the story that got told that day.

    We were fortunate to not have to dealt with something like that directly, but some of our closest friends have dealt with miscarriages, and carrying a child to full term and her lungs not developing – that funeral was the hardest thing I’ve been to, I can’t imagine how hard it was dealing with it from their standpoint. Another close friend had their newborn develop an infection at the hospital and they lost her after just a week. I think like RTG, I need something to remind me to be grateful for my screaming/happy/stubborn toddler and not be reactive.

    It’s easy to forget perspective.

    1. I am so sorry for your loss. Ugh. I really don’t like that sentence. It is inadequate, and cliche-ey and well, just lame. What I really want to say is that I can’t begin to imagine how painful that experience must have been and that I want so badly to say something that would somehow make it better but I know that there is nothing I could say. I guess what I really want to say is a hug, and there is no way to say a hug.

      1. I totally get what you’re typing about. I feel the same way, but you said it way better. How do you type a hug, or say something that is sncere without it being cliche-y or sounding insincere? The hug is much appreciated and many hugs to you too.

  8. Wow, this is a beautiful expression of that heartbreak and subsequent joy. Thank you for being vulnerable here about this topic that is too often almost taboo to discuss. I had two miscarriages at seven weeks, and the pain was something I largely kept hidden and quiet. We now have two healthy toddlers, and they are blessings (although we definitely have to try harder some days than others to appreciate them!). Remembering the children we never got to know does help us to be fully present with the two who are with us. I love your embrace of the Sad Socks as a powerful symbol of what you’ve been through and can endure!

    1. It is striking isn’t it? The vast bubble of silence under which the pain of miscarriages is borne.
      I am sorry for your loss. Enduring that pain twice must have been so hard. I am so glad your story has a happy ending. Thank you for your kind words.

  9. Wow. That was a lovely post – thanks for sharing. I am really glad that you found the strength to move on, and to try again, and that you now have a lovely, noisy, naughty toddler. Life really does take us through twists and turns, does it not?

    Here’s a HUG and lots of kisses XXXXXX

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