I’m sitting here mostly dressed for work, reconsidering whether to wear a base layer; temperatures are forecast to get higher than 40 degrees today, and although it is cold now, it won’t be so cold by the end of the day. My base layer is probably too much. I don’t get up to change immediately; I’m comfortable right now.

My fingers keep finding their way across a snag, a small tear, on the cuticle of my left pinkie finger. I would do well to get up, use the tool created for the job of tidying that up, rather than picking at it mindlessly in the background until my finger is bleeding. I’m comfortable right here, right now, so I don’t bother to take care of it in the best way available.

There is a pan on the stove I overlooked when I did the dishes last night. I can’t see it from this vantage point, so it isn’t annoying me at present, and I do nothing about it for now; I’m comfortable.

There are so many times when my life fills up with small moments of discontent, little pains and inconveniences, details that could have gone much differently had I made some small change, or taken some needed action – things I’m aware of, things I notice, things I know to handle quite differently, and do nothing much about, because I’m “comfortable” – which is not at all the same thing as being “content” or being “satisfied”. Feeling comfortable can be a slow invitation to a degradation in quality of life; over time what feels comfortable continues to make room for things I don’t at all find satisfaction in, don’t at all prefer or find ideal, don’t even actually like, but have simply grown to accept as a given, as tolerable, as “what it is”. I start overlooking those details more and more, and the disorder can spread quickly.

It’s a Monday morning. I like Monday mornings for beginning again. All manner of new beginnings feel so orderly and proper on the first day of something… a new week, a new month, a new year. It’s a lot to expect of a moment, to be a deliberate starting point for something important, something… uncomfortable. Change, willful change, is not generally comfortable, in my own experience. There are verbs involved. Choices. Practice. Awareness. Repetition. Frustration. Beginning again. Comfortable does not define the experience of making changes… There sometimes seems a lot to be mindful of, a lot to keep an eye on, a lot to manage – there probably actually is. Some things get missed in any one moment. Being human is a thing and it is rarely an experience characterized by any quality of “perfection”. We are beautifully flawed, and incomplete, each on a journey that lasts the entirety of our experience.

I set aside my half-finished coffee and allow myself a moment of discomfort. An efficient manicure, a rethinking of the day’s choice of clothing, emptying the dishwasher and reloading it: there is effort in living well, in good self-care, and even in life’s simplest pleasures. “Comfort” is sometimes deceiving. I am by far more comfortable having completed these tasks than I was considering them, but it can seem so much easier in the moment to choose the path of least effort. There’s something to learn there, and I make a note to think about it more, later.

Mondays are good for beginnings. Cold winter Mondays, started well before the dawn, are good for plotting a new course on life’s journey, for rethinking previous first steps on journeys well-underway, and for reconsidering some scenario or another that has previously been less-than-ideally satisfying, and perhaps too comfortable. I am hoping not to be misunderstood as seeking discomfort or unease, it’s really not what I’m after, myself. It’s more than I find the sensation of being “comfortable” to more than occasionally put me at risk of complacency, or “settling” for something less than what I’m really going for, under circumstances when there are verbs involved, and I’ve perhaps stopped actually taking action.

I sip my coffee reviewing my physician’s recommendations for changes to my dietary habits intended to improve my health and, over time, fitness. I am deeply uncomfortable. lol It’s a lot of change… at the same time, none of it is really “new information”; I’m facing a long list of known best practices. There are verbs involved, though, and I’m going to need to overcome my comfort with what has not been working well for me. Well… at least it’s a Monday. Monday’s are great for beginning again. I’m going to need to do that a lot. 🙂

I’m standing at the starting point (another one) of a journey (again). I’m ready to walk on. Today is a good day for change.