Three nearly-grown babies and a whole lot of changes in life, I finally got some big news that for many years I thought I would dread. I officially hit the M-word. It’s like a big accomplishment – I would like a commemorative cake.
When I texted Sir Husband to tell him I finally crossed into the No More Babies On Board zone, he sent me a text of happy, celebration emojis. That’s because he has seen how uncomfortable I have been inside my own skin. No need to list all the symptoms of the post-childbearing years, but I have not fared too well.
Discomfort by definition can span the gamut from body to mind and everything in between – it’s all interconnected. So when something is off balance we feel it, and it often shows. That goes for anyone – comfort zones are personal, life changes or not. Our comfort can be challenged, sometimes every day just interacting in life, our job, or simply out in the world.
The other day we headed to a city festival where parking is tricky, so we took the subway. It’s not that I never liked the train, I just found driving more comfortable. I’m in my own little space, I can control the music, the temperature or stopping if I need to pee. But the other day we took the train as far as we could to get to this festival, then we had to hop a bus.
I never rode a city busy in my life. Sir Husband on the other hand, loves public transportation and uses it a lot. So I did the best I could. I got my bus ticket (they don’t take cash,) I tried to put it in the right slot on the bus (the driver had to help,) I grabbed two seats in the front and pretended to be fine. I had no idea where we were going or where to get off, or even what to do.
To make matters worse, we had gotten on the wrong bus, and by the time we figured that out, we were in another part of the city. I maneuvered toward ear-shot range of the driver (are you even allowed to get up on a moving bus?) and asked her where we should go.
“You’re on the wrong bus honey,” she said. “You need to go the other way.”
Sir Husband of course was fine, but cringed at my expressions trying to stay calm. We got off at the next corner and walked several blocks to another stop. While we waited there for what felt like forever, we talked about my strain. I’m not going to lie – I was uncomfortable. Riding a public bus was outside of my comfort zone.
When the right bus finally pulled up and we got on, I acted like I knew what I was doing. But before I even had my ticket in the slot (this time I got it right,) the driver looked at me and said, “Well hello again!”
It was the same driver as our wrong bus. She had made a big loop around the city and was headed back.
I don’t know what happened, but she made me laugh and smile. We chatted all the way to our stop – and she didn’t make me sit down. I was actually kind of bummed when it was time to get off.
See how feeling comfortable works? Even when it’s something we dread? You just never know. Discomfort may be in our body, but it’s also in our head.