Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Out of the comfort zone

'You're all creatures of habit.'

Cherie, our slimming class teacher was commenting on the fact that three of us who don't normally sit in the front row were sitting there. (Only because all the other seats were taken.) She said, 'It's the same when you're exercising; I know exactly where in the room to expect to see any of you.'

And it's true. I'm sure most people are like it: we stick to what we know and what's familiar. It's the same with the seating in church. For a start no-one sits in the front row; it might as well not be there. (Then again if we kept taking away each front row that didn't have anyone sitting in it we'd end up with all the seats in the kitchen.) And the 'older' generation sit on the left, while the students and younger couples sit on the right. The 'what do you mean middle-aged?' sit in the middle and those with babies sit on the floor at the back.

And it's the same in Zac's. Everyone takes up position. I always sit up against the wall ... except last night.

I laid my claim to a seat but then went to speak to someone and when I got back someone else was sitting in 'my seat'.
'I'm sorry, were you sitting here? Would you like me to move?'
'No, that's fine,' I smiled. 'I'll just move along next to you.'

But inside I was screaming. 'Aaaaaaarrrrhhhhhh!' You see all the wall seats were now occupied; my new seat meant I was surrounded - on four sides! - by people. 'Keep breathing, keep breathing, it'll be fine,' I was telling myself.

And, do you know, it was. In fact, once I'd allowed myself to settle down and I'd stopped worrying if I might be blocking someone's view or whether I might be considered impolite for sitting with my back to people or whether a woman of my age should wear such a short skirt, it was more than fine. It was only a tiny distance I'd moved but it changed my perspective.

I was no longer on the edge but part of it. Which is strange because I am very much part of it but - I can't explain it properly - I just felt a new awareness. And love.


mrsnesbitt said...

I'm just off to slimming world - my pal saves me a seat - tonight I will have to welcome the new people! lol!

Liz said...

I'm sure you'll be great on welcoming mrs n. Good luck with the weigh-in!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hi Liz .. I know exactly what you are saying ... In our church, (a hall) I sit to the right .. automatically I go right ... once I was asked by a friend to sit on the left where they always sit .. so I did ...never again , I did not like it all .. I sit with a certain group , and near the back. :-)

James Higham said...

Too many people for my liking.

Leslie: said...

I know of which you speak. It's the same with my students...certain ones sit to my left and certain ones sit to my right. I'm always shifting my hard plastic table cover to accomodate them. But it's okay, I'm used to it now. We are strange creatures, aren't we? lol

CalumCarr said...

You said, "Cherie, our slimming class teacher.!

Surely our Cherie doesn't go to your country to take your slimming class!

katney said...

I sit in the second row in a class or in a meeting, in the sixth pew left in church unless I am in the choir, near the back if we are visiting a church while traveling. In a restaurant, it's back to the wall with a view of the whole place or as much of it as possible.

Once we sat in the sixth pew right. That was weird.