June 6, 2019  |  Written By Elizabeth Marks

I don’t know about you- but the first thing I do when I get home from work, the gym and picking up the kids etc. is put on my sweats and get comfy.  Being in my comfy clothes sometimes seems like the only way to survive the hours between walking in the door and bedtime. As a working mom- sometimes survival is the best I can provide! Many days I strive for more- but on those days my motto is one I have learned from my 4-year-old twin girls- “You get whatcha get and you don’t throw a fit!” 

Comfortable can be a lot of things- it can be warm baggy, sweatpants, it can be being at home surrounded by all of your favorite people and belongings, it can be maintaining a particular level of cash in your savings account, and for my neurotic self, it can be having a certain amount of gas in the gas tank. Whatever comfortable means to you- think of those things- I’ll wait….. 

I would bet that everything that you thought of was something that made you smile. You may have even closed your eyes, given yourself a hug, it’s ok I won’t tell. Those things that you pictured probably were all positive in nature and made you feel like you were John- Boy or Olivia living up on Walton Mountain.  But I have to ask when you’re in your comfort zone…do you feel a sense of accomplishment? Do you feel like you achieved something? Do you feel like you’ve learned something or taught someone?    

What I have learned in my career so far is that comfortable is status quo. Staying in my comfort zone means I may stay at the same desk forever doing the same thing day in and day out. It means that I’m looking inward and taking care of what I know- myself, my man, and my children…and not looking at or worrying about what’s going on in my community.  From that comfy spot on the couch I can see people moving up in their careers, bettering themselves, bettering their communities, teaching their families about others.    

About four years ago, I got involved with my non-profit of choice (The Duneland Family YMCA- woot-woot!) and did so because I was a new mom and couldn’t wait to get my kids socializing and swimming! I was approached to join the Board of Directors and was quite honestly shocked! Can I do this? What do I even do on a board? I was only 30, I don’t have big bank accounts- what could they possibly want with me? The board members at the time of my joining were people I have known since I was 4-years-old. Some I have called Mr. or Mrs. So and So my whole life. I kept thinking to myself – how are these people going to look at 30-year-old me and think that I have anything to contribute? It wasn’t comfortable, it didn’t make me hug myself or smile, it didn’t give me the same feeling that my big baggy sweats gave me.   

Soooo…I said YES! I joined the board. I took off my sweats, put on some Spanx and got myself out of that zone. Why? Well, the comfortable answer was, no, thank youbut what am I learning by saying no? What am I teaching my daughters? What am I doing for the community that I call home?   

Since I said yes to the YMCA Board- it seems like the flood gates have opened. I have said yes to some amazing but insanely uncomfortable changes in my career, I have said yes to moving out of the home I have lived in for 10 years, I have said yes to CARDIO and a trainer to help get this 4-year-old baby weight off! Now, don’t mistake me saying YES in these situations for compliance 100% of the time. But, it means that I say yes more. I get out of my comfort zone. I want to live in a way that I feel proud, accomplished, charitable, and thoughtful.   

Now that I have written this I’m done being uncomfortable for the day- it’s time for my sweats. Go put yours on…your biggest and baggiest…and think about what you’re going to do tomorrow to make yourself uncomfortable…then take them off!!!

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