The foundation of many wonderful memories for me is the traditions our family had around holidays and special events. One that I particularly enjoyed was that on our birthday we got to choose the dinner including the all important dessert.

My choice was always, in the strictest sense of the word, spaghetti and for dessert, chocolate cake with chocolate icing.

I truly believed I had matured when I said it could be “anything Italian” such as stuffed shells or manicotti. About the same time, the chocolate cake could have white icing. Matured …. maybe that was not so much in the strictest sense of the word.

To this day, Italian food remains one of my favorite choices and this flavor for all things Italian is something my husband and I have in common. It is also one of our go-to foods on busy days. Being so, however, we had to set some limits for our health and our, umm, weight. One of those limits was to have pasta and salad but forego the loaf of fresh, Italian bread….and the butter; and the dipping oils.

Giving up that loaf of Italian bread was a sacrifice. The first time we did it, we wondered how we would ever get used to it.

Recently, my husband reminded me of those days when an Italian meal always included a loaf of fresh bread. But then he said, “But you know, I really don’t miss it.” I agreed.

A sacrifice in the beginning that now we don’t even miss.

What happened? We passed through the phase of discomfort.

Last week, I stated that one of the things that stands between where you are now and where you want to be in life is the phase of discomfort. Unwilling to push through that uncomfortable period, you stay where you are instead.

But if discomfort is what you’re trying to avoid, why are you staying where you are? Isn’t it true that you feel discomfort when you stand where you are and look out toward where you want to be?

When you live your life with an acute awareness that you’re not where you want to be, you are indeed experiencing discomfort. You attempt to relieve the tension through excuses and rationalizations and it works for a short while.   But then tomorrow comes and there it is again – the discomfort of knowing you’re stuck and frustrated. One day, it will be too late. That is when you will have to live with the discomfort of regret and that’s permanent.

The good news is you have a choice and that choice is to travel through the temporary discomfort of change.  Rather than live with the day-in, day-out discomfort of staying where you  are, choose to move through the discomfort knowing it’s temporary.  Once you are grounded in your new way of living, the discomfort is gone and regret must retreat because there is nothing to regret.

Permanent discomfort or a new way of life ~ Which will you choose?

 As for me, I’m glad we don’t partake in sharing a loaf of Italian bread for every pasta meal anymore.  But next February, when it’s time to celebrate my birthday, there will be pasta …. there will be bread as well.  And, don’t forget the chocolate cake.  I’ll let you know the icing choice.  I’m so much more mature than I used to be.

Fueling Your Inner Fire with ACTION:

The next time you are creating a change in your life and you begin to feel the discomfort, acknowledge it but keep taking action.  One step followed by the next and soon you’ll reach your new way of life.

And that’s so much better than regret.