Pushing My Comfort Zone?

When I shared with an acquaintance that I’d created a 101 Things in 1095 Days list, she asked if I would be skydiving or anything daring like that. Nope. No desire – thank you very much.

picture of family 1963
The baby is me 1963.

I am so delighted to see the posts where blogger friends share the amazing stories of pushing themselves outside their comfort zones. Pat just learned to ride a motorcycle – woohoo! More power to each of you! Really. I am being sincere.

For a minute, I began to wonder if I’m missing the boat somehow – why am I not pushing myself outside my comfort zone? What am I avoiding?

But then, I thought – perhaps I’m happy in my comfort zone because it is quite large.

pyramidI’ve lived an interesting life with exposure to many amazing experiences: I met Mother Teresa of Calcutta, climbed Mt. Sinai to watch the sunrise, went to Egypt, spent time in the desert, experienced a 30-day silent retreat, traveled to the Holy Land and the Vatican, lived in Hong Kong for 6 years and Taiwan for 1 year, marched for Democracy with millions supporting students in TianAnMen Square, visited WuHan China, taken several road trips around the United States, biked through Yellowstone National Park – to name a few.

I’ve eaten some uncommon foods for an American: pigs’ ear, beef tongue and stomach, snake, rabbit, turtle soup, fish eyes – until I became a pescatarian after leaving the convent, I’d eat anything put before me.

oceanside.jpg

I’ve spoken before crowds of 100s – in English and Chinese, supped with beggars and dined with bishops. I’ve never been afraid of ‘what people might think’ and I don’t get embarrassed.

mopedI have many skills that serve as hobbies if/when I choose: sew, embroider, cook, woodwork, hang drywall, do tile work, wax & buff floors (buffing is one of my favorite relaxation activities!), roller-skate, ice skate, swim, and bike.

Don’t get me wrong – I am not opposed to new experiences of almost any kind – except those that are immoral. If opportunities for travel come along, I’ll take them. If someone felt strongly that they needed me to skydive with them – I could probably be convinced. But I neither long for these experiences nor would I absolutely refuse them.

 

family-036-e1540873744627.jpgPerhaps I have no deep desire that I feel is lacking – because I have plenty right here!

I am grateful for my family of origin (8 siblings), my husband and 3 children – (with one 86-hour labor and two caesareans) and a handful of friends, my career and my clients, my health and my happiness.

 

As I turn 55 this Halloween, I am happy to cuddle up inside my comfort zone (at times with my son’s cat), thank you very much!

I don’t in any way mean to imply that those who are pushing their comfort zone are somehow not happy and grateful.

 

In reality, the security of my comfort zone could very well be due to being too lazy to make an effort or too apathetic to care — I won’t rule that out!

But thank you for indulging my fantasy as I enjoy this birthday reflection.

Are you comfortable in your comfort zone or itching to get out? 

34 comments

  1. I like the concept that your comfort zone is so big, many things fit within it! A few bloggers are talking comfort zone this week, and it made me realize that there are things outside my comfort zone I am doing that are not necessarily dangerous [or immoral :-)]. Like working to publish a book, learning to swim, or finding a book club. Yes, joining up with a group of strangers is outside my comfort zone. As was eating the pig’s eye at a pig-roast dinner a few months ago. The fact that you are open to new experiences means you’re comfortable exploring outside your comfort zone…perhaps because your experiences in doing that have been so positive. The more we do things, the easier they become. It’s not apathy, nor laziness. It’s comfort with expanding experiences. I think that’s a wonderful place to be.

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  2. Great post! I think we’re all a little too comfortable with our comfort zones and that’s eventually the case for all of us when we spend too much in it. Life is all about getting out that comfort zones and finding new ones etc. Great writing here, keep it up!
    Well deserved follow 🙂
    I recently posted a happiness post about the obstacles we’ll hit in our life. Could you take a look and leave a like and follow if you enjoyed the read? Thanks a lot 🙂
    https://mzukowskiblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/27/something-big-is-going-to-happen-in-your-life-will-you-be-ready-for-it/
    I’m also trying to increase my audience through my social medias, do you use FaceBook by any chance?
    Keep inspiring!

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    • Hello – I am delighted that you found my thoughts inspiring – and thanks for the follow. I checked out your blog but the link to comment didn’t work. I appreciate your thoughts also, although I would have to say I don’t totally agree with comparing a break up to ending up homeless. One is emotionally devastating and very painful – but not usually life threatening; the other is. Just a thought. I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts as I follow your blog. Thanks so much for joinging the conversation.

