Friendly Friday – stay in your comfort zone

My favorite challenge is the Friendly Friday challenge, hosted alternately by The Snow Melts Somewhere, and Amanda at Something to Ponder About, this week with Snow, who has given the challenge of ‘stay in your comfort zone’.

I’ve had a good think about this one, and am going to start with two of my real comfort Zones nowadays, my children, and Caffé Nero in Kingston.  My Boys, David and Oscar (cheeky smile) are my life nowadays.  As some of you will know I bring them up on my own, which is pretty consuming, but with that and a full time job doesn’t leave too much time for too much else. So I have traded a lot in life to give them what I can, and the three of us a unit, we know each other inside out, they are the definition of my comfort zone.

On those days though where they go to their Mums, I often head into town with my laptop and hole up in Caffé Nero for a couple of hours to write, edit photos, reads blogs and stuff.  I know all the staff, and they know me.  When I want to be out of the house, need somewhere to get on with things, nowhere is more comfortable than my favorite Coffee shop.

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But that makes me think about where I live, right on Kingston Bridge, overlooking the Thames.  I was talking to a friend earlier and they were saying about New Zealand and how much family I have there, but I know there is nowhere I’d rather be living that in Kingston.  We have Bushy Park, Home Park and Hampton Court, The River Thames, all within two minutes of my flat,  I love it here and it has become my comfort zone.

To illustrate this, a few photos I’ve taken in the last month, all from the same spot on Kingston Bridge, showing the various moods of the River Thames, in January alone!

And the final part of my comfort zone is Greece pretty much the place I want to be if I am not at home.  I have been there so many times over the last 30 years I can no longer count.  I’ve lived there, worked there, had family move there.  I love the people, the food, and especially the mountains.  If there is anywhere I feel truly at home it is Greece.

Which brings me to what lies outside my comfort zone, an area I have thought a lot about, and have realised that there are things I am less comfortable with, but over the years I have worked out that they need to be faced head on.  Like a lot of people, I fing public performance difficult.  Having to be in front of strangers especially and having to act or perform is quite difficult as I found out back in 1994 when I was working at Club Spartia on Cephalonia.  A sailing club run by Sunsail.  I had always worked behind bars, and dealing with the public was something I found I had no problems with, and actually enjoyed,  I worked bars for years travelling around the world, but it was getting up and performing that I found difficult.

We used to have to do Games Nights, and quite often we would do a performance just for fun as well, but the first couple scared the life out of me.  In the shot below four of us were dancing to a Take That number.  It was the scariest thing I had ever done, although we had drunk a bit.  Excuse the quality of the shot, I had handed my camera to one of the guests, who had also drunk a lot!

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But as I learnt that summer, it’s worth getting outside of your comfort zone, by the end of the season this was the norm, and as well as volunteering to put on games nights, me and friend would do Karaoke in Argostoli, the local town for hours when the guys there were having a quiet night, just to keep things going.  By getting out there I learnt new things about myself.  We are all capable of more, we just need to take that first step sometimes!

18 thoughts on “Friendly Friday – stay in your comfort zone”

  1. Great post Gavin. Love the philosophical angle and I couldn’t agree more about getting out of your comfort zone. I am reminded of that sunscreen song, you know the one that sings/speaks and say, “..but don’t forget the sunscreen” and other sageful advice. In that song, it says, ” do something every day that scares you!” Whilst I am not about to become and extreme risk-taker, I think that personal growth can only come from stretching oneself. Especially when it comes to public speaking. Apparently it is the number 1 fear of most of us. I guess many of us are in fear of being judged negatively. Oh! and love the street photo with the coffee shop ( and your boys?) – how nice to have somewhere you feel welcomed and comfortable.
    I have not been to Greece, but from what I hear about the lifestyle, it would be fun. The food alone is delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Amanda, glad you enjoyed. yes that is my pair of minions in the shot. David as always to concerned with his Nintendo to look up for the shot and Oscar, well, he’s just Oscar!
      I have a lot of strong feelings about personal growth. I am storing up a blog on the subject, it’s a little out there so I hoping it has a good reception. I think we are here only to grow, that is our life experience. It’s hard because things that are will always be the most rewarding, or should I say, the strongest lessons.

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  2. Hey Mr Firehorse! I’ve been reading your post all day, since I wasn’t able to comment on my mobile phone (don’t know why, I was logged in the app but it redirected me onto a browser version, etc) and so now I came back to comment – the little ones sound asleep (I can relate to your time usage issues!)
    So many things to comment on! First of all, yay, you figured out how to interpret the theme and you did well! Love the photos and of course the narrative. Second, I’m happy to read Friendly Friday is a favorite of yours, thanks!!! 😄
    Third, I can so relate to everything you said about Greece. From stepping out the plane into the scent of flowers – that didn’t happen to me specifically in Greece but every time we landed somewhere when I was a flight attendant and I got to open that door and be the first one to inhale the sweet warm scents of somewhere Mediterranean…. ah the bliss!!!!!!! I lived for those moments. And now I’m happy to carry them as memories. I can also relate to some of what you said about Greece, and this time I mean Greece in specific, since I spent one long summer (6 months) working in Crete when I was in my twenties. It was a French hotel (I worked at both the lobby bar and the poolside bar) and they had “animateurs” who apparently had the same job as you did 🙂 It was a crazy summer. (I had another similar summer in Italy before that and then also in Nice)…
    So: great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh thanks Snow, i love the fact I am meeting people with similar experiences on WordPress. I work with such a dull bunch! I didn’t know you were a flight attendant. That always seemed such a cool job to me,
      The theme of comfort zone really made me think. I have never been comfortable, being comfortable if that makes sense. I prefer to have a challenge on the go and to push myself, and if I am honest, the people around me at time too. I have really struggled to get on top of the single parent thing. The world is not made for single Dads! But this weekend I have had a look at where I have got to, and to be honest, the theme has made me realise I have to open up a couple of new doors, so thanks for that!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In a way I’m like that, always have a dozen ”projects” on the go, but in a way I also love not doing anything, pampering myself with easy choices, and traveling ten times to the same places I’ve already been to cause I like them and would rather repeat than explore 😊
        I’ve written quite a lot about my flight attendant days on my blog, though tbh they weren’t in any way the highlight of my youth, I’ve done a million other fun things too. Here’s a short post if you have two minutes:
        https://thesnowmeltssomewhere.wordpress.com/2016/08/23/just-another-beach/
        😊

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  3. It’s good to be able to picture you now, when you write your posts at Caffé Nero in Kingston! I love the photos taken from the same spot on Kingston Bridge, showing various views of the River Thames. I usually do the same when I’m back on board my ship.
    As for public performance… I confess I am a bit of a show woman. Give me a microphone and I’ll be up there on stage with a big smile!! That does not include karaoke though. That limits my tolerance threshold to being ridicule!!

    Liked by 1 person

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