Challenging the Comfort Zones (Part 1)

Blog – Take 2… I started another blog, but it wasn’t going where I wanted to headed. I am learning in life that I need to be more intentional about my journeys. I need to stop beng a “wanderer” and have a destination in mind. The interesting thing with me is that I am not really a traveler by nature. I am very happy with just staying home. When we do go on vacations or trips as a family, we generally choose the same destination and eat at our favorite places – almost like a second home. For instance, when we go to Gettysburg we eat Vinny’s Pizza and Eddy’s. When we go to VA Beach, we eat at Planet Pizza, Calypso, and Mai Mai. When I use to travel for work, I was fine with getting to the hotel and just staying there, and if I do venture for sight seeing I generally find a city tour to point out the highlights. I have many friends who love to travel and have an itinerary of everything they want to see. If I went with them, I would likely just say I’ll stay here and let them go. It really isn’t about liking change, because I often do, but about being comfortable. Also, it is about the quietness and being unhurried in life. If I get a moment from reality, I will like choose a quiet activity (book) versus sight seeing. Do I miss out at times? Probably. But, then again, that is a matter of perspective. I may truly get more from the quiet time then seeing a monument or a landmark. But I am realizing that I am getting a little too comfortable in many areas of my life – and well, that isn’t always good. I may just get something more from change.

Just a few areas… my health. Well, those who know me (or have seen my picture) realize I have some curves. Every year I say I will change them, and well, every year I get comfortable right where I am. I do know my body pretty well and do follow my labs and Blood Pressure, etc. As a nurse, I know the consequences of my curves and have had 2 cancer scares, both listing obesity as a risk factor. A risk factor that I can change, but never do. I could give you all the excuses – time to exercise, food choices, working night shift, etc.. But I know it comes down to being too comfortable – being a procrastinator that I will start tomorrow – and not being intentional in taking care of me!!! My family will even tell you, there is little “ME” time, not because they won’t give it, but because I don’t take it! My labs are great and so is my BP, so always rationalize that I am healthy. I claim I love my family more than life itself, but do nothing to change one factor I can. I can’t remove my genes, but I could definitely loose some weight and wear a smaller pair of jeans. I am a diabetic and have been since having children. Until this year, I have been able to “control” it with my diet. On December 24th, I went to the doctor because I knew my fasting glucose was climbing and he prescribed medications (of which I was waiting to start). We do believe part of it is from my crazy ongoing rash and then again my diabetes may be adding to the rash. Either way… if I don’t do something, I just may find myself getting comfortable with a prosthetic leg or even worse in a coffin – now that is a scary reality!

Our children. Too comfortable. I step it up when I see there is an issue. This year I have probably become a little less comfortable (actually a lot less comfortable) by cyber schooling. It was easy to take them to school everyday and go on with all my things to do and just help with homework. Now, I have stepped out of my comfort zone as I am responsible. That is definitely always easy. With Sam, I have become so comfortable with his uniqueness that it becomes daily life. But, should I press more issues. I have done this more with insurance battles, having weekly meetings with his online teacher, etc… But, often I know there are more things to be done, but I have to step out of the comfortable/easy. With Mary, she has always been the easy child – does her homework without asking, works ahead, etc.. However, because I got comfortable and tried to talk her through things, I believe I missed out on some “signs” of impending issues. Last year, we also talked about her vision for our family. She challenged many of our comfort zones, and that was not easy. She is an affectionate person, and hugging and touching are not so much in my comfort vocabulary, I am afraid. It isn’t always easy to step out of what I know into the unknown, and rarely is it comfortable to do that! But, all the steps taken out of the comfort zone is one more block in their foundation… so time to get to building!

My marriage. 25 years together and 20 years of marriage. Pretty impressive record in this society. I have learned from society and dear friends… that this can also be a bad area to get comfortable. You know… you shave your legs less, wear ponytails more, PJs or comfy clothes all day. Last month Jim had his annual Christmas party and Open House for work. I got semi-dressed up and wore makeup, paid a little more attention to my hair, etc.. Mary’s response was I didn’t look natural. Jim’s response was that I looked beautiful. I have gotten comfortable in my marriage and automatically think, he won’t care what I am wearing when he comes home, whether the bed is made, if he has to eat cereal for supper, etc… We went away for a weekend this past fall and it was the first full weekend we had gone anywhere without children. Some will argue and say that is fine, but I can tell you, it was nice to just be with each other as grown ups. Do we love our children – absolutely! But I know all too often our discussions become all about the children and we loose who we are as a couple and individuals in a marriage. I think we were starting to become that couple. The ongoing joke for our family for YEARS, and I do mean YEARS is that we traveled everywhere is separate vehicles. One reason is that he is a firefighter and has left me to go to a fire. We would work in Morgantown together, but also drove separately. We stopped going to church together for several years and that became comfortable for us, but that should not have been. I worked weekends and he worked weekdays so our paths crossed seldom. I realized things were slowly slipping – our marriage and our family. I wanted us to be together as a family in a church, so I changed my shift, I told him to find a church and we would follow – we followed as a family and it was the best thing we could have ever done. We started always traveling to church together. Then, we bought our car – in 20 years our first truly mutual decision on a vehicle – and now I even get taken to work and dropped off at the door. I think some of the biggest wake-up call was the two big fires in a row last year – Nemacolin and the Mill Run church. Then there was the flood rescue he had gone on for Hazmat. As I heard him talk and know that he doesn’t sit on the sidelines – as I watched the one video as he counted the firefighters coming out of the burning church and one was him. I am married to an amazing man… and comfortable just isn’t okay. I think in the last year we have done better, but I have a lot more work to do to get out of the comfort zone, but know that every step is worth it.

So many more comfort zones… so little time…. I think this will be continued tomorrow…

Don’t get too comfortable with who you are at any given time – you may miss the opportunity to become who you want to be.” – Jon Bon Jovi


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