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  • Kelly Marks

Comfort Zones

Every time Paul and I have moved or even simply rearranged a room, we find that we do not exactly follow gender stereotypes which usually ends up with some name calling and lots of laughter.


You see, Paul has a much better eye for placement than I do. I don’t know if it’s spatial awareness or what, but he can look at the room and see that something will fit or that it won’t. I, on the other hand, can measure both the furniture and the space and even if they clearly don’t match, I won’t believe it until I see it.


Part of the problem is also the fact that I want to jump in and just move stuff around, but Paul wants to take the time to measure the room. Having the facts right up front is probably a smarter way to go.


Unlike the literal house, the size and shape of the figurative rooms in my life change, and sometimes it’s a good idea to take the new measurements and reassess.


For example, the size of my comfort zone has changed recently. We’ve always worked from home so covid didn’t change things too much in the beginning. I was comfortable with staying home.


I will admit it got a little dicey when work stopped, but I adjusted. Then work started back online, and I got super comfortable with that. Pajama pants and flip flops at work are a very good thing.


But the problem with all these things was that they drastically reduced the size of my comfort zone. Please don’t think I’m turning into Emily Dickinson and staying on the family estate for 20 years, but I got so very comfortable staying home, I just didn’t have the desire to leave when things started getting back to normal.


Traveling is just not as joyous as it once was. My mom worked for USAir and for many years I could fly for free. I will say that during that time I missed enough flights and was bumped from so many flights that I have always been a nervous wreck until I make it through security and am on the boarding ramp. Then and only then do I feel secure.


But covid intensified those nerves. I recognized it when Paul and I went to Boston in November, and I feel it again now as we leave for NYC (and drive a rental car out of LaGuardia), but I’m glad I recognized it, and I’m glad I’m doing something that makes me anxious.


Self-examination is a grand thing, and if you don’t like what you see - change it. Push and challenge yourself, and don’t worry about what others think. What’s easy for one person is frightening for another.


Our comfort zone and our confidence levels fluctuate in proportion together. The larger your comfort zone, the greater your confidence. When we push our walls back a little, the world opens up just a little more as well. And maybe with that tiny bit of opening the sofa will fit after all.



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