Don’t Ever Lose Your Zest For Life

It is the year 2001. I’m in Fiji. I’m firmly in the grip of the Scuba period of my life (I still love it – but haven’t been in a loooong time). I’m barely hovering above the ocean floor aiming my video camera at this cool fish that I just have to get on video.

I just about have it framed. Finally. It is not easy. The fish is moving. I am doing my best to get into the best position. Then the game is NOT to move and hold the camera still. The reward of good footage comes to those who have the right mixture of perseverance and patience. I start filming.

Then it happens. A firm tug on one of my fins from behind. I lose my shot. I turn around. If looks could kill… the guy who tugged on my fins would have dropped dead immediately. I was mad. My perfect shot – lost!

It turns out the “tugger” meant well. He was attempting to get my attention for me to see something much cooler than the fish I was filming.
Back on land, I felt bad. He walked up to me. I was about to apologize for my unverbalized, yet unmistakably displeased reaction underwater.

To my surprise, he said, “Stephie, don’t ever lose your zest for life!”

I was floored. How insightful! What inspired him to say that to me right then? He could have said, “Tale a chill pill, lady!”

I have never forgotten about his advice. I guess he thought if I was THAT passionate about filming that fish I must have a lot of zest for life! Reflecting on that, I have to admit: I don’t like to do things halfway. I’m in or I’m not. I do my best to soak in life fully.

I might be genetically predisposed. When my Mom collected cacti (in Germany they tend to be tiny compared to say Phoenix!) she collected a LOT of them. She had maybe 200 of them! When she got into macrame the results of her crafting efforts were hanging all over the house.
Sometimes when things get to me, I remember “Stephie, don’t lose your zest for life!”

I’m Curious (Of Course!)

What mantras do you have? And what do you say to yourself when the going gets tough?

Stephie Althouse

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