Thursday, April 30, 2020

Zee End Of The A-Z Challenge

We've come to the end of the alphabet and as per my usual way of completing these sorts of challenges I go out with more of a whimper than a bang.

Today's word comes from my nephew (yes, another one), a high school student currently finishing up the school year you know where. While I'm sure the academic side of life is happening, what's missing are all those little extras that make the high school years so memorable.

Memorable in a good way, not memorable in a global pandemic sort of way.

Day 26-Z is for Zest

Is it wrong that when I first saw the word I immediately thought food? Lemon zest. Lime zest. Which leads me to thinking of lemon curd, and key lime pie, and maybe I've been spending too much time in the kitchen? Hey, in the age of Corona you take your zest where you can get it, right?  Life lately has been less salsa, more clear chicken broth and we're ready for a bit more spice.

I read a quote attributed I think to Bertrand Russell that said, 'Hunger is to food as zest is to life.'

Hunger sends you in search of food. Zest sends you in search of life.

As we move into month number three of social distancing confusion abounds. Should we stay in or should we get out and mix it up a little, see what happens? Numbers are up or numbers are down or nobody has a firm grasp on what the real numbers might be? On a scale of 1-10, what is the current crisis level? Expert A says we're a 2 and Expert B says we're at least an 11 so who do we believe?

We're home too much and concerned about the long term effects the precautions we're taking will have on children, the elderly, and the anxious. We miss our people, our paychecks, our classrooms, and our plans.

What is zest for life anyway and how do we find it in this very strange season?

For me having a zest for life means approaching life with enthusiasm. A sense of excitement for what's ahead, but also satisfaction in the here and now. Easy peasy, right? Ha! Sometimes it actually is a pretty simple thing, but lately I think we're all finding it more of a challenge. How do we retain our zest for life when one day looks a whole lot like the next and everything seems to end in a question mark?

Here's my personal strategy for times when zest is waning-fake it til you make it. 

I'm a big believer in the idea that if I tell myself what I want to feel, then act as if I already feel it, eventually there comes a day when I discover I really do. It's not foolproof, but more often than not it works.

Thanks for reading along in the A-Z Challenge this month. And thank you especially to friends and family who've supplied the words. You add zest to my blog and to my life.


  1. A fine ending to your A-Z April Challenge, Joyce!! Your nephew picked a great word to end the month with. I agree that attitude is what it's all about. Yes.

  2. Yup, one day at a time and faking it until you make it.

    Congratulations on reaching z.

    I hope you and yours are staying safe and healthy during this difficult time.

    J Lenni Dorner~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

  3. Congratulations on making to the end Joyce. It's definitely not been a typical April and as to how May will look? Not a lot different here.

  4. Congrats on completing your A-Z challenge. I enjoyed reading along :)

  5. Great post. I'm worried about what is ahead for me with the virus. Until we have a vaccine I'm afraid to be social at all. Building garden boxes and planting vegetables has given me a zest for life right now. Being able to see James at a distance has been so good for my soul. Way to go on finishing this challenge. I don't know how you do it! Have a wonderful weekend Joyce.

  6. It's a good strategy. I think I've been strategizing without realizing. Kudos to you for finishing the challenge! I had no doubt you would. :)

  7. Yes, sometimes faking it until we make is the best thing we can do.