Monday, September 24, 2007

Having zest for life

I believe I always had zest for life. As I was looking for a name for my blog, that I knew would be an everyday life blog, I wondered what a good name would be. I thought: what defines me as a person - how do I want to live my life?

I believe in life BEFORE death. That we must appreciate the life we are living right now, and not put off everything till later, or live with our eyes firmly set on far horizons and goals. We have to remember to enjoy life - right now - as well as we can.

So "Zest for life" was the name that came up. To me it describes a positive attitude to being.

When I was somewhat younger than I am now - in 1989 - I was single with a small boy, and in the middle of the last semester of my education. At that time a lot of computer programmers and similar people had been mass-educated, and the market was full. There was really not much work to be had. So I started early - 3-4 months before my final exams - at the task of pursueing a job all over Jutland. I lived in Skive then, quite far from my family who mostly lived around Aalborg.

Of course I would have loved to get a job in Aalborg, but I knew chances were scant, and I should be happy for any job. So I sent off a handful of applications, to all over Jutland.

That resulted in no less than two job interviews, one at Sydbanks it-department, and the other one at Lego in Billund. The last job was temporary.

In Sydbank things went very well. They called me the next morning to hear if I was interested in them sending me a job contract. Was I ever! I called and cancelled at Lego, as a permanent position was more interesting than a temporary.

Sydbank. At the extreme south end of the country - a very far way away from Aalborg, physically and culturally (not to mention lingually!!). But I was happy knowing I had a job february 1st of 1990.

Later my mom told me, that she shuddered. There I was, happy and unworried, facing a job down by the German border. I needed an apartment, daycare for my son - and I had to move all my stuff, myself and my kid. I told her "It will be fine - I'll find a place to live, its going to fall into place."

Of course it did just that - fall into place, like things usually do for me.

My mom meant back then that my luck was due to my laid back confidence in things working out - and to the fact that I don't have ingrown opinions on how the solution must be.

That illustrates my zest for life quite well, that. Its not necessarily about Amarone wine and Valrhona chocolate, or cuban luxury cigars (eew!).

To me it is an attitude. It is something very simple: To enjoy what you do, and to do what you enjoy. To choose focusing on the positive. To remember to feel joy, and that even though life is a journey, remembering to be present right now.

In the course of a life there are lots of things you have to do - things, you don't find fun, giving or pleasant. You can choose to let them take up as little space as possible. I don't mean repressing everything sad or unpleasant - but the day where you have to wait in line or in a waiting room, you might choose to focus on the interesting person you met and struck up conversation with, the lovely weather you could look at outside the window, the good result of the long wait. There are plenty of possibilities.

Sometimes life hurts. You have to be in that pain, live it through, and when you come out on the other side (and you DO), the sunshine and light feel extra good. And you learned appreciating what you have even more.

I can be ducked. I can be in despair, down and sad. But I resurface. Stand back up like the toy clowns my kids had. And I can almost always find joy somewhere.

Sunbeams in a puddle. The good glass of wine. The love of my kids and my husband. The company of good friends. Soft rain on my face. Rest after a long day.

That is how little it takes, to retain your zest for life.


Roberta said...

My dearest friend,
You sure have become wiser than your years,,,, of course I always knew you are beautiful inside and out but reading your words just made very proud to know you!

Dont ever leave the zest for the rest!

Lizelotte said...

I did get som zesty lessons from you, my bubbly sister :-)