Colleen Smithson
Colleen Smithson

Getting Out of My Comfort Zone in 2016
Friday, January 15
At the beginning of 2015, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution would be to travel as much as possible in 2015. After my mom lost her two year battle with Multiple Myeloma in October 2014, I was reminded of how short life can be and I wanted to live my life to the fullest. I spent 2015 in San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, Gatlinburg, TN, Mequon, WI, Nashville, TN, Kansas City, MO, Sussex, NJ and Dallas, TX. 

My husband I were planning a trip to Europe at the end of 2015 to finish out “the year of travel”, but everything changed when I saw the Facebook post from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation asking for applicants for a Mount Kilimanjaro fundraising trek. I knew I had to apply. 

By the time I got home from work, I had practiced my speech at least 20 times in my head. How do you explain to someone that you want to cancel a trip to Europe to sleep on a mountain for 8 days with strangers? When my husband got home, I sat him down and I didn’t even get to finish the second sentence before he said “You should go.” Throughout the course of my mom’s battle with MM, my husband was my biggest support and he saw me at my worst nearly every day for two years. I think he hopes this trip will help me in my journey toward peace and healing. I know I do. 

During these last few days of 2015, I have spent a lot of time thinking about my 2016 New Year’s Resolution. In 2016, I want to get out of my comfort zone. Like most people, I like things that are familiar. I tend to stick to things and places I know. After losing another family member (my dear aunt Mary Anne) this year to cancer, I have decided that I want to make sure I’m really living and not just floating downstream. As the trip gets closer, I can’t help but think that climbing the world’s tallest freestanding mountain and living in a tent for over a week will be a good place to start. 

So here’s to getting out of my comfort zone, facing one of the biggest physical challenges of my life and making unforgettable memories with some amazing and inspiring people.
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