Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Comfort Zones

We all have a comfort zone. It’s that place we feel safe. Where we aren’t challenged and we remain comfortable.

After each of my children, I retreated into my comfort zone. Every birth sent me further into a place where I could relax and recharge whenever possible. That place was my pajamas. My television. A nice three mile run. A bowl of ice cream. The key is that I was home and with my kids as often as possible.

Those places are still my favorite. With four kids I think I’ve earned the right to hide in my pajamas every now and again. The problem is when we sit in that comfort zone for so long we lose the desire to do anything else. We lose that urge to go and explore. I lost the desire to be out with friends, to push myself farther than four miles when I run. I never wanted to be anywhere but home with my kids and my ice cream.

Lately, I’ve been trying new things. I’ve been seeing friends, and running farther. I have started to step outside of what is my norm and live a little. My favorite place is still surrounded by my kids, but I’ve learned its okay to have some time away.

I never thought I would enjoy running for an hour. I do. My runs were three or four miles and that was enough. Now I’ve been pushing myself to achieve more, and I’ve been running eight and nine miles. I never realized I could, or that I would want to. It took a friend to say, “Hey, let’s do five today!” to even think about it, and I’m so glad she did.

I was always hesitant to leave my kids for a few hours, or even overnight to do something I enjoy. I still am, but I’m trying to give myself the permission to go and be with adults. This has given me time and memories with my husband and friends that I cherish.

We all need that adult time. We need to give ourselves permission to do something for us. We get lost in managing everyone else and we become an afterthought. I’ve realized I want my kids to see me enjoying adult time and pushing myself to achieve new goals. It’s healthy for them and for me. I want to set an example that shows them balance.

Comfort zones are great, but we can’t sit in them forever.

The past year I’ve seen myself learning and growing. It’s scary, but necessary. There is a saying, “you may be on the right track, but if you stay there too long you’ll get run over.”

How true. You can be comfortable, you can be doing well. But we need to keep reaching beyond what we feel is our norm to continue to grow.

Hope you are all having a fantastical summer. Do something different today. You may surprise yourself.

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