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  3. What a fascinating life you have had Janet and I agree you have stepped out of your comfort zone many times. I have always been big on challenging myself and in fact this week I’ve read three posts on stepping out of our comfort zone. However, your guest post on my blog resonated with me that you are comfortable with your life and don’t feel the need to seek to push yourself because you are Thriving Just the way you are. Everyone is different and what may be right for one might not be right for someone else. I just love reading the thoughts of all of my blogging friends from whom I learn so much. Thank you for sharing with us at #MLSTL and have a fabulous birthday. Sending love and hugs from Australia. xx

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    • Sue – isn’t it interesting how many of us are posting about Our Comfort Zone this week. Did the universe offer a ‘blog prompt’ somehow that we all tapped into? And yes, on so many levels I am thriving and happy — and open to new experiences as they present themselves. Thank you for the birthday greetings! Love, hugs and Happy Halloween!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think that comfort zone is different for all of us. Personally, I don’t need to jump out of a plane that’s working perfectly well to push my boundaries. For me getting out of my comfort zone might be attending a conference where I have to network, or make a change I’ve been unwilling to make. It’s about what makes us grow, not just what scares us silly.

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    • Jo – I so totally agree! Christine commented above with the phrase ‘growth zone’ – and it makes so much sense. And your words ‘a change I’ve been unwilling to make’ struck me – which means perhaps I need to take some time to reflect on that! Thanks for joining the conversation!

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  5. I find it interesting that so many in our community are blogging about comfort zones this week. In truth it doesn’t take much to push me out of my comfort zone, so I need to do it over and over again to continue growing and experiencing new things. I admire the fact that your comfort zone is large and your experience vast. Happy birthday to you!

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    • Christie – Thanks for the birthday greetings — and for the encouragement to keep growing and experiencing new things, whether I call it a comfort zone or not. Thanks for joining the conversation!

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  6. You’ve certainly lived a VERY full life Janet! And I feel much the same way – my life hasnt’ been quite as interesting as yours, but I feel like there’s nothing pressing atm that I really need to do. I’m content – and that’s a nice place to be in for me. I also admire those who are stretching themselves, but I’m content and that’s fine. Happy birthday – mine’s on Sunday – we’re nearly twins (except I’m a couple of years older!)
    MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

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  7. Am I ever glad I decided to read this Janet! This week’s #MLSTL posts ave 3 on comfort zone. Might be a message there for me. I’m taking a great Life-Long Learning class on “Transcendence, Well-Being and Positive Aging.”. I’m hoping it helps me to rise above the habits that are keeping me too much in my comfort zone so I can engage with the world in ways that have real meaning for me personally. I’ll be sharing on FB and Twitter for #MLSTL
    https://meinthemiddlewrites.com/2018/10/26/me-in-the-middle-of-being-a-single-mom-2/

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    • Mary – delighted you appreciated my post. Your life-long learning class sounds very interesting! I think the key is to find what is meaningful for you – not just pushing for the sake of pushing the comfort zone!Thanks for joining the conversation and for sharing on social media!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Did you notice there are four, maybe five of us… including me… this week on #MLSTL who’ve written about “outside our comfort zones!” Must be something in the way the stars are aligned, but I’m surprised. Your comfort zone is huge… and I thought mine was large. Have you been to Cambodia? I’ve always wanted to see Angor Wat but no one has ever wanted to go. Interested? Brenda #MLSTS

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    • Brenda – I would love to go to Cambodia – but am not financially in a position to do it YET! Perhaps this can go in my next 101 in 1095 day list in 2021. If you haven’t found anyone by then, I’ll circle back with you. I thought there must be something in the air that so many of us wrote about comfort zones too! Thanks for joining the conversation.

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  9. While our posts this week seemed to contradict, I wholeheartedly agree with you 🙂 Your comfort zone wide and accommodating of many challenges that serve you well. My comfort zone, on the other hand, was quite small and hermit-like. It needed enlargement.

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    • Molly – I would agree that we don’t contradict but more complement one another. I think the big thing is that we are open to new experiences – regardless of the ‘size’ of the stretch. And so much of that is determined by what life presents to us!

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  10. […] I didn’t want to totally neglect my blogging efforts to offer three blogs a week – one for each category – In the Kitchen, Book Reviews, and Midlife Musings. The shift in writing style and content can be jarring when I’m in one zone, so I allowed myself some flexibility in timing. I pulled off posts on Oct 24 (What Difference Did I Make?) Oct 25 (Book Review) and two on Oct 30 (Book Review and Pushing My Comfort Zone). […]

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  11. Happy Birthday, Janet! I really enjoyed your post and will continue to follow your blog. You’ve definitely lived an exciting life. I don’t think we need to compare our journey to anyone else’s. As you’ve demonstrated we should just do what is right for each of us.

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