top of page

Uncomfortable or Unmanageable?

Greetings from downtown Medford, MA. It's funny that I've ended up here on the east coast since I spend my time on the west coast in or near Medford, OR! Of course I couldn't leave it at that -- I LOVE research and this is what I uncovered...

"Medford" comes from Old English meaning "ford at the meadow". This makes sense for the Medford in Massachusetts since the Mystic River (the original name, Mistik, by the indigenous peoples) flows through it and I'm sure there were many meadows and fields around it when it was first settled by Europeans in 1630. Its counterpart in southern Oregon was named by David Loring, a civil engineer and agent for the Oregon and California railroad in 1883. He was originally from Concord, MA which is not too far from Medford.

That's not the only connection between the east and west coast states. Apparently, in 1845, business partners Asa Lovejoy from Massachusetts and Francis Pettygrove from Maine were debating what to call their new settlement. Asa wanted Boston and Francis wanted Portland each to honor their home towns. They decided to flip a coin and Francis won two out of three, deciding the town would be called "Portland".

So now that you've had your history lesson, let's get on with this week's Care. I've been talking to and hearing about several people who have done amazing things recently. As I listened to them I thought about the difference between them and their accomplishments compared to others who give up or don't try. Let me tell you about two of my heroes who went for a dream recently.

The first is a dear, delightful, smart nurse that I've worked with in the past. She wanted to live and work in Hawaii. We had some conversations about doing travel nursing and she told me she was nervous and scared because travel contracts aren't as available as they were, especially during COVID. However, it was her huge desire to go to Hawaii. Fast forward, she has rented an adorable cottage and taken a position at the local Hawaiian hospital. She could have hesitated or looked for something else and put her ultimate dream on hold, but that wasn't good enough. She played all out, even when it didn't seem likely.

The other person is a wonderful, accomplished doctor who has been a colleague of mine in the Mindfulness arena. He decided to walk The Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. This was a 30+ day commitment and he invited me to join him. I have wanted to take this journey for several years and while I can justify not joining him, I think I might have passed up a sweet opportunity. He completed the walk, but not without problems. He developed a bad cold at one point and wonders if he might have had a touch of pneumonia. Then, he had tendonitis that was so painful in one foot and ankle that he had to stay in a hotel for three days and not walk at all. In the end, he completed the journey (512 miles) and even met up with friends for the last 200 miles. I, on the other hand, chose to see it as unmanageable. There was a lot going on in my life in April, however, I know I could have worked through it being uncomfortable. It reminded me to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk (literally!). Everything is an opportunity.

Both of these people are ordinary, regular souls who have done something extraordinary. It wasn't always comfortable, but they did it! How often do we think of something as unmanageable or even impossible when actually it's simply out of our comfort zone. I've learned that this is where the gifts are -- when we stretch ourselves, get awkward, and enter situations that might be sometimes unaccommodating. The result is a renewed sense of ourselves, a recognition of what we are capable of, increased confidence and a new joy and trust in life. I encourage you to play with discomfort and as always, be care-full!

I have openings for some 1:1 mentoring. I am also putting out the idea of walking the Portuguese Camino in the near future. I would love to talk with you about either or both! Contact me.

Happy Healthy Habit Hump Day,


Thanks for submitting!

Sign up for my mailing list!

About the Author




Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

the Mindful Maven and Mistress of Meditation, is a sassy Queen-ager, mentor, confidante and trusted guide who provides people with everyday life support. 

Recent Posts
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Instagram Social Icon
bottom of page