It seems to me that as I get older, my comfort zone shrinks. I am very comfortable on my lanai — a space just large enough for two rocking chairs, a lamp table, and a few plants. I do leave the lanai, of course, to go to my part-time job at church. I used to travel quite a bit internationally, yet now I am content with less frequent travel, and to countries where I have already traveled. I enjoy the friends I have made over the years, and sometimes feel that it would take great effort to make new friends.
There are times, however, when I am able to push the limits of my “comfort zone.” Creating and writing a blog is perhaps the best example! New experiences require a willingness to take risks and an acceptance of unexpected results. In this first week of this blog, I have received so many votes of confidence from family and friends that I am encouraged to continue.
A second example of my trying the “uncomfortable” is my new adventure with painting. Years ago, I thought I might like to paint, but doubted that I could put on paper or canvas what I was seeing. I looked to photography instead. For years, I have been photographing birds-of-paradise, perhaps my favorite flower. I saw them first in California, and now am surrounded by them here in Florida. A few weeks ago, I joined a painting class (acrylics) at my church. Our artist instructor asked us simply to start painting! I knew nothing about brushes, colors, mixing acrylic paints — anything beyond elements of good composition that I learned in photography. It was a bit scary “jumping into the pool at the deep end.” What I discovered is that I enjoy painting much more than I thought I would. Sometimes, moving beyond one’s comfort zone has unexpected and pleasant results! My third painting is of a bird-of-paradise — copied from one of my own photographs.