Comfort Zone Issues



Welcome to another #Weekendcoffeeshare post which is hosted by Diana on her blog Part Time Monster. Follow the link to read other coffee share posts and find out how to join in yourself. 


……..If we were having coffee I would invite you to have a seat in my living room and apologise (again) for the mess. It’s been another busy, and at times stressful, week in our house what with my daughter being in the middle of exam week at school, my eldest son’s birthday and my youngest son being his normal energetic self.

But anyway, I have something specific on my mind that I’d like to chat with you about over our coffee this week. Let me start at the beginning; I am a big fan of Ted Talks. I have the Ted app installed on my iPad and I often listen to talks whilst I’m doing chores at home. They are so varied in nature; some entertain and make me laugh, some are very moving but whatever their content and nature, nearly all either educate or give pause for thought and that’s what I like about them.

The town that I live in hosts it’s own TEDx conferences and last year I was lucky enough to get a ticket to be in the audience. The theme for the conference was ‘Be The Cure’ and it was interpreted in diverse ways. I came away from the conference feeling so inspired and with a voice in my head that was ever so quietly saying “I’d like to give a TED talk”.

This week my local TEDx team issued an invitation to their pitch night for their 2016 conference for which the theme is “A Matter of Perspective: it’s all in the mind“. Now let’s suppose I was considering giving a TED talk, what would I talk about? I would love to give a talk about Autism, and, well, this 2016 theme is looking like some kind of sign to me that I should go for it. I mean, it’s a gift of a theme to me as it so easily links to the subject of Autism. As soon as I read the theme I started composing a talk in my head, straight away I knew almost exactly how I would construct my talk. It’s something I feel very passionate about.

Here comes the ‘but’….but the problem is though that I am a classic introvert and public speaking is something I avoid at all costs. I’m the kind of person who gets nervous and anxious when I have to present a book to my book club, a group of close female friends with whom I’ve been in said book club for around 15 years (you see the scale of my problem?!)  Just the thought of filling out an application form for the pitch night is enough to make my anxiety kick in.

I mentioned this whole thing to my husband who said “You should go for it, it would be good for you to step outside of your comfort zone.”  The trouble is that this feels to me not so much that I would be ‘stepping’ out of my comfort zone as I would be ‘hurtling’ myself human canon ball style out of my comfort zone. I don’t know if I could trust myself to stand on a stage and talk to a theatre full of people without fainting or something!  Oh and did I mention that I have zero experience of public speaking of any kind?

So that is what I’m working over and over in my head this weekend; should I apply or am I being ridiculous for even considering it?  And whilst I have your ear right now I would like to ask you what you think about my dilemma and if you have any advice to share with me?


Dear Autism


Image by Tim Sackton (CC BY-SA 2.o)


Day Eight: Reinvent the Letter format  #EverydayInspiration


Dear Autism,

Hey, how are you? I’ve been thinking about you lately so thought I would write you this letter to catch up. Can you believe it’s almost eleven years now since we first met? Actually, it will be my son’s 15th birthday next week which is also hard to believe! But you already know that, right?

Do you remember when we first met?  What were the odds of us meeting? Around 1 in 68 according to some reports but honestly, I don’t think anyone really knows. I certainly wasn’t expecting to meet you that’s for sure. You arrived in my world as a sort of package deal with my son. I never placed an order for you but you were delivered to me anyway. I didn’t even realise that you were there at first but then you started dropping hints. Eventually I couldn’t just ignore the hints and I consulted others “Look, I think there is something” I said “but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Can you see it? Do you know what it is?”. Together we started looking at the clues and working it out and then one day ‘Bingo!’ we worked out that it was you, Autism, and just like that you became a part of our family.

I hope you don’t mind if I’m frank with you here, you were a shock to me at first and I didn’t much feel like welcoming you. In fact I resented you coming in to our life uninvited and turning my world upside down (or so it felt at the time). Honestly,  if I could have packaged you up and stuck a ‘Return to Sender’ label on you, I would have.

Looking back now I can appreciate that I didn’t know you at all in the beginning, when we first met. I judged you and made assumptions about you based on ignorance and fear (sorry about that!). I didn’t really want to have to acknowledge your existence but what option did I have? You weren’t going anywhere and I was forced to get to know you.

As I write this there’s a German proverb that comes to mind ‘Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.’ That’s pretty apt I think, don’t you?  I can laugh with you now, now that we’re friends. It turns out that you aren’t the big bad frightening wolf I thought you were.

We’ve come a long way together haven’t we? I won’t pretend it’s all been a hoot, it hasn’t; you have frightened me, frustrated me, confronted me and made me cry more times than I care to remember. But we got there in the end didn’t we?  You have also been an amazing teacher, opening my eyes to so many new things and you have made me a stronger person than I ever would have been if I hadn’t met you. And through you I’ve met so many other wonderful people too.

But most of all, because of you I have a uniquely amazing and precious son. For that reason we’ve become good friends over the years, you and me. I know you know how much I understand you and respect you now, but I’m sure you won’t mind me mentioning it again to you now.

Well, I expect you are busy at the moment, I know I am, so I’ll send you my regards and say I’ll see you soon!

P.S. I hope you don’t mind, I’ve been talking about you to some other people I know, I just thought it might be good if they get to know you too. No pressure though!