Sunday, August 29, 2010

Comfort Zone

I spent my weekend outside of my comfort zone although I didn’t wander far. Only to Denton on Saturday with my son and Carrollton on Sunday with two dear girlfriends. Now’s that sad that such few miles take me out of my zone. Except it really isn’t. I like my comfort zone. We baby boomers have worked hard to get to our comfort zone. Like generations before us, we struggled and fought years for equal rights in the work place, equal say over our bodies, and equal rights for the minorities. We feel that we’ve earned the right to snuggle into our comfort zone at this time of our lives.

My comfort zone is the place where I nurture myself, unwind from the stresses of work and the world and I only step out of it with special people in my life, my son and close friends. When I’m really blessed, a new friend like Alexis will drop into my comfort zone for a short visit.

Other times we have to clean out our comfort zone. I had to do that this week—a chore I needed to do several years ago but kept putting off like cleaning out the clothes in my closet that no longer fit. I resigned from my writing group that has been a major part of my life for over fifteen years. This should have been more painful than it was and that makes me sad. But it taught me that our comfort zone isn’t stagnant; it breathes in and out and can’t nourish us unless we keep it fresh and renewed.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I gave up writing two years ago or it gave me up. Either way, I didn’t resist much. I’d lost my passion I figured. I blamed it on getting old perhaps, a condition that I’ve been suffering from way too much, way too early. But being 64 is not old. It’s the beginning of a new era if I stop being afraid of it. So why am I so afraid? Maybe because I don’t know how to be old? Being one of the first baby boomers, I don’t have many role models. Instead, I am one of the leaders of the pack. I’m the one who’s supposed to leave the bread crumbs for others to follow but I can’t seem to find my loaf of whole-wheat bread.

I have a niece (by marriage so I can’t take credit for the gene pool) that I’ve encouraged to write. She’s a natural writer with a gift of voice and writing style that I covet. She wrote a particularly poignant piece last week that exposed her wounded heart and I was again awe-stuck with her writing ability and honesty. It made me wonder though, that perhaps this is why I stop writing? That (hopefully) I’ve reached that age where I won’t have my heart broken again or that (sadly) I’m at an age where this is all that I get or am.

When I complained to a friend that I had nothing to write about anymore, she said that I was being silly. “You have so many interesting stories in you that no one else can write-- your childhood, your marriages, your jobs.”

I whined. “That’s all in the past. I have no future.”

Pretty pathetic, huh? Thankfully I heard myself and mentally pulled myself off the pity pot I’d been wasting away on for too long. The writing gods weren’t convinced yet that I really got it so when I went home for lunch, I found my September/October issue of AARP waiting. And just for me, they included an article titled: Unleash your Inner Genius! Okay, I’m really not that narcissist, nor am I a potential genius, but I am smart enough to get the hint that I’m the problem, not my age.

Still, just in case I needed a smidgeon more convincing, my talented niece wrote me this: “The problem I see for that when I write a lot and things that are heartfelt it is typically when my heart is broken or aching. I destined for a life of misery in order to be a writer? :) “

Dear Niece, here’s my answer and trust me, I’ve taken forty years plus the last three days to find the correct answer: “OMG – No!”

Neither do I.

Two weeks ago I met a fascinating woman from Chicago who suggested and encouraged me to start this blog. She even gave me the theme for it. Hopefully you will enjoy it. If not, let me know and I’ll send you her e-mail address.