Writer on a Horse
And a Dog

The world looks better from the back of a horse and the roads of life are easier with a good dog beside you.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Spiritual Journey Thursday.. Stepping out of your comfort zone

This is a really hard blog for me.... because I'm open to anything, I will ask anything of anyone, I will talk to anyone, do anything... but water ski and I would do that except I nearly drown every time I try.

I was raised by a Yankee mother who told me every day..."Patty Jean, you're as good as anyone but no better than anyone."

I lived next to a Granny that told me every day..."God has special plans for you, don't let him down."

I had an aunt on my Daddy's side (he was the only boy) that told me I didn't matter because I would not carry on the Trousdale name to which I would say "Thank Goodness!"

If I didn't win in sports, I tried harder until I did.  If I wanted to create something like a quilt, cooking, gardening ... I tried until I did it and was good at it.  My mother died when I was 27 but she was sick three years before that.  My Granny died when I was 18 and I miss talking to her every day.  So, I guess I stepped out of my comfort zone when my mother died.  I had to do more for the family, be more for my brothers, work harder to be sister, daughter, wife, mother.

Now, don't y'all dare feel sorry for me because it has made me a confidant woman.  Able to solve any problem the world throws at me and able to be see and appreciate all the special blessing in my life.

When I was fifty years old, I told my husband I wanted to start writing again.  I had not written anything since high school.  He said okay and turned back to the television.  I said, "I wasn't asking for permission, I was asking for your blessing."  He said, "Okay."  MEN!

I thought about it for about a month... where to start... then my Granny's words of wisdom came to me.

Start walking you'll come out somewhere.

So, I did.  Conferences, reading how-to books, writing, retreats, and making writing friends

Wait, I think I've gotten off topic here... stepping out of comfort zone.  Here are some pointers.

1. When someone you love dies... remember the love ones you have alive. Hold close cherish memories that will keep them alive in spirit.  Write them down and pass them down

2.  Remember who you are but don't be afraid to change.  Take ballroom dancing classes, learn to paint, climb that mountain (oh no scratch that I hate to hike...but you can climb that mountain) ride a horse, scuba dive but don't water ski you might drown.

3. It's okay to end a feud.  You don't have to say their right, just start the conversation.  I'm sorry I upset you, can we talk about it.

4. Fear is your brain saying to be careful... Be careful and proceed

5. Throw your face into the wind and laugh... cry at the beauty of a sunset, kiss your love everyday with the passion you feel in your heart.  Knock down those comfort barriers, grow, reach for dreams, learn something new everyday.

Look in the mirror every morning and say... I can... and do it

I'm going to share one of my flash fiction (only it's not fiction for some)
All I want to say is baby steps toward a goal is all you need.  Believe in yourself and everyone else will believe too.  Afraid to let others read your pieces... get over it ... who cares if they like it or not.... listen to them... think about what they say and grow..... some of my best stuff came from listening to people who didn't like my story.... I got beyond what they were saying and understood what they were saying.  Okay, this is just a piece I wrote one Thanksgiving morning after visiting a nursing home.  You might be sad for what she lost but I'm happy she has that plate and memories.

A winkled finger touches the rose and ivy design on the china plate.  Tears fill her eyes, and she quickly closes them.  Reaching for the handkerchief she always keeps in her sweater pocket, Labecca wipes the evidence of emotion from her cheek. 
Any emotion brought questions, doctors and medicines to stop you from feeling.  Memories should be allowed to flow because they painted joy, hope and love into your life.  With them your essence is like a masterpiece painted by an artist; without them you are like a wisp of smoke waiting to leave. 
Labecca looks around her small room with beige tile on the floor, beige paint on the wall and earth tone bedspread on the bed.  No color!  She feels herself fade into the neutral texture of the room and its nothingness strangles all hope of happiness from her. 
She glances down at the only piece of china left from her life as a daughter, sister, mother and wife.  Every Thanksgiving she had set her wedding china for her family’s feast.  After the meal, she washed each piece by hand to preserve it for the next annual tradition.  But what happens to tradition when you’re the only one left?
Carefully placing the plate in the wire basket attached to her walker, Lebecca struggles to rise and starts the long walk to the dining area.  As she shuffles down the sterile hallway the sound of children laughing haunts her.


