I am a people person. I love large crowds, I love meeting new people and new experiences. Of course it must all be to my choosing, especially as I get set in my ways. So, all is good as long as things are in my comfort zone. I am finding that when I am forced out of that comfort zone; do to whatever circumstances, it bugs the crap out of me. Especially now at midlife when unexpected changes seem to be coming in droves! I see it happening to many people my age. Some may be major like a move, a new job, going back to school. Others may be minor, but it still brings a sense of dread and fear. Maybe fear is a strong word for the minor changes. More like unease and discomfort, which lets face it, at this stage of our life is not appealing. We are now always looking for constant peace. This is the beginning of our second life and we want it stress free! Is that too much to ask for? YES! (Test your Comfort Zone HERE My comfort zone score was 67.7 out of 100! This quiz is cool, quick, and easy with great advice to make changes!)
A few weeks ago I was put into a situation that I knew would either be very uncomfortable or pleasantly palatable. My daughter had a dance performance/convention in Chicago and several moms from the studio were driving up. I reached out to the one I was willing to be in a car with for 4.5 hours, but her car was already full. She stated that another mom was going alone and I could ride with her and we would caravan. Now I knew this mom for years and adored her girls but I didn't know her… you know? Really know her. I'm pretty picky when it comes to confining myself into a small space with someone for several hours. An acquaintance was not high on my list. I thought to myself Matuschka quit being so stuck in your ways and a closed off bitch. Hell, I have my own issues. Riding with me for 4.5 hours can be challenging. I have a WE DON'T STOP TO PEE rule for trips under 5 hours! Here is where I can insert that as you mature you do follow your gut more and you think things through. I listened to the voice whispering to me, "Everyone gets put into your life for a reason." So I said yes to the road trip. Yes, to talking to someone who I was not sure we had anything in common to talk about. We had never been to lunch together or at a party. Actually I had never spoken more than three sentences to this person my entire life.
We met at her house. Stuffed the car and took off. Fifteen minutes into the trip and we were in great conversation. By the time we hit the outskirts of Chicago we turned into a comedy skit. She was unfamiliar with the suburban area we were looking for and needed help from her passenger. But I was watching an important hockey game on a live feed that my son was playing in Pittsburgh against Indiana. So I had Siri talking to me on her phone in one hand. My iPad with the hockey game was on my lap, and my i-phone in my other hand was getting texts from mothers following us. Unfortunately they were pissed that we were switching lanes last minute, because Siri wasn't recognizing the tolls. We were laughing our asses off and practically crying. I'm sure she was thinking, " I'm riding with this chick that has totally left me hanging." The ride home was yet another experience of being under pressure in unexpected circumstances with someone new. We got caught in a horrific storm where we had some scary moments. I'm a control freak and she was driving… Breathe, that's it… big breaths Matuschka. It took us 6.5 hours to get home on pitch black roads with pelting rain and severe winds. The caravan had been dismantled so we were on our own. We prayed, kept each other focused and stayed light hearted as our girls slept in the back. I took a chance and stepped out of my comfort zone of road trip rules and rituals. (Damn if we didn't stop 2 hours into the drive, because of another car not ours. grrr) Road Trips to Chicago; which there are many, will now trigger big smiles. There are street names and exits on Interstate 55 I will never forget because of my road trip with Theresa Callahan. It's not easy at midlife to step out of the box or stretch our comfort zone. But ohhh the blessings you can get by doing so are worth it! My Blessing was a road trip to remember and the beginning of a great friendship.
Keep looking forward so you don't miss what God puts in front of ya!
Matuschka's Midlife... Telling it like it is...