We all have our own "comfort zone" where we can successfully navigate through life and trials with confidence and relative security. We know the rules, we have a good idea what we can expect, and we know how to work it. It's a great place to be....except that often when you stay there too long, you stop growing personally. Because things get so predictable....you get used to dealing with things from your comfort zone and they do not challenge you to think outside the box. I am one of those comfort zone people. I create my comfort zone, work hard at maintaining it, and resist change a lot of the time. My comfort zone "frame of mind" is that if I step outside of the comfort zone and problems happen, I might not be equipped to handle them. I might fail miserably and it is scary to take that chance.
Often, the unknown is much scarier than what you are doing currently, even if where you are is not a very good place either. If you live long enough in a "bad" situation, you learn the rules and become comfortable there. A good example of this is when people stay in bad relationships (although this is not what my blog is about). Even though there is a greater chance of finding happiness by ending the relationship, people stay together because there are too many unknown factors that come into play if they were to end the relationship. I have been in relationships like this in the past but thankfully, found my way out into the unknown and now have a better marriage than I ever knew existed.
My personal comfort zone crisis is a bit different. I have been a stay at home Mom for the last 16 years other than an odd job here or there for a very short time. My bio kids (who live with us full time) are faced with challenges. One has bipolar disorder and the other has been tested at 96% for ADHD/ADD. The last few years have been really hard sometimes as the kids got older and hit teen and tween ages. Calls from school, so many doctor's appointments I threatened to bring a cot and just stay, and then trying to keep them from fighting constantly. Literally, there were times when I couldn't take a shower because I couldn't leave them unsupervised for even 10 minuets. The stress was pretty intense so I created a comfort zone.....a way of life that allowed me to deal with these issues and parent my children successfully without "loosing it" mentally myself! It has been working great and things are pretty darn wonderful. Right about the time I start patting myself on the back....don't I know better than to do that yet??? .......there is another curve ball thrown in. I can choose to embrace it with courage or turn and run right back into my comfort zone and say...nope, can't do that. Here is the deal, my hubby's Grandma is living with his parents, has some dementia and now needs to have someone with her all the time. They have asked if I could come two to three days a week to hang out at thier house and be there to check on Grandma, make sure she gets her pills and eats, and call them if any emergent situation should arise. On the surface, no problem! I love Grandma Jo, my horse is out there too, it seems pretty darn easy to do it. Then my comfort zone logic starts kicking in and my brain manifests all these "possible scenarios".....what if one of the kids has an issue, gets sick , etc on the days when I am out there....what will I do all day if its raining....will I still have enough time to get my stuff done at home or will I be stuck doing it on the weekends....will I be too tired to be an effective parent....blah blah blah. This is my way of trying to stay within my comfort zone.....and I don't like it. I don't like that something in my brain is trying to keep me stagnant. I want to help....I love my in laws and Grandma....but some fear based instinct kicks in and causes this whole freak out thing. Thank God my mom in law knows me and understands my need to discuss all possible scenarios and have some solutions available. It's funny because I know that life is unpredictable and that most things planned go awry, and I am ok with that when it happens, but I STILL need to have contingency plans anyway. Um, yea....I know it is rediculous but that is how my brain works. So anyway, I choose courage. I choose the unknown. I choose risk of failure. I choose to GROW. I am ready despite what that nay saying voice in my head tells me.....someone pass me the duct tape..... and more that being just ready, I am excited!!!