It’s nice and cozy in the familiar. I like it there. My favorite familiar is my big, overstuffed dark red chair and my laptop in my office. When I plan my weeks, I’m very careful to squeeze out as much chair time as possible. I’m selective about coffee dates, phone calls, and social calls. As I near the completion of my second novel, my word count directly correlates to my chair time which makes time there all the more valuable to me.
In fact, it’d be easy just to stay in my big red chair and not go anywhere. I get lost in that spot and in the stories in my imagination. It’s where I’m most relaxed.
But the familiar is not necessarily where we grow. It’s the unfamiliar–the new, the never done–that creates the tension necessary for evolution. And these are the things that make us anxious and butterfly-y. (That should be a word if it’s not.) When things make us anxious, it’s easy to pull back and release the tension by avoiding the unfamiliar landscape instead of exploring new lands with humans in them as we are meant to do. It’s easy to quickly fall back in the big, red chair.
I totally get it. In fact, I have the dialogue with myself constantly. Yet, when I do the new thing I’m prompted to do, the resources always line up and I find myself witnessing a line of synchronicities that prove how magical life is. I grow.
A few of these new things are going down for me over the next few weeks. One of those is the Parent Cafes I’m hosting with my friend Marcia for United Advocates for Families and Children. Since there’s no money to spend, I’ve been going out wrestling (and I do mean wrestling) donations in a town where many of the vendors are donationed out. I have to follow up 4, 5, 6 times in some cases.
“Me, again. Not here? Okay, can I leave a number?” That’s my line.
It’s tiring. But we want to put on a nice evening for parents to bond, brainstorm and feel supported–a respite from the confusion of parenting a child with mental health challenges–and you can’t really have a “cafe” without food, right? (I mean, I could, but I’m talking about the rest of the world.)
Getting the grub, laying out the evening, coordinating around two schedules, wondering if we will connect with the people who really need this–all this pulls the tension. Not on a huge scale, mind you, but on a scale strong enough that I feel myself squiggling outside my comfort zone.
I keep thinking, I’ve got to do this every month?!
That’s when the love/hate thing happens. It’s like going to the gym. It’s hard to get yourself there sometimes, and it hurts to work hard, but nobody ever leaves the gym feeling worse. On the contrary, they feel empowered…stronger. We know that we are co-creating the world that we live in and it is up to us to be an equal partner in that creation. To work our muscles.
Where is your big, red comfy chair? More importantly, where do you need to get out of it and go?