Tip-toeing out of my comfort zone

I’ve been a little bit MIA from my blog lately, partly because I’ve been under the weather and feeling very bleh, and partly because I’ve just had a lot going on at the moment that’s been taking up my mental energy. I’ve been more in the mindset to make endless mental to-do lists than I have been to come up with blog posts that I’m comfortable sharing.

But on that note about comfort…

With tiny baby steps, I’ve been trying to to tip-toe out of my comfort zone, ever so slightly.

How, you may ask?

Processed with VSCO with g3 presetI’m doing this by being active on the board of my local Air Force spouses group, which included helping to put on a holiday ball for ~250 people. Oh, and at that ball, I ended up wearing a dress that highlighted my very un-toned arms & shoulders, which I was sure people would judge me on – guess what, things got so busy that I ended up not caring about it and just enjoying myself. Wild, right?

I’m doing this by applying to jobs that I might not be 100% qualified for, but that could help put me in the right direction for a career that I would really like to explore. And I got an interview!

I’m doing this by posting pictures of myself, not just lattes, on my Instagram.

I’m doing this by doing a Christmas photoshoot for my friends & their families, which is something I’ve never done before. I had to confront feelings of possible inadequacy & major self-doubt around the photoshoot, which had been taking up a lot of mental space in the past few weeks. Taking pictures for a friend might not seem like a big deal to others, but to me, I could’ve ruined their Christmas cards with blurry, mediocre photos and wasted their time/money. The end result was even better than I had hoped for, and the photos will be cherished by these families for years to come.


I’m doing this by entertaining the idea of taking my photography hobby to the next level, which is scary & exhilarating & nerve-wracking & bringing back all those beautiful feelings of self-doubt… right now it’s just an idea, being spurred on by sweet friends & a supportive husband, so we’ll see where I end up with this.

I find that I’m a person with a lot of dreams that put butterflies in my stomach but that I don’t often make the leap out of my comfort zone to put these plans into action. I know that I won’t get very far staying in the confines of that zone, but I also know that forcing myself far out all at once is way too overwhelming for me. So for right now, I’m sticking with tip-toed, clinging-to-the-handrail baby steps. I’m working on letting go.


Here we come a-caroling

I grew up singing – in school chorus, church choir, and of course, at home. In high school, I was in my school’s a capella group called the Madrigals. When we were at our best, we came together and created beautiful harmonies and lifted up our souls together. Of course, no group of teenagers can function without a crap ton bit of drama. I loved singing with this group most of the time, but especially around the holidays. Christmas and holiday songs are just the best to sing with a group of people.

Some of my favorite memories singing with the Madrigals are from this time of year. We learned probably 15 or more Christmas and Hanukkah songs, traditional and modern, and were the most focused during practice that we had ever been. We had our regular holiday concert, but were also booked to sing at events. We sang at country clubs, rich peoples’ dinner parties, DC parties held by government people (I honestly can’t remember who or where but I remember it was a block from the White House), and we even sang at the Robert E. Lee House in Arlington National Cemetery. Twice, we wore big old hoop dresses and tuxes for these performances. After performing in downtown DC, we all walked through the city in our get-ups and caroled on street corners just for fun, because we loved the way we sounded together and didn’t want to stop singing! One night, we all got together and caroled through our neighborhoods to spread the cheer, practice our songs, and actually hang out together outside of the other mandatory performances. When a group of ~15 high schoolers all voluntarily meet up to walk around in the cold and sing to random people on a weeknight, you know something’s going right.

So needless to say, I have a soft spot for choral music and Christmas carols. It wouldn’t be surprising to find me in the middle of July listening to one of the Pentatonix holiday albums on repeat for a week straight! Now that it’s mid-November, I think I can start listening to Christmas music without shame… so here’s one of my favorites to get you into the right mood for the season!!!

Thanks for reading! ~Margaret