During our pre bedtime snack (an essential meal of the day) my girlfriend posed the question, “I wonder what I’ll be zealous about when I get old?”. The context came from a conversation about the incredible fan powers of one of her family members, and how it seems like elderly people are more zealous about a specific thing than others. Perhaps the zealous nature of their focus comes from no longer having a job to give them purpose, but I think the question is a fascinating one to ponder for people of any age.

My initial reactions

My initial reaction to what I could possibly be zealous about included the following right off the bat:

  • Whittling
  • Drawing
  • Food stand owner
  • Coaching (wrestling)

The most surprising one to me on the list is ‘food stand owner’, which stems from identifying an experience in my childhood that I found fulfilling.

Every year my grandma’s neighborhood (upwards of 200 houses) had a designated garage sale day. On garage sale day, my dad would haul out the popcorn stand and as many coolers as we could get our hands on. My dad, sister, and I sold popcorn for 25 cents a bag, and soda for 50 cents a can. Business was usually quite brisk, with my sister and I each netting a hundred dollars or so in profit. My dad allowed us to keep all the profit once we did the bookkeeping, and my young self learned a valuable lesson between ‘revenue’ and ‘profit’. The popcorn stand was an awesome parenting moment, but what really sticks out to me is that people were genuinely excited to get their popcorn. I’m sure having two kid helpers kept everyone on their best behavior; however that immediate emotional feedback of happiness is usually missing in my now digital professional career. Definitely makes me wonder what I can actively change to include that element more frequently into my life.

What will you be zealous about?

What do you think you’ll be zealous about when you get old? If you are already retired, what are you zealous about currently? Does it change or has it remained static for a number of years?

I would love to hear more about people’s thoughts on this subject in the comments or via email!