Whether you were encouraged (is that really the word I’m looking for?) to eat your vegetables or try new ones, or you can remember the ad campaigns “try it – you’ll like it” for Life cereal, you can probably relate to the concept of, every once in awhile, stepping out of your comfort zone and trying – and even enjoying – a new activity.
Now that my children are older, they often coax me into trying new things, possibly as payback for earlier days. But I think more often than not, it’s because they really want me to like something they like or to keep me ‘growing.’ Because of them I have tried going to movies by myself (LOVE it); tried different beers and mixed drinks (VARYING degrees of success); changed up my wardrobe (WAY uncomfortable); and am learning to let them make their own choices in life (SCARY and at the same time FREEING).
I did once volunteer to do the middle-of-the-night segment for Relay for Life, a fundraising walk for the American Cancer Society. I dreaded the getting up in the middle of the night and walking around for hours. When I actually got to the starting point and began walking, I loved the quiet, the feeling of community among the other middle-of-the-night walkers, and the sunrise that I got to experience first-hand. I bonded with my fellow walkers during our relay and we all went to breakfast together. It was a marvelous experience I would not have had if I had walked at a different (read: preferred) time of day! The middle-of-the-night segment is my absolute first choice now. So, as I contemplated challenging myself to do something else I never thought I would do, I realized I don’t have to take on a high-drama quest like skydiving or embarking on a jungle excursion to expand my horizons. The options for doable ways to get outside my comfort zone and expand my joy factor are limitless.
- I could travel to a new destination by myself for a replenishing weekend (a little daunting, but definitely doable!)
- I could train to run a half marathon or obstacle course. After all, isn’t that just moving a little faster and further than what I’ve already done?
- I could skip grocery shopping for a month and just live on what we have in the pantry and freezer. Now wouldn’t that force me to get creative with meal planning?! And just imagine what new things I could try with a month’s worth of freed-up grocery shopping time! (Caveat to me: I may end up feeling guilty for having so much bounty that my family could survive for a month on what I’ve forgotten is in the cupboard.)
- I could make the choice to not use my car to get me to and from work during these nice summer months – what would I see that I would never see driving?
- I could require myself to write each day as a way to reach my goal of actually writing a book . . .
- I could volunteer for . . .
- I could….
Life is so short. Try something new (that won’t scare your loved ones witless!) to get outside your comfort zone and expand your joy factor! Say YES to something you might usually answer to with a NO. Often the things we don’t do in life are the things we end up regretting. – M
Inspire us – what did you say “yes” to that you found surprisingly to your liking?