Column: Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone

When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?

For me, it was at a recent softball game, but before I share more, let me share some of my week.

This week, we had several people in and out working on the future of city hall, things like counting light fixtures and getting measurements to develop the best plan forward. While projects like this come around every 25 years or so, that doesn’t make it any easier to work on. I can’t wait to see what the conversations around the hallway produce on paper and then translate into for the future.

If you haven’t had a chance to swing by the John Mellencamp mural recently, I would encourage you to grab some lunch from one of our local restaurants and enjoy the green space. Seymour Main Street and the parks and recreation department have done a good job of providing the most bang with the donation the Mellencamp family gave them to build the space.

The blooming flowers have caught my attention every time I have ridden by, and the coating chosen for the concrete looks great. Thank you to the Mellencamp family for the donation, and thank you to Main Street and parks and recreation for all of the hard work you have put in getting us to this point.

The last item before I get back to that original thought is about rolling up my sleeve and getting the COVID vaccine. I have patiently waited for the window to open for my age group. This gave me plenty of time to read as much literature as I could on the various forms and even plenty of time to review the propaganda from so many different angles that it can make your head spin.

I firmly believe the choice to get a vaccine is up to each of us individually, and unlike some I have recently witnessed, I won’t tell you that you should or should not get it. My reason for getting it is I think it is the best way for us to get back to normal.

Back to stepping out of your comfort zone. Even though sharing my thoughts on something as personal as getting vaccinated or not is outside my comfort zone, that isn’t what I was referring to at the beginning of this column.

That reference actually related to being the announcer for a varsity Owls softball game. I know some of you will think I am really comfortable talking in front of crowds, so how is this anything unusual for me?

Having never done a game before, I got a chance to experience those nervous butterflies that I enjoy so much. Even though I have been involved in hundreds of games over the years and listened to announcers from all levels, I had never been the one behind the mic solo.

That didn’t stop me from grabbing the mic by the cord (so to speak) and picking out the version of the National Anthem that would be used, deciding how much to drag out the players’ names and even down to the littlest of things, like what music to play between innings.

Did I nail it? Did I even come close? I am not sure, but I can tell you I had fun, and I think a few of the players enjoyed hearing their names belted out with that little bit of extra in my best radio voice.

American psychologist Abraham Maslow said, "One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again."

When asked to help fill an opening, I could have easily gone back toward safety, but I am glad I chose to go forward toward growth. Next time you have a chance to do something new, I hope you will overcome that fear and grow.

Matt Nicholson is the mayor of Seymour. Send comments to [email protected].

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