Today I Give Myself Permission to Be Zealous #atozchallenge

Letter ZDo you ever sit and watch young children who have just learned to toddle? They are a study in energy and zeal. Determined to exercise their new found freedom, they approach their mobility with gusto and wonder (or probably more appropriately wander if you have ever tried to keep a toddler under control whilst carrying a baby).

So what happens to our zeal as we grow up? baby

One of the merits of growing up is the loss of some of our naivety. However the loss tends to come at a price and that is a tempering of our enthusiasm. You’re probably thinking that this is because as adults the number of first times we experience drops dramatically and too often we travel down the “been there, done that” road. I don’t buy this. Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder so too is zeal in the eye of the enthusiast.

We humans can rationalise just about anything and any situation. Justification for just about any decision is usually only a stones throw away. If you really don’t want to go somewhere or do something it’s relatively easy to rationalize that decision – it’s too cold, too hot, to dry, too wet, too far, too noisy, too crowded, too fast, too slow, too long too short, too expensive, too difficult, too easy, too… We all have to do things we would rather not. But dragging our backsides and chins on the ground only adds undue weight and resistance to the exercise and is self-defeating. By doing so we are limitng our potential to be wowed and limiting the payback we can receive from the experience – whether that’s learning something new, meeting someone new or experiencing a new sensation.

Trying to teach this concept to a child is one of the hardest things to do. Teaching it to an adult is nigh impossible.

But the old adage of “you get out what you put in” is so true.

Life is like landing a plane. It’s all in the approach. Approach something with a sense of wonder, commitment and energy and chances are you will end up with something more than you started and not just a headache or a big bill. If something is worth my time, it’s worth my zeal.

I’m that adult toddler, approaching my new found freedom with wonder and gusto.

impossibleThank you for sharing some or all of the journey by allowing me to chronicle it in my A to Z Challenge 2013 posts. For all of you who took the time to comment or like my posts, I truly appreciate your zeal. You have helped me reflect just how far I have come. And I needed to do that.

Today I give myself permission to be zealous and not blog tomorrow.


About the curtain raiserhttp://raisingthecurtain.netI have spent my life in offices. For now I am putting that behind me and preparing for the second act. Middle age didn't come with acceptable signposts so I am making my own through my writing. A journey shared is more fun than going it solo.

33 thoughts on “Today I Give Myself Permission to Be Zealous #atozchallenge

  1. Agreed. I drove my husband to work today and was just taking in how beautifully green everything has become this last week. Sprinkled with pinks, lavenders, whites, yellows, etc., Spring has truly sprung here. I still get such a zeal for springtime and new life. I get excited seeing the trees bud, the little baby ducks following their mommy in the pond, the baby bunnies in my yard. With each passing year you would think I would be hum drum about it having viewed this wonder for so many years now. Instead, as each spring unfolds new life, I find myself more zealous then the one before to share in the excitement of starting afresh and anew to endless possibilities.

    • Wonderful comment, thank you. Spring always does that to me as well. Of course, we are just heading into Winter, but the Autumn colours are beautiful right now. Life is full of possibilities and I think I’ve reached the point where hum drum has turned into gratitude. Love your outlook 🙂

  2. Is the charming toddler you, dear friend? ;-)… and well done, a pleasure it was to follow you )

    • Thanks H, you’re wonderful words make me smile as always. The charming toddler is not me, but I am sure there is a similar picture of me somewhere around. Don’t we all have one of those?

  3. “Life is like landing an airplane. It is all in the approach.” I love this Judy!! Zeal is one of those words that can be bad or good, depending on your approach. It is funny, when you use the word “zeal” it connotes a good passion, but when you use the word zealous, it becomes more the “too strident, unbending” connotation. Nice end to you alphabet soup. I have enjoyed the cooking process. BTG

    • I agree as I had a few reservations about zealous as well. However I concluded that being zealous was acceptable, but being a zealot was not. Can you imagine though a life where nothing excites you?

  4. I have enjoyed all 26 posts and followed them with zeal! I am very much interested in your meta-analysis – but now you deserve a break!

    • Elke, you always amaZe me with your zeal (not to mention spam poetry) :). Thanks mate for sticking with me through the whole thing, it means much. Meta analysis will follow shortly.

  5. I love the idea of being an “adult toddler.” I so agree with you about how adults seek excuses not to try new things or allow themselves to fill with wonder. And, OMG, isn’t that part of what makes life so rich?
    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your AtoZ posts and look forward to following your regular blog. Congratulations on completing this challenge and thank you for reading my posts too.

    • I agree with you about the richness of life. If comfort is your primarly motivator then the life you live will be vastly different. Thanks for the wonderful feedback, I am looking forward to your regular posts as well.

  6. Yes, it is easy to come up with reason to do or not do as we get older; but I prefer to think it means we’ve gotten smarter about what we really want and need to do and not just blindly say yes…because we’re too weak to say no or make our own decision about how we spend our time. Congrats on completing the challenge. I’ve made a point to blog today, didn’t want to loose the momentum created by the challenge.

    • Thank you Sandy, as we grow older we do become more discerning, but hopefully not to the extent that we forgo an enriching experience simly because of a little preceived discomfort. Congratulats on finishing also and hope you ride the crest of the Challenge wave for many posts to come.

  7. What a great final post in the A to Z, a lot of food for thought in here. Congratulations! I look forward to having some more time in May to catch up on your challenge, want to read ALL of it!

  8. I read somewhere that to be successful, you don’t need to push yourself… to motivate yourself. Just as a toddler doesn’t need to be ‘motivated’ to try walking… he does it for the sheer pleasure of it… so also you must do what you do for the sheer pleasure of it.

    Then you’ll be successful… like a toddler learns to walk. 🙂 That’s zeal I guess…


    • Motivation is critical and how is it that we as adults can’t muster that motivation with the same ease as a toddler? is it that we already know that the experience will yield or is it becaue we think that as adults we shouldn’t get excited about matters? Your comments are always full of zeal 🙂 and I truly appreciate them.

I would really love to hear what you have to say. C'mon.. you know you want to!

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