It's good to leave your 'comfort zone' | Patty Luzzi

It’s hard to know when I first heard the phrase. It has crept quietly into the modern lexicon, burrowing in like a tick on a dog. There’s nothing wrong with the phrase or the individual words, it’s merely a concept that irritates me.

Now that I have you guessing, and perhaps made you a bit uncomfortable, the phrase I’m considering is “comfort zone.” Over the last few years the usage of this 11-letter sequence has become so common that it pops up daily in interviews and conversation.

The reason I have been thinking about this is that I have entered my 60th year on this planet, a year that will culminate in a big birthday next spring. I wouldn’t say that I’m having a crisis, but I just want to make sure that my comfortable routine in life does not keep me from trying new things and saying “yes” as much as possible.

To this end, I took a road trip to see my son John’s band at the closest venue on the current tour. I drove to Spokane with his fiancé, and when we arrived we were given VIP passes.

John was really gracious and introduced me to everyone. I’m sure I was the oldest person in the building (the featured band was huge with fans who are now in their 30s and 40s). A random guy asked me for Oxycontin. When I laughed out loud with surprise, he walked away. This was nowhere near my “comfort zone!” And coupled with the pride I felt when John took the stage with his band mates, the adventure was so much better than staying home.

A few weeks later I decided to take a road trip to meet Connor, the newest Murphy in my Montana family. Lenny couldn’t go because he had commitments, so I took off by myself. Instead of visiting my family in Helena first, I decided to take a small detour to Yellowstone. I toured the entire park, found new trails, ate weird snacks at odd times, and had a blast. Turns out I’m a good traveling companion!

I know everyone arranges a routine to give life a sense of stability. But when I saw John onstage, when I held my nephew’s son, and feasted at a barbecue with my brother’s families, I decided that getting out of my “comfort zone” just might become a habit.


Patty Luzzi has lived on the Eastside for 33 years. Readers can contact her at pattyluzzi@yahoo.com.

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