My friend Janet characterizes herself as logical, reserved, and content in her comfort zone. She is lovely- I just can’t understand that bit about the comfort zone. Doesn’t it get boring to just stick to what you know?
I decided to give her the fantastic opportunity to step out of her comfort zone today. I’m caring like that.
I challenged Janet to choose a moment sometime during the day to be me, and then tell me how it went.
A couple of hours later, she came back with an uneasy look on her face. “I just ran around talking excitedly to a whole bunch of people,” she told me.
“Uh-huh… I probed.
“They all smiled and looked excited to stop and chat with me.”
“That’s a good thing…” I wasn’t quite getting the point.
“I was being you,” she told me.
The pieces were coming together.
“That’s great!” I exclaimed, “Out of your comfort zone! What was it like for you?”
“Well,” she stammered, “I liked it. It was fun. But I don’t want to like it. I just want to be me.”
I beamed. A small identity crisis is good for us every once in a while.
A Kid at Heart
He has a unique way of looking at the world. Marches to his own beat really. He’s kind, reflective.
He’s counting down the days to retirement when he can putter away on projects at home, spend time with his grandchildren, ponder how to build a better mouse trap. He’s a practical man, finds no use for abstract hypotheticals- what’s the point of wasting energy on things that don’t exist? He does have a point…
He told me once about a large family gathering he attended. The adults were busy discussing politics, their jobs, how their stocks were doing, and there he was, down on the floor playing with the kids. He was alive, energetic, teaching and learning, getting excited with them about small discoveries.
One of the adults pulled him aside. It wasn’t proper for him to spend all his time playing with the children, he was told. He needed to be among his own cohort.
“But what if,” he quipped, “the kids are more interesting than the grown-ups?”
Yesterday he showed up in a pair of cool Converse shoes, white with brown flaps. His plaid shirt accentuated the look. Here was this 62 year old man in hip teenage clothes. And you know what? They suited him just fine.
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