Irene Latham said...

Pat, this post is just bursting with goodness! Thank you. I love how you are a collector of all the wisdom passed down to you... and what good advice: take the first step. Also this: remember who you are but don't be afraid to change. So wise. My post is about what I'm learning about getting out of my comfort zone from illustrator Eric Rohmann: http://irenelatham.blogspot.com/2017/07/getting-out-of-my-comfort-zone-with.html

Violet N. said...

Pat, thanks for choosing this interesting subject this week, and being a good example of someone who doesn't live in save zones. There's so much voice and personality in your post. It was fun to read. Your second bit of advice "Remember who you are but don't be afraid to change" also jumped out at me. I also loved your flash fiction.

My post today is about being the party hostess (not my comfortable zone...) It's here: https://vnesdolypoems.wordpress.com/2017/07/06/party-hostess

Carol Varsalona said...

Pat, your learned wisdom on stepping out of the comfort zone is refreshing and empowering. I have been grappling with the process of dying recently as I watched a close friend move in patterns toward a final resting place. Today starts the next cycle: the wake, funeral, and after-mass gathering. Life takes so many twists and turns so all of this has been swimming in my head until I finally wrote:

Karen Eastlund said...

Pat: Thank you for you thought-provoking post. You touched on several ideas that inspire me, but I'll stick with the theme. I recently had an experience getting out of my own comfort zone. I am one of the youngest of a large family, and I lost a brother recently. I flew to SD for his funeral, and rented a car to drive to his town. I brought along a GPS unit to help me. I thought I would be fine, but the car was totally foreign to me. Pushbutton starter left me flummoxed. I couldn't find the receptacle to plug in my GPS, I couldn't even turn the radio off. What??? I had to ask for help twice before I ever got out of the parking lot. The poor young man who helped me must have thought I was a dinosaur, but he politely answered my questions and repeated "Yes Ma'am" until I had to smile. Finally I asked, "Are you confident I can drive this car? "Yes Ma'am!" Which was good because I really didn't have another option. Then I was late, it was getting dark. And all the roads were torn up. And I lost my maps. I didn't have my hubby with me to calm me, though I did call him numerous times by phone. Bottom line, I was a mess! Ultimately I got to my brother's house, made a good decision and parked the car and rode with relatives for the remainder of the stay. In retrospect, I learned quite a bit by getting out of my comfort zone, but I was also anxious and close to meltdown at a time when I was already in meltdown. So... my learning is that when you decide to step out of your comfort zone, do it thoughtfully. Pick your situations carefully. Don't add anxiety to misery. Keep some lines of support open, even when you step out. Especially when you step out. Be patient with yourself, and gentle, and remember that a prayer or two would not go amiss.

Margaret Simon said...

Thanks for hosting today. This is a great topic. We should all think about how we can push ourselves to be better, to do better. I am teaching my first writing institute for teachers next week. Yikes! Here's my post: https://reflectionsontheteche.wordpress.com/2017/07/06/spiritual-thursday-getting-out-of-my-comfort-zone/

Donna Smith said...

There is always room to push yourself higher, farther, deeper than before...and always good to remember your grandmother's words about being as good as anyone else but no better - it can get you through some insecurities and guard against the pitfalls of thinking too much of oneself!
Thanks for hosting today.
Here's my link:
Into the Dis-Comfort Zone

Doraine said...

Such a good topic. Sorry I don't have much to say except this is exactly where I am today!


Ramona said...

I love the wisdom in this post. Two pieces of advice stick out for me.
First, Granny's words: "Start walking you'll come out somewhere."
And then this pointer from you: "Remember who you are, but don't be afraid to change."
And your flash fiction was a beautiful piece of writing. Thanks for sharing.
Here's my post - https://pleasuresfromthepage.blogspot.com/2017/07/spiritual-journey-first-thursday.html

Leigh Anne Eck said...

Experiencing loss and hardship makes us stronger, and this is obviously the case for you. I love your Grandmother's words of wisdom. She is right, we must start walking. Here is my post for the journey: https://histurn.blogspot.com/2017/07/comfort-zones.html

I am a formal quilter so I love your connection with quilts. Thank you for hosting this month.