Five Things I Learned This Week – Comfort Zones are Rubbish

Our pets are a reflection of us

We’ve all seen the memes of people who look like their pets and they’re frikken funny. I’ve never really thought about how our pets are a reflection of us. Until now. Last week we moved my partner’s cat back into our house after 5 months since the last time she was here. We went with a different strategy to last time and decided to put her and the dog in a room together, with the dog on a lead and the cat on my step-daughter’s lap and decided to wait it out until they got used to each other being there.

The cat belongs to my step-daughter and the dog is regarded as belonging to my elder son. It was only when we were introducing the animals that it took me back to last year when we introduced the kids to each other. My son’s attitude was very like the dog’s – bouncy, excited and wanted to know more. My step-daughter’s was just like the cat’s – quiet, unsure, reserved with an element of ‘back off buddy until I’ve worked all this out’. A year later and after a lot of ups and downs, the kids get on well and are settled into family life. A week later and the cat and the dog seem to be making quicker strides to friendship and acceptance and while the cat will hiss if the dog gets too close, it doesn’t stop him from trying again.

It’s been an interesting experience and the next time the kids get frustrated with each other I may look to their pets to see the best way of handling it.

Comfort zones are rubbish

This one is courtesy of one of my lovely friends who I promised not to name in this week’s post. Like many of us he spends a lot of time in his comfort zone and often resists stepping outside of it. He recently went abroad and was forced to step outside of his comfort zone on a daily basis and you know what? He loved it! In one of his texts he said ‘turns out, my comfort zone is rubbish and I’m having a lot more fun living outside of it.’ I feel there’s a lesson to be learned here for all of us.

My partner and I are massively out of our comfort zones right now. Change can be hard and take a while to adapt to and while it’s led to misunderstanding, frustration with each other and more than one argument, we still agree that being out of our comfort zone and together is the right path for us. I’m pretty sure that before we know it, what’s new and scary for us right now will soon become our new comfort zone and we’ll be off on our next outside of it challenge. Let’s hope whatever we choose next leads to a few less misunderstandings.

Halloween is fun

I’ve never really been into Halloween. As children my mother never let us go trick or treating and you couldn’t really get costumes the way you can today so there wasn’t any point in dressing up. By the time I moved out of home in my teens we were all too busy being grown up(!) to indulge in childish holidays and I have memories of not answering the door and hiding from trick or treaters on more than one Halloween.

Then my children came along and I half heartedly indulged in it, buying sweets for trick or treaters, the occasional costume featured and my lovely friend Kate would take the kids out trick or treating. Last summer my partner and I got together and all I can say is he must have been a costume designer in a previous life because this man takes costuming seriously. No longer could I get away with shoving the kids in fancy dress and dumping them on Kate. Now the house is decorated as much as it is for Christmas, I carved my very first pumpkin and felt excited when Kate turned up to take the kids trick or treating.

The whole day felt really fun – with my partner headed off to work dressed as Batman at 7:45am, the kids hurrying home from school to get in costumes and have their face painted and even the dog was given a lightening bolt to look like the dog from Bolt the movie. We briefly toyed with dyeing the cat black but after she hissed when we so much as thought of it, we decided to let that one go.

The upshot is I’m now a Halloween convert and cannot believe it’s a whole year until we get to do it all again. It’s a great, fun day and much, much cheaper and less family politics than Christmas.

Always take the compliment

A friend popped round the other day. Unexpectedly because I’d mucked around with our meeting, cancelling one minute then realising I was free to meet. The reason I mention this is because I was straight off the school run, wearing yesterday’s clothes, no make up and was generally feeling a mess but hey, I had coffee so we were good.

As we were chatting he interrupted and said ‘I just want to say, you look really lovely with no make up’. My immediate reaction was to bat away the compliment, to point out I was in yesterday’s clothes, I had a new spot on my cheek and was generally a hot mess. Then I stopped myself and realised that just because I thought of myself that way, didn’t mean that other people do. I shut up, accepted the compliment and it gave me the confidence to crack on with work and not bother to waste time with make up and choosing new clothes. Instead I used the extra time to pop in and see a friend and I wasn’t at all conscious of looking a mess all day.

While I’m not going to make a habit of no make up and yesterdays clothes, I am going to be more conscious of accepting compliments and not being too hard on myself. I’ve always been uncomfortable with the way I look and have gone on to make a concerted effort with how I look and hearing that people value me for me whether it’s fully made up or not, is the best confidence boost of all.

I’m not the only one who loves Bon Jovi

Over the years I’ve been ridiculed by pretty much everyone, other than my bestie, Laura for my love of Bon Jovi. Having discovered them aged 10 they’ve been  present in my life for the last 27 years and I never miss an opportunity to see them. Emails started landing in inboxes early in the week with the news Bon Jovi are coming to Europe next year. Naturally I messaged Laura and we agreed which one of us would be on standby to buy presale tickets (me).

In the 3 days between the announcement and the presale starting my Facebook feed then WhatsApp started filling up with messages about going to the gig. This from people I really didn’t expect, including my twin brother who, after growing up with me playing their music on repeat, said he’d be glad to never hear Bon Jovi ever again. Not going to lie, it’s been awesome. We all got tickets and on the 21st June we’ll be at Wembley, with a meet up during the day planned and I can’t wait. Just goes to show if you are devoted to a band for long enough, eventually they’ll get inducted to the Rock Hall of Fame and everyone will think them brilliant and want to go with you :-).

2018-11-01T23:48:41+00:00

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