Monday, March 28, 2011

uncomfortable



I have been thinking alot about being uncomfortable.

And how our/my culture coddles us, and makes us think we should not ever have to feel hungry, or hot, or bored (this is where snacks being available everywhere and DS systems come in, right?) Then we pass the avoidance of these discomforts on to our kids, who do not know how to handle really normal states of being that most of the world deals with pretty regularly. 

I like to think I stretch myself frequently but I will admit that I have canceled opportunities to play or have fun, simply because the weather was too hot and I did not want to sweat. I have also caved in and served a mediocre dinner instead of making my kids wait a bit longer for something more nutritionally substantial because I did not want them to feel hungry for too long. (It is okay to feel hunger, right? I mean we will not die if we come to the table hungry. In the past, I have noticed my kids constant snacking really fed into their pickiness at the table.)

Each time I have been willing to embrace discomfort and push through the experience, the payoff has been worth it. Sometimes in big ways - like hiking up an old lava flow for  hours in a downpour (with 3 kids) just to feel the total destructive potential of the earth. Or staying in a tiny cabin with no electric or water during a heat wave to understand the wisdom of a midday siesta.

Today, the discomfort was minimal, but I still almost let it change our schedule. We planned to walk to my daughters swim practice, but by the time we needed to leave it was raining pretty hard. I even emailed the coach, asking, "are we still having practice?" When he assured me that we were, we sucked it up, put on raincoats and walked just under a mile in an increasingly worsening storm. By the time we arrived, we were soaked through and cold, but had loved our walk. My kids marveled at the overflowed drainage areas and the rushing rivers on the stairs and walkways.We saw the familiar collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture on our neighborhood college campus become more sheltering and intimate than in the scorching days of summer.  I was impressed, as always, at our good cheer and adventuring spirit and promised myself to always be willing to get a little more uncomfortable in order to live a lot more fully and embrace our daily lives - not just the ones with volcanoes.

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