Comfort Zone
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Comfort Zone

Affirmation:  I am either green and growing or ripe and rotten.
The conversation revolved around the question, “What did you learn today?”  I like to learn.  I am always looking for opportunities to gain more information, more knowledge.  Maybe that’s the reason I went back to school and did a Masters in Social Work as an “older” adult.  There is a lot of information out there, however, and I know I can only absorb so much.  So, I am fairly selective about what I choose to let in.  But, I do love to learn and my intention is to never stop. 
When I spoke to this very sharp elderly woman who had just moved to an adult facility, she told me that she was determining who she would choose as her dinner partners based on the question, “What did you learn today?”  She said the number of people who tell her they not only didn’t learn anything today but also didn’t do anything today, was staggering.  She didn’t intend to have dinner with any of them.
I think when we are always looking to learn, it means we have to step outside our comfort zones.  If we stay in that box where we feel safe, we seldom will see or hear anything new.  We have to be brave.  We have to step out there.
I like to go to an aerobics class at my gym.  There’s quite a large group that shows up regularly.  There’s also a regular teacher and we always do about the same type of moves.  It’s not very exciting, but it does get my heart rate up and burn up a few calories.  Today, we had a new teacher.  She was enthusiastic and very knowledgeable, but her approach to the class was different than the other teacher.  She announced that she would be adding two dance routines to the program.  I love to dance.  I dance whenever the opportunity presents itself.  I have been accused of being drunk quite a few times because of my total abandonment when I dance.  (I was not drinking.)  So, I thought it was a great idea.  Besides, it was new and different and maybe I’d learn something.  I must say when she turned that music on and the class began to shimmy and shake, the energy level in that room soared.  We did both dances and I thought it was great fun.  (I would wouldn’t I?)  But, when the 2 dances were over, I looked around and realized several people had left the class.  They’d never left the class when the usual teacher was there.  And, besides the leavers, people were grumbling about this type of exercise being inappropriate for their age.  Oh, yuck!  I was amazed.  I judged.  I thought this would be for me, just like the lady I met who was filtering people based on their daily experiences; I probably wouldn’t want to spend time with those people who weren’t open enough to experience something a little different than their normal.
What do you think?  I know life is short and sometimes we just shouldn’t be bothered doing things that we don’t like.  But, if you don’t at least give it a try, how will you know?  How will you grow?  Step outside of your comfort zone.  Do something every day that challenges you.  If you don’t your world will become small and smaller until you shrivel up and fall off the vine, like a rotten piece of fruit.  Choose growth, choose adventure, choose learning, choose life. 
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