LIFE LESSONS CONTINUED • Comfort Level

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I don't know if it is an old adage or just something I've said myself many times over the years, but there's something to be said for being comfortable. Ask ten people their definition of "being comfortable" and you'll probably get at least ten different explanations.

A lot of folks are comfortable when they're laid back in their favorite recliner or relaxing in their special chair. Think of Sheldon Cooper and his spot on the couch or, for older readers, Archie Bunker and his chair in front of the television. Maybe the shape of the seat has conformed to your posterior over the years. Maybe it's placed in just the right spot with the best angle for viewing a favorite TV show or movie. It's a place where you can kick off your shoes and breath a sigh of relief after a tough work day. Ahhh, just feel that tension slip away.

Other visuals of being comfortable might include wearing sweat or yoga pants with that old college hoodie or a stretched-out paint-splattered T shirt. You know, the kind of outfit that can't be beat at home but you wouldn't be caught dead wearing most other places (other than Walmart - we've all seen those pictures.) Tight jeans and a stiff  button-up shirt just don't cut it if your goal is ease of movement and relaxation.

Individual choices for being comfortable in bed vary widely. My husband and I, even after 39 years of marriage, prefer to spoon when we sleep. I know others who have to sleep with one foot sticking out of the covers, some who can't stand being close enough to touch their partner in order to sleep and a few brave souls who insist on having a window open at least an inch or two, even in the dead of winter. Mattress manufacturers have made a living for years promising nights full of comfortable sleep. A lot of my friends would argue it's a myth as most of us haven't seen eight hours of sleep for decades.

Being comfortable to many adults means being able to pay all your bills and still have money left over to go shopping, dine out and plan fun vacations. Money, or lack thereof, can play a big part in most of our lives when it comes to not worrying or stressing about an unplanned appliance breakdown or trip to the ER. I read an article several years ago in which the writer interviewed five couples of varying income brackets. It amazed me how four of the subjects insisted they would feel comfortable with their finances if they only made another XX thousand a year. The figured started at 20K and increased to 100K, with the most affluent couple, who lived in a huge home and owned expensive cars and both he and her had six-figure incomes, wanting the most. The only person interviewed who was content where he was at made less than $25,000 a year. That man realized that money can't bring you true joy.

The older I've gotten, the more enjoyable I find weekend evenings at home with a cup of hot chocolate, a good book on the Kindle or documentary on Netflix, with an afternoon nap thrown in for bonus. I can become borderline hermit-like if not pushed. My husband, on the other hand, is happier getting out, visiting with friends or tasting a new beer. Like his mother, he finds fulfillment in small social activities, such as playing cards or dominoes with our inner circle. I find comfort in having the dog on my lap when I'm in the recliner so I can pet his ears while I watch a grocery haul on one of my favorite YouTube channels.

I worry, though, about how comfortable our nation has become. When did it become OK for a presidential candidate to mock and belittle women and persons with disabilities? Why is it acceptable for a sitting President to insult individuals, organizations and even nations daily through social media? Give me an explanation on how this could possibly be the new norm of our country? This behavior should not be agreeable with citizens, no matter which voting party you support. Not that other politicians are much better, but people, this is our President! 

When I see the headlines of how many states, including our own, are proposing bills allowing the abortion of infants near-term for any reason, I can't understand how this is advancing. Some argue that these instances rarely happen, but why put in place a law saying it's fine and increase the numbers. I've been about as liberal as they come for many years (just ask my Republican-leaning family members) but even I'm not comfortable saying it's OK to allow an infant to be aborted when they could be born and survive, most without medical intervention. I'm also not comfortable allowing medical staff watch infants who have survived abortion, even if it's a small number, lay there and die. 

Sometimes in your life you have to give up being comfortable and try to make a difference. The results may be the same, but you won't.  

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