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safe harbour
exact spot
comfortable place
career success
respite
grabs
completeness
catalyst
quality of life
existence
rush
desire
The Murky Waters Of The Grey Zone
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The Murky Waters Of the Grey Zone

I’m sitting in a backwater. I little eddy that’s calm and quiet. Nothing is happening for me. I’m aware of it and contemplating how much I care. My options are to stay here in this comfortable place or to venture out until the current grabs me, taking me with the force and rush of its power to places unknown.

I know that at times I will flounder and be forced under until, gasping for breath and paddling frantically, I surface for brief respite. A moment in which I can assess the next challenge. Also the time when I can scan for the next safe harbour or a stretch of relative calm.

One option is safe… the other, perhaps paradoxically, safer. The difference is the energy I will need to expend and the certain knowledge that if I go I can never return to this exact spot again.

Am I willing for this or am I content to live this staid existence?

The Grey Zone”. It’s that ‘comfortable’ place in life where most of us live. The Grey Zone is mundane, non-threatening, routine and predictable. It feels safe. It looks attractive.

Generally unexciting the grey zone is a good place to be if you’re happy, content and don’t desire another thing above what life has already afforded you.

Most people cannot honestly say they’ve found this space though; especially not in all areas of life. A fulfilling career, for example, does not guarantee a healthy relationship or a sense of personal completeness.

Sadly, many people are so focused on what they don’t want that they’ve never considered what they do want.

Then there’s the people who know what they want but are too scared of change, or too unmotivated, to make the effort to actually bring about the events that would make life more fulfilling and complete for them.

To make changes to our quality of life it is possibly necessary to experience a catalyst that will move us out of the grey zone. This experience can either be very good or, unfortunately, very bad.

Flying high on something positive such as a career success, a personally fulfilling seminar or a new passion can cause us to crave feeling this good ‘forever’. We are likely to not only slip into the stream but plunge forth with vigor and gusto.

On the flip side of the coin, plunging into despair can make us desperate to claw our way back into the comfort of the grey zone determined to never allow such an experience to mar our lives again. In the safety of our backwater the swiftness life and the experiences that could swamp us keep us anchored to the shore.

Is either the right way to live? As with many things, this is for the individual to decide.

Be safe, but live to be fulfilled.

It’s time for me to shove off…. again!


Street Talk

C4rmen  

Nice article. Everything is a balance. Moving in and out of the 'grey zone' as we grow and learn but the choice is always ours in every moment :)

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

True Carmen. Thanks for spending some time with me today, btw.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Joan S  

There's a lot to think about in your article Heather. You created a very vivid image in my mind about the grey zone, what it looks like and especially, how it feels. It even has a temperature. As mortal creatures, we all strive to be safe and unfettered by anything that can threaten the status quo and our own equilibrium. Safe is cozy and lazy. I don't mind lazy once in a while. Problem is we have active minds, and get bored, and feel unchallenged, or just the opposite...and need to act in order to change things, not even for the better. I believe we are designed to strive, to reach, to grow, to explore, and to discover new things, to experience. I don't think we are meant to stand still. We're on earth for a purpose, and not always to be safe, but to be alive. We're here to live. And it's not always a straight line to success. There are setbacks. Nobody wants to think about that. From king of the mountain, to a puddle of sand and water, back to king of the mountain, or not. It's a journey each of us has to take or not take. We do with our life as we see fit. There's no right or wrong, unless you deliberately hurt somebody. I agree with PT Barnum. My world is cherry red, so the grey zone has limited appeal, at least at this writing. Thank you Heather for an excellent article. Write more. Want a sequel.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thank you so much for your considered comment Joan. Just lovely to read your ideas and encouragement.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Good points, Heather. Makes one think.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks for reading Georgia....

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I think most people find a balance between the two. Thanks for the article Heather.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

That's very true Shawn. And so quickly we can move between the two...

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Heather, You shove off so well:-) Thanks for a brilliant way of pulling together so many different things. The Grey Zone! Good job. I'm not in a safe zone right now. So I guess I'm seeking adventure and excitement in the unknown! Blessings, Cynthia

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Enjoy the ride Cynthia... and keep your head up!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

thanks,Heather! head held high.

  
  about 1 decade ago

Reading this article made me think of a book I read recently; The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It speaks of the same things, Is it worth staying in the "safe-zone" or is it better to just go and seek adventure and excitement in the unknown?

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I guess that's the question we need to ask ourselves!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
C4rmen  

I love that book, so wonderfully writen and has great layered meanings.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Will need to chase me up a copy! Curious now!

  
  about 1 decade ago

Heather I really liked this article. I hate the grey zone but find myself hanging out there on occasion

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

There are moments for every thing in life. It's just the when and where! ;-)

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Lemuel  

The grey zone can easily waste you time and opportunities if you spend it doing nothing other than being comfortable. I would choose staying out of the grey zone if that is the way to make a fulfilling career. I believe hard work will always bring good results if you are doing the right thing and heading to the right direction. Thanks Heather.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I agree Lemuel. I'm one of those people that needs battery charging moments... but then I could simply drift a while without exiting the stream! That's in fact what these moments reading and commenting do I suppose! Thanks for your comment.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Good info Heather..

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Cheers Kevin!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Heather how in sync we are in thoughts, I am busy right now penning something similar based on a email I got this morning, it is based on a quote of the Dalai Lama and I am going to copy it here in case they don't publish my article. The Dalai Lama gave this answer to a question about humanity and what surprised him about them. (I quote) “Man, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” Not intirely what you are saying but definitly in the same vane. The safe zone is never realy constant, what feels good today is not going to remain. Success in business or in ones career can be so short lived in this changing world, and life at home can change so quick that often one stands back and wonders where did that come from? A happy marriage, or perceived happy marriage can destruct over night by an outsider creeping in, the healthy family happy and carefree can change with the discovery of a disease. Life is a balancing act of attainment, changed by the passing winds of time. The answer? Dive in to the swirling waters, strike out for the distant shores and float when tired or weary or in a happy place then strike out again and seek the island of joy that will continually be on the move just out of reach but there for you to see. If you manage to get there and climb onto its shores enjoy as much as you have of it, you never know it might be volcanic and self destruct, forcing you once more into the swirling waters on a quest for another island. Does that make sense?

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

That's delightful! Enjoyed your comment as much as it was an article! Hope it still will be! Got a smile out of the distant shore being volcanic! Hehehe... who would have thought!?! Makes me think twice about that safe harbour!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Sorry Heather the fingers took over there and now struggling to complete my own. But did get another out that you might enjoy.

  
  about 1 decade ago
C4rmen  

Dont forget that volcanic ash "can be considered as a time-release capsule, rich in nutrients" :p

  
  about 1 decade ago

Wow... all these profound people hanging around here, eh Rob?!!

  
  about 1 decade ago

I am finding C4rmen a hidden factor in our disjointed discussions, her wise comments popping up everywhere, fortunately not as often as you and AJ, with all you women going off at each other I would never get a word in anywhere.

  
  about 1 decade ago

Roflol... you don't think?? Oh that will be the day you don't get a word in anywhere!

  
  about 1 decade ago
C4rmen  

I've read that Dalai Lama quote before and it never fails to make me stop and seek to understand why we humans act the way we do. I guess its never really what happens to us but how we react to what happens to us that directs our experience in and out of the grey zone.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Absolutely. Once again it all gets back to the choices we make in every moment. Worthy thing to remember!

  
  about 1 decade ago
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