Monday, August 13, 2012

Whose Comfort Zone is This Anyway?

It's one of my favorite quotes.  I found it on a coffee mug in NYC a few years ago.  I’ve put it on my Facebook page, it’s part of my Twitter tag, it’s been on my blog.  I get comments about it all the time.
"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." 
Mostly I use that quote when justifying something stupid I want to do like run a half-marathon in Antarctica, or go cave diving in Mexico, or zip-lining  in some rainforest.

Practicing our panicked looks last spring.
But today I watched my 10-year-old son get ready to go to his first sleep-away camp. He’ll be gone from home for five days.  As I took him into the meeting space to check in with his counselor and the rest of his teammates, he had a distinctly panicked look in his eyes.

He was definitely well out of his comfort zone.  And some bumper-sticker/coffee-mug wisdom about life being better because of that was not going to help him.

I had to fight every urge not ask him if he wanted to forget the whole thing and just go home.  I wanted to wipe that panicked look from his eyes.  I wanted to hug him and love him and protect him…

But then I took a deep breath and thought: what exactly was I trying to protect him from? Growth? Meeting new people? Having fun?

Leaving his comfort zone?

So I watched him board the bus, waved to him one last time and left him to go have his adventure. I’ll look forward to hearing all about it when he gets back on Friday.

 I guess today life begins for both of us at the end of his comfort zone.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you, Janie! Letting him leave his, and your, comfort zone. It's one of those bittersweet milestones.