When we arrived at my surprise anniversary present from my husband, I was not so thrilled.
Like. Literally not so thrilled.
In fact, I believe the words out of my mouth were, “What if I die?!”
Yep. Big mistake when you have children in the car with you. Especially children that understand words like “What. If. I. Die…???” And can associate that with panic and not playfulness.
My daughter. She’s a sweet soul. My non-comforting statement/question/astonishment sent her spiraling out of control, “I don’t want you to die, Mommy!”
Tears. Tears. Tears. Down her cheeks they did fall.
Sometimes my mouth runs and my mind shuts off. This was obviously one of those times.
You know. We all have those moments. When either we say something that someone hears. Something we should not have said at all. And, if you are a parent, you can also envision those moments when your children did that, too. You know, when your precious ball of innocence said something that he or she shouldn’t have said in front of people that shouldn’t have heard what your little darling had to say.
I am sure you are giggling at your memory right now. Or cringing.
As for me. I had to quickly suck up my fear. Put on a brave face. Hug my daughter. And then assure her about 50 bazillion times—“Mommy is NOT going to die! She IS going to be okay. It will be FUN!” Pause. “Mommy was WRONG!”
While whispering to my husband out of the side of my mouth at the same time, “I’m NOT going to die, am I?”
And he is doing the same to me that I was doing to her, “You will be okay! It will be fun! You are NOT going to die! You will get to raise your children. No worries!”
Needless to say. We did take off. We did land. I did live. And it was fun. Not just fun. Small f. It was FUN. Capital F.
Not only was it fun, but it, my journey in the chitty-chitty bang-bang flying contraption, taught me something valuable. That sometimes we need to get out of our comfort zone and live a little.
Taught me. Or reminded me. You choose.
And today I would like to teach, remind, or encourage you, too.
Here are the 4 encouragements that I learned while flying high in the sky. Hopefully these 4 encouragements will also help you as you choose to sometimes “Get out of your own comfort zone and live a little!”
1. See What You Are Made Of!
There is a quote by Neale Donald Walsch that says, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” What is your comfort zone? Perhaps if you don’t know what it is, you should set about trying to find it. A new hobby? A new sport? A new country or adventure? A new color on the walls of your kitchen? Perhaps even a new friendship?
We often hear the quote “We are creatures of habit.” It is true. I drive the same car as that quote. Comfortable. Cozy. Sweatpants. Creature of habit.
And that is why my husband is the perfect man for me. He puts things in my path that make me swerve my car and go off road!
I encourage you today. Or maybe tomorrow. Go off road for a moment. Enjoy a new trip outside of your comfort zone and see what it is that you are made of!
2. Experience a Different Sort of High!
Here is the perfect quote for those of us that appreciate set boundaries, lines, and living life within those pretty, neat, and clearly discernible markings:
I think that sometimes we need to just jump outside of that crayon box, off of that perfect canvas, and make our mark in the world in a completely unique way!
I am sure that you clearly remember reading about Ramona Quimby growing up. And I am sure as you read about her, you would close your eyes and just imagine what it would be like to be that carefree! To hop around like a bunny. To tag along after Henry on his paper route. To get STUCK in the mud in your beautiful new, red boots. Or to simply chase Davey and try and kiss him on the playgrounds at school.
Yes. We could close our eyes and dream what it would be like to live like Ramona. Carefree. But sometimes after we opened our eyes we would tell ourselves that we need to come back to reality and behave “normally”.
But what is normal, really? And who said we must color inside of the lines?
Surely the greatest artists in the world didn’t have perfectly in sync paintings that lined their walls or the souls of their heart.
They splashed paint, blended colors, and dreamt big.
They colored outside of the lines and went down in history for making their marks as geniuses. As beauty. As great.
Color outside of the lines and see what sort of high you experience. Perhaps you will learn that life is just as fun with a slightly messy living room but a yard full of art masterpieces.
Perhaps you will learn that the dishes can wait until tomorrow—but the spontaneous trip to the mountains cannot.
Perhaps you will learn that you like to fly high, snowboard low, or swim with the manta rays.
How can you color outside of the box?
3. Appreciate What You Have!
I think often the greatest lessons we learn about appreciation come when we no longer have something to appreciate. And I believe that if you go outside of your comfort zone, you will learn a greater lesson about appreciation.
You will appreciate your family more. For being that steadfast and constant.
You will appreciate your child’s smile once again. For as you ventured out to do something different, you came back to realize that the smile that lights up every time you walk in the room is as grand as the adventure you just had.
You appreciate your couch. And your favorite blanket. And your mug. The same, chipped mug that you use day in and day out to drink your same cup of coffee (well, fresh coffee, same roast).
When you jump outside of your comfort zone, you realize that what you have waiting for you upon return is gloriously perfect. It is so perfect that when you reenter your comfort zone, you see everything that had become mundane as beautiful and new. As steadfast and constant. What was once a worn down couch is now the perfect bun-hugging spot. What was once your messy kitchen is now your comfort zone.
Yes. Stepping outside of our comfort zone does not mean that we stay there forever. Sometimes we stretch ourselves simply to find ourselves. And sometimes the best part about finding ourselves is rediscovering all of the treasures we have always had.
And you can quote me on that.
4. Do It For Your Children!
Parents! Set the examples for your children. When you step outside of your comfort zone, then they will learn to do the same.
I love the quote above. It crosses out the im and the un and let’s us see that it is POSSIBLE. It is ATTAINABLE.
Our dreams. Our children’s dreams. Our lives.
Be brave. Teach your children that “The sky is NOT their limit.”
I will end with one of my favorite quotes, “Shoot for the moon, because even if you miss, you’ll land in the stars.” (Les Brown).
Perhaps getting out of your comfort zone does not turn out as you anticipate. Well, at least you tried something new and learned from it along the way.
Even if that something is that you really appreciate what you have, where you are, and how you live!
Maybe those are your stars?
Like being a mommy and raising my children are mine.
Now, I hope that you, like me, take off on a new adventure. Even if what you venture into the sunset with is but a mere chitty-chitty-bang-bang car that flies!
Enjoy riding into the sunset with me as I stepped outside of my comfort zone. Let me know how you do the same!