Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Comfort Zone- Toya

Does anyone remember Vanessa Williams' album The Comfort Zone?  Vanessa has hits y'all. Don't sleep. 

I think Steve Harvey may be my fairy godfather.

Every morning at 5 AM, my alarm clock goes off because I have the intention of hitting the snooze button to finally get up at 5:15 and work out. Now mind you, I sometimes don't get out of the bed until 7:20, but it goes off nonetheless.  Anyway, it goes off at the exact time that the Steve Harvey Morning show comes on. Every morning Steve Harvey gives a morning inspirational pep talk and every morning I listen. Why? Because someway, somehow, he always manages to get all up in my Kool Aid.

Steve: "You know you're supposed to get up at 5:15.  If you want something you've never had before (or as he would say it, befo'), you've got to do something  you've never done before."

Me: *Rolls over* "Wait, what?"

Steve: "Yeah you called the man about credit counseling but do you really believe you are going to get out of debt?  Start believing!"

Me: "Is my phone tapped?"

Steve: "You might be doing a lot of praying but this year you've got to do more planning."

Me: "Wait.  I just wrote that down in my journal last night word for word. I'm dusting my journal for fingerprints. He's been in here."

One morning he was talking about getting out of your comfort zone. "Aha!" I thought. "Comfort zone, schmumfort zone. This will not apply to me today, Uncle Steve. I ain't scared.  I am always down to try something new. I do something new every year!"  However, as I rolled over back to sleep (triflin'), something came to mind.  A comfort zone is not just an area you stay in because you are scared to do something unknown and extraordinary. It's not always about branching out. Sometimes a comfort zone is something you stay in because you just simply don't want to change, don't believe you can change, or haven't asked God to change you.

I don't like being uncomfortable. I don't believe anybody does but I will make excuses on top of excuses to avoid discomfort. One discomfort that I hate almost more than anything is the discomfort of being overwhelmed. And when I'm overwhelmed, I oversleep.

Steve: "If you spend more time sleeping & playing than you do working on your dream, sleeping and playing are the only things you're going to be good at."

*Side eye*

I get really touchy when my need for sleep is jeopardized. I work a full time job and a part time job. Sleep is precious.  However, I work a full time job and a part time job because my side hustles aren't making me any money yet. So Steve has a point with my name on it because if I'm not more diligent, they never will.

See I don't always sleep because I need to.  I sleep because it's a means of escape. I sleep when I get overwhelmed. "Oh I didn't *fill in the blank* because I needed to sleep."  The fact of the matter is, there is a single mother of 3 in school with two jobs right now who would probably punch me in the face if I were to talk about how much sleep I needed.  Sometimes I look at all that I want to accomplish or haven't accomplished and I just want to take a nap. Yeah I hate the discomfort of being tired but really it's the discomfort of being overwhelmed that I need to work through.

There are other comfort zones that I know have kept me from growing in the past.  Unforgiveness can be a comfort zone. Sometimes holding bitterness against someone is more comfortable than admitting that you really do love them so you just stay there.  Sometimes forgiving someone means letting them go and so we don't do it.  We rehash what they did to us to try and keep them close. Staying in the past is sometimes what feels the most comfortable.  Low self esteem can be a comfort zone.   Sometimes we are so comfortable hating ourselves and being depressed because we just don't want to fight. We can be more comfortable fighting for other people than we are fighting for ourselves.  It's crazy but misery can be comfortable!

There is a scripture that says "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews12:11)"  Discipline produces peace.  It's hard to naturally see it that way.  It's hard to see that I am going to have to miss some hours of sleep to later have peace.  I'm going to not eat that slice of Meat Lover's pizza so I can later have peace.  I'm going to have to be real about my debt, deny myself things that I think I should have and cut corners so I can have peace.  I'm going to smile in the face of this person who I know has said mean things about me so that I can later have peace.  Everything in me wants to do the opposite because the opposite is where my comfort zone is.

Steve: "Convenience is built through inconvenience." 

Stepping out of my comfort zone and moving to Nashville has been way easier than me stepping outside of my comfort zone and forgiving a few people. Easily.  But one has to decide whether they want to have comfort or they want to have peace.  When ten years from now you aren't where you wanted to be because you stayed in your comfort zone, are you going to say "Well at least I was comfortable."?  No. There will be an absence of peace. You won't entirely be at peace because you know you could have done things differently.

Right now it's 11:28 PM and I am not even halfway through what I intended to accomplish tonight because by the way, procrastination is also one of my comfort zones.  So with that being said...


be 2 you said...

DANG! Thanks for that. As I sit here avoiding finishing a short story that was due yesterday...And I was heading for bed b/c I didn't want to ponder on the things I have to do this week end. Thanks! Seriously, I needed that.

QueenOfSheba said...

I also sleep when im feeling overwhelmed. But usually when i wake up, i feel better able to handle what i need to do. Somehow, whatever was causing me such great anxiety doesnt seem so hard to tackle after my nap. And my impromptu sleeping dosnt bother me bc i seem to get a lot done if i just restart myself and clarify my brain with a nap. It only seems to bother the people who wanted me to feel angry or upset. Im pretty productive on days when i get to take a little siesta.

Besides the napping, everything else you say is right and true and i was in desperate need of it.
I have sickle cell disease and, for so long, i haven't been able to work- i couldn't commit the time bc i was always sick and in the hospital. but i didn't want to just sit at home ALL THE TIME so i began to volunteer. But I've been sitting at home so long, I'm really good at it. really good at keeping my house clean and cooking from scratch and making sure all the errands are done. now that im healthier and able to work, i see working at a legit job as getting in the way of my housework and volunteer activities. Which i now realize is absolutely ridiculous after reading this post. Thanks.

ToyaBGLU said...

Queen of Sheba,

I definitely agree with you about getting clarity after a nap. My problem is taking a nap so long that it puts me behind schedule and then I feel even more overwhelmed. Or saying I'm taking an hour nap and not waking up until work the next morning. But at their best, naps can help a lot.