Get Out of Your Comfort Zone – But Don’t Zone Out!

Cathy and I have been exploring “trying new things” in a number of our last blogs. Cathy’s attempt to grab Prince George’s birthday as a way to share about HER year and plans for the next was an example. For us over-60s success is about not just getting out of our comfort zones but trying not to zone out.

Are you bored (or more freaked out) by funeral services? At this point they are more common than weddings — a bad sign I fear.

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Do your grandchildren grate on your nerves or seem mundane and uninteresting sometimes even though (of course) you adore them?

Do you find yourself trying hard not to doze off at a concert, while reading a great book, or even when sex is discussed much less happens or is scheduled?

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Staying awake and fully aware is becoming more challenging. We are not zoning out because we don’t care, don’t want to be involved and excited and enriched by life and all the people, places and things in it, but just because it often seems like we’ve “been there, done that” or “heard that, seen that”. Sometimes I am finding that it is harder to WANT to tune in. And that bothers me even more.

With the ugly and terrifying news in Ukraine, Israel/Gaza, the southern US border it is tempting to totally tune out – what’s a fabulous woman to do?

Don’t confuse moving out of your comfort zone (good) with zoning out (mostly NOT good). Understanding significant current events is important—as a citizen of the world, your country and your local town. Just read news versus watching news if you are hyper sensitive—it’s a better way to digress information. And perhaps change the source of your news — go with the BBC instead of CNN. That gets you out of your comfort zone but not zoned out.

Try to bring different hearing and attention to what is going on by asking different questions than you typically do — “Carol, saw you reading the new Clinton book that is getting mixed reviews—what’s your take?” Take more chances in interactions with others — especially if you are often with the same people.

Refuse to do the following:

Thinking, or worse expressing that young people are this, that or the other — but certainly less than we are/were/or will be.

Assuming nothing interesting can happen when the people are the same — we’re all changing if we give each other some fresh air.

Letting yourself off the hook on every single thing with the “I’m tired” or “I don’t feel like it” generic wimp out.

You can stay awake — at least till 9:30 PM — if you stop staying in your own comfort zone and start allowing the strange, new and somewhat frightening things in the door. Whether it’s tasting octopus, meeting a new potential friend for coffee, or trying a unique volunteer opportunity—push yourself with love out of the usual.

Just started a 6 session telecourse with 150 people called Finding Your Way In a Wild New World by Martha Beck. This is for sure lighting a fire under my sense of who and what I can be and do moving forward. But you know I did find myself dozing a little half way through the first session and getting through the dozens of Facebook messages on our course’s closed group page.