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Spreading our wings

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When Lynn is not writing, she is kept busy caring for her family and their pets. "Hillary’s Angel" is her first novel and "Upside Down" her second.

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Wrote this one for you:


What kind of mother gives her son a surprise flying lesson for his birthday? Well I was young and foolish – a whole year ago.

What colour is your comfort zone? Lately I had to step outside mine and climb back into the saddle – to ride my daughter’s mare while she was away on holiday.
I was suddenly aware that my comfort zone had become a dangerous kind of Bermuda triangle, threatening to swallow me up completely. I had kept inside it for so long that its borders had shrunk. It had become a cramped burgundy-coloured cubicle; I was more spooky than the mare. Fortunately, the more I step outside my comfort zone, the bigger it gets (easier said than done) and finally, several weeks later, it has expanded into a medium-sized yellow-green meadow. If I kept at it long enough, who knows, maybe it would eventually become an airy blue-white skyscape. But I doubt it. I’m not a naturally brave person. That’s okay – as long as my comfort zone never shrinks into the dark and confined man-made prison it could so easily become with overuse.
Of course, there’s a danger in too much “stepping out” too. Some people have forgotten what a comfort zone is – they’ve been stretching themselves for so long. I guess the ultimate warning sign is sleep apnoea. When the body starts to shut down on its own, it should be obvious we need to curl up and recharge our batteries. Sadly, some people aren’t in a position to heed the warning signs. I’m thinking of young mothers in particular and carers in general. Balance is all, I guess, if we have the choice.
Animals, on the other hand, seem to have a fairly rigid comfort zone. There is no telling some dogs that storms can’t hurt you, no matter how many storms they experience. Horses are particularly susceptible to changes in their environment – for some, a rubbish bag or a “For Sale” sign seems to herald the Apocalypse.
Some people’s comfort zone seems to be linked to the weather. On a fine day they can see forever. When it’s cold and rainy things close in on them. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can tip us into depression. I wonder if stepping outside our comfort zone helps with that too. I have one friend who swears by eating tomatoes and another who “simply” follows the sun – taking a holiday in a sunnier country when SAD threatens to close her down. Perhaps they could try jumping out of an aeroplane or scuba diving instead. Alternatively, I do have a horse for sale – brave bay gelding, loves cross-country jumps… any takers?


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