Take a leap, by guest blogger Lorie Sheffer

midlife experiments
Midlife experiments help make us better Boomers (photo: Lorie Sheffer)

I’ll admit it; I read the AARP newspaper that comes in the mail. I convince myself that it’s meant for my husband, as I am not old enough for it to be mine. I read it so that when I AM old enough, I will be ahead of the game.

Last month, there was an article that jumped out at me. “Escape Your Comfort Zone”. It is easy to Google if you’re interested in reading the article, which I think is well worth the time. It encourages us to try new things. It explains how stepping out of the box is good for us in many ways, including adding to our overall happiness and strengthening our brain.

I thought of an example of when I stepped outside of my comfort zone and let the chips fall wherever they chose to land. The plan involved preparation of the sacred Thanksgiving turkey. I don’t eat meat, but I do like to cook. A few years ago, my son decided that it would be fun to deep fry the turkey. In the front yard. Every Thanksgiving since the Pilgrims made that first feast my ancestors have roasted the turkey. I had visions of the fire department in our front yard. Of charred meat, singed arm hairs, sirens, food poisoning….. The brining process alone made it look more like a science fair project than a holiday meal. Neighbors stopped by to gawk. I had a back-up bird in the oven. And in the end, it was the most fun Thanksgiving I can remember, and the bird was juicy with a crisp, bronze skin. Even if things had gone horribly awry, it would have been memorable and become instant family lore.

Doing what makes you uncomfortable can be exhilarating. I’m not talking about doing anything illegal or immoral. Just taking that leap of faith into a new adventure. It could be auditioning for a play at the community theater, trying a new exotic food, wearing something you usually wouldn’t consider wearing. When we hit middle age, the last thing we should become is boring and predictable. Middle age should be celebrated!

By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.