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Beyond the Comfort Zone

Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

With Thanksgiving coming up this week, I am deeply aware of my blessings.

Yet sometimes it is hard to be grateful for a path that turns unexpectedly, taking me out of the comfort zone. It is easy to love the comfort zone, where there is no anxiety or pain other than what I have already faced. But what lies beyond the comfort zone? What blessings? What adventures? What new friends? And what person will I be at the end of it, when I have stretched my limits so far that this new place has become my comfort zone?

I am thankful for my husband and my children. I am thankful for good friends. I am thankful for a comfortable house and a lovely garden. I am thankful for life itself and for the fresh air upon my face. I am thankful to God for giving me all these blessings and many more.

And now that my comfort zone has been upset by complications from surgery earlier this year, I am grateful for a new path that, at least for now, I must get along with a cane. In my mind it is too many years early for such a thing; but although I can't yet see beyond the turn of the path, I look forward to seeing where it will take me. I have also discovered that long handled garden tools serve as temporary substitutes for my cane, so I am grateful that I can still rake leaves off of that path!

Many blessings to you all...Deb

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Reader Comments (17)

This is a lovely post. I am so sorry that you are having a challenging time. Giving thanks continuously is difficult. When times are good, I find it too easy to overlook the little things which make life wonderful; when things go wrong, I become acutely aware of all the small blessings I have overlooked and despite feelings of grief, anger or the seeming injustice of whatever has happened, life has new depth. Ironic, isn't it? I find people who manage to be thankful at all times incredibly inspiring. I am ashamed to confess that I have to concentrate on being thankful every day - it doesn't come naturally!

May you have a happy, blessed thanksgiving.

November 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Gardening Shoe

That's a lovely post Debs and although you are in a challenging situation at the moment your positive nature will see you through and help you in your recovery as well as gain wisdom that will enrich your soul.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and keep smiling :)

November 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

I am so sorry that a surgery that was supposed to help has caused you more pain. But your spirit is a beautiful thing and will take you as far as you want to go.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

November 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

Your post really moved me. I'm so sorry that you are not making as speedy a recovery as you would wish. I try to be thankful for all my life's blessings but it isn't always easy. I had a small fall on Friday, nothing serious but it shook me; it also made me grateful for the moment as who knows what is around the corner. Thank you for making me think good thoughts.

November 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

I'm so sorry that your "op" is taking longer to recover from, than was expected. I think as we get older, we forget that the body doesn't recover at the same speed as it used to, I have learnt that the hard way! It is now a year since my shoulder "op" and there are still things that are impossible, but slowly more things are becoming manageable. I count my blessings each day and thank the Lord for them, I feel that I am so lucky with so much to be thankful for. I do so hope your hip soon lets you garden again in the manner that you used to!

November 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpauline

"Help us to accept with grace those things we cannot change" - it sounds as though you are farther along that road than I am. Thanks for the reminder and inspiration. I'm thankful for YOU.

November 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Chapman

I have no doubt that your healthy mental outlook and balanced view of life's challenges and wonders will get you though the current journey beyond your comfort zone, Deb. Best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

I will keep sending healing wishes Deborah as you heal. Your outlook is uplifting to me and keeps my little aches and pains in perspective. Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

Deb: So sorry you're having to deal with this. I've put off foot surgery for many years because I'm afraid of the recovery time and the outcome. It means I can't go barefoot or wear high-heeled pumps, but I'm planning to live with the situation for a while yet. I hope your recovery takes a turn for the better soon. Hopefully, you'll be feeling much better in the springtime, and in the meantime you have new tools...and of course your optimistic outlook!

November 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPlantPostings

Hopeful for you that time heals.

November 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Jones

Deb - so sorry you've had complications and have to use a cane right now. It truly can be looked upon as an opportunity to see which parts of your garden are low maintenance and will serve you well in the future as you get older (as we all do). This is something I've been looking at in my own garden - and boy, do I need to make some changes! I'm glad to hear you're still getting out in the garden and doing chores. Those things keeps us gardeners sane. Hopefully you will be kicking that cane away soon. I think you've got a great attitude, and that is always helpful in any situation.

November 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHolleyGarden

Happy American Thanksgiving, Deb! Despite your slow recovery from surgery, you still seem happy, thankful and upbeat. Good for you. Your family sounds very supportive and you certainly have a gorgeous garden. Hopefully you will return to your regular amount of mobility soon.

November 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAstrid

I also love the comfort zone. Too bad we are regularly pushed out of it, whether we like it or not. However, the usual result is a bigger zone, which is a good thing.

November 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJason

I am sorry you are having complications from surgery, I so know how it feels! After 12 operations the last 10 years, most not very successful and with very long recovery time I know a bit about the frustration and loss when you can no longer do what you used to do. You might find this post I wrote in May useful, where I write about some of the tools I use in my garden to help me still do my favourite activity. Without my garden I would be lost – it truly keeps me sane!
I wish you better times soon, take care, Helene.

November 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHelene

You have written a beautiful post of thanksgiving, acceptance, and perseverance. May the future gardening days be much brighter, and easier.


November 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

Happy Thanksgiving, Deb. I'm sorry to hear that your hip surgery hasn't been healing as planned. I hope that you are able to get back to your comfort zone -- or create a path to a new one -- in the weeks to come.

November 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJean

sorry to hear that. Hope it will settle and come right soon!

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer
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