Comfort Zones

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I’ve been watching Maymay Made It on YouTube this week. Look for her under Maymay Made It Crafts. She is in the midst of an ATC challenge. Artists Trading Card, that is. I’ve been following Maymay for quite a while. She does a lot of crafting; card making, paper crafting, painting, wreaths and more. This new ATC challenge is an interesting take on sharing your love of crafting and getting out of your own way.

What started out as a collection of potential A2 card fronts, has evolved to trying new techniques and tools. I found the paint pouring show particularly interesting as it was the first time Maymay had used the tools and the technique. Fun? Absolutely!

During the course of the show, the discussion moved to those folks who buy crafting supplies, but don’t use them. Some don’t even take them out of their boxes.

Not that anyone here <cough> would do that. 🙂

As I watched, and listened, Bella was exploring the world outside through the screen door. Then she bounced (literally) over to her food dish and then to her water and then over to the door again. She finally settled on an unusual (for her) spot on the coffee table for some in depth grooming.

Bella, who has been Very Content To Stay In Her Safe Place for weeks, is stretching her comfort zone and exploring a bit.

We all have our comfort zones. The colors we wear, the foods we eat, the places we go, the books we read, the channels (or shows) we watch. Some crafters inhibit their work by fretting over the imagined ‘police’ who tell the world what to do, or not to do. Quilters know of the Quilt Police. A fantasy for certain, but there are lots of folks out there who believe in their existence.

While there are guidelines and rules for certain practices, in many cases they are not to keep you from doing something, but allowing you to learn so you can move forward.

Recipes are a good example. They are the foundation to create a flavorful and interesting product. They are also the basis to add to. Brownies with a touch of mint become something special. Coffee with chocolate becomes mocha, which adds something unique when added to a muffin recipe.

Quilts may all be made using pieces of fabric, but the way those pieces are cut and sewn together changes the end product. There is no “One Right Way” to cut or sew and the pattern can change depending upon how the segments are sewn into the block.

Comfort zones can also be false equivalents. By limiting ourselves to what we know, we prevent ourselves from trying new things, from learning new things.

Watching Bella today gave me a new appreciation for courage and enthusiasm. This is, after all, a cat who has had some serious issues with change. Her world has been upended often enough to leave her uneasy and frightened because what may appear to be stable has too often been shown not to be.

As you contemplate your own comfort zones, I hope you will join me in re-evaluating their value. Perhaps it is time for a change – even just a small one – so the world will open up a little more.

Categories: Musings

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