Friday, January 8, 2010


2 b : contented well-being (a life of ease and comfort)
3 : a satisfying or enjoyable experience

Yesterday was a great day. Unlike many Nashvillians who stocked up on eggs and milk before the blizzard that wasn't, we prepared by heading to the downtown library and loading up on books and DVDs. This served us well and kept us warm, well-read and happy. So I was planning for more of the same on Snow Day #2 (that's right, less than an inch of snow gets you two days out of school in Nashville - eat your hearts out midwesterners)... until an acquaintance on Facebook asked how so many moms were loving having their kids at home when she had used all of the tricks in her proverbial hat on Snow Day #1. Another mom suggested sledding at a golf course in our neighborhood. It got the kids out of house and made the day go smoothly. So plans were made. They e-mailed a handful of moms and encouraged us to invite anyone who might be interested to join them for sledding .

Now, I would have been far more comfortable staying home. The girls didn't fight a lot yesterday. We still had unread books. The Iliad had chapters left to go. And I would have been safely within my own emotional comfort zone by staying home. I knew a few of the moms going, but I don't know the organizers particularly well. Still, they are both women that I would love to know better. And my word for this year is supposed to be change. And I decided change isn't truly possible if I'm staying in my comfort zone. I'm going to have to step out on a limb or two if I want to change and if I want to embrace the changes coming my way.

I realize that it may not sound like a big step to some of you: I bundled up my children and took them sledding with a group. Is this really a big change? No, it's not a big change. But it is a change. I've never been sledding in my life (not a lot of snow in southern Alabama). I didn't know these women well. It was cold outside (my toes were frozen by the time we left). It would have been far easier to stay at home, in my comfort zone.

But I found along the way that sometimes a satisfying or enjoyable experience (see definition of comfort above) is found outside of your comfort zone. The girls had a great time today - each for different reasons. A and K didn't end up staying very long to sled. K had worn plenty of layers (as I was instructed by her Wisconsinite father) but she's tiny. She was also terrified of the dogs that two families had brought along, friendly though the dogs were and wasn't too keen on the thrill of jetting down a golf cart path on a cardboard box.

A went down the hill a few times with her friend, but was more than happy to head home with said friend while we continued to play. She and her friend E feasted on grilled cheese sandwiches, soup and cookies, then watched a movie. It was a very grown up snow day for my ten year old.

B, on the other hand, loved the sledding. This didn't come as a huge surprise, in spite of her initial complaints that we couldn't sled on cardboard and that she didn't want to wear more than one layer. If it's at all adrenalin inducing, B loves it. She and I have agreed to parachute together to celebrate her 21st birthday, in part because I figure this will keep her feet on the ground until then. And while A is an introvert, who was thrilled to find one good friend attending our outing, B had a half-dozen friends there and was thrilled to run up the hill and slide down again with a various assortment of girls.

So I found myself having a very satisfying and enjoyable experience out there on the hill of a golf course, in the cold. Because today reminded me that when I'm willing to step out of my comfort zone and attempt change, I get something better than mere comfort.

1 comment:

Variations On A Theme said...

Oh! I so missed being there with everyone! Thank you SO much for taking pictures and taking care of my girlie!

This post reminds me of the difference between introverts and extraverts. Sometimes when it's an event where I don't know anyone, I look forward to it, because I'll get to meet and talk with new people.

My husband(your INTJ twin), on the other hand, isn't necessarily shy to meet new people, but he detests small talk. Is this familiar to you?