The value of hindsight. When I look back at the later years of my marriage, “uncomfortably comfortable” is probably how I would describe it.
I wouldn’t have described it that way then. Not when I was in it.
Now, in retrospect, my ex and I had gotten to the ‘comfort zone.’ Only, I didn’t realize how uncomfortable it was there. We had fallen into what my friend and I refer to as the Bermuda Triangle: young kids, married more than 10 years with a lifestyle that needs both incomes to support. Our pace was fast, the kids were first, our ‘couple time’ was nil and I was exhausted. But, it looked normal.
Skip ahead. Next thing I knew, I was SHOVED outside my comfort zone. With both hands. Hard. Can’t say that I enjoyed it. But a lot happened out there, as I clawed and scratched to get back in. To no avail.
Out there, I was forced to learn a lot about myself. Learn tough lessons – often times the hard way. All before I was allowed back in.
Now, I’m trying not to stay cozy all the time. For example, that’s why I took the new job. An unnerving decision when I made it, but the rewards are now above and beyond what I thought. I’m still figuring out a lot, there are bumps, but overall, I'm very happy I went.
I love that graphic above. It’s so true. I’ve been trying to force myself to practice it. Such as, say things I’d normally keep to myself. Identify what really works for me. Ask for what I need. Un-GOD-ly unpleasant -- for me.
But I’m determined not to repeat my own history. I need to use a new plan. Or, maybe stop planning and go with the flow? I’m not sure.
What’s missing from that graphic? It’s not always magic that happens out there. Sometimes, it’s sheer fear. Disappointment. Sadness. Maybe even regret. And of course, retreat. Retreat to the familiar. The safe.
However, there is a sweet spot outside of my comfort zone. I’ve found it several times. I didn't know where it was, until I was out there and trying. I’m not always succeeding, but I am trying.
When I find myself slipping into my old habits, I start to push. I’d rather push myself than be shoved.
Plus, I know, I don’t ever want to be ‘uncomfortably comfortable’ again. Now, I'm going for more of a ... comfortably uncomfortable. That's a big difference.