Quitting the Quest #AtoZChallenge

Dear Son

Oftentimes our lives starts turning dreary. We go about mechanically doing our tasks mindlessly. We’re probably stagnating but yet we carry on without bothering to make changes in our lifestyle. I’ve observed the sharpest of minds going numb in the confinement of mundanity that routine life sets them into. It is a sheer waste of mental resources when one goes into this kind of a shell.

It is said that the mind needs to be challenged on regular basis to keep it sharp and productive. Finding new quests that requires your brain to make an extra effort to absorb it keeps the mind healthy and away from monotony. For years we continue having the same interests assuming that we know what we enjoy doing the most without the will to try new things. Sometimes we get plain lazy in our comfort zone to go that extra mile to chase a new quest. Or perhaps that particular activity does not seem to be what we are cut out for. Maybe it requires some kind of skills and stamina which we have assumed that we lack. But by luck if we are pushed into doing it, (maybe out of courtesy to someone who dragged you to do it for giving them company), you realise surprisingly that you actually enjoyed doing it. And hey, you were good at it too! That happens a lot many times, doesn’t it? But then, why do we wait for some coincidence like that to oil our rusty minds?

Games and puzzles have been designed to keep our minds working in quest mode. Remember all those games you played when you were a kid? Have you ever wondered when and why you stopped playing those games or reduced the frequency of playing them? Probably, the day you started assuming that you’re too old to play such seemingly frivolous games. That childlike wonder of discovering a new way of building blocks is replaced by a ‘been there done that, not interested’ kinda attitude that does no good to your spirit. No matter how old you grow, keep that childlike quality of chasing new quests to feed your mind with new matter, just the way you satiate your tongue with new tastes to bring in novelty. I say childlike, because being childlike is different from being childish. A child has the purest form of curiosity, which as adults we try to dim by assuming to be plagued by boredom. We suddenly don’t have time for these little quests.

But somewhere our minds rebel. They get worn by the mechanical format of working day in and day out without any new challenges. And one fine day something within us dies. Life no longer seems as exciting as it used to be. Obviously, since we ourselves have quit the quest to make it exciting. If you ask me how would one continue chasing new quests, I’d say try new things every once in a while even if they seem remotely interesting. Sometimes you end up surprising yourself by enjoying to do something that you probably thought you wouldn’t enjoy. For example, never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I would one day bake cupcakes for you. I was always the kind of cook who would get into the kitchen, rustle up something quickly and get out of the kitchen. In fact, as a child when you would request me to make a dish with a complicated recipe that required me to sweat for long hours in the kitchen, I would act cheeky and tell you that a few things are never made at home, and that they need to be ordered from a restaurant! But one fine day my sweettooth started to crave for something that I did not feel like ordering from outside. I finally ventured to do the very thing that I had labeled as too much effort and no fun. I never thought that the acts of sieving flour, beating eggs and whipping up a rich frosting would give me so much pleasure. In spite of all the efforts, the heady aroma of vanilla wafting from the oven turned out to be so therapeutic for me. I graduated from baking cupcakes to making breads, trying to learn new skills by looking up for recipes on the internet. And today, I’m glad I made that extra effort to break out of a mind block that prevented me from trying something new. That also meant that you no longer could be fooled by being told that a few things are never made at home! So well, you can now have your cake and eat it too! 😉

If you remember the essence of the book/movie ‘P.S. I Love You’ – Gerry dies of brain tumour leaving his wife Holly a bunch of messages to be read every month after his death. Each of these messages were aimed at pulling Holly out of her doldrums of losing him and setting her on a new journey filled with new adventures to redefine herself. Some of the tasks he urges her to undertake through his messages are things that Holly would have never done if not for her dead husband’s last wishes. As the seasons pass, each new message fills her with encouragement and hope to start her life all over again. This happens to be one of my favorite love stories for this whole concept of infusing a loved one’s life with life changing quests even after you’re gone. I loved Gerry’s character for the visionary that he was.

In the end all I say is keep the quest on for new things to enrich your life going. Quitting is for losers. To reap the bounty that life has yet to bless us with, we need to put in consistent efforts and constantly work around our fixed mindsets to break out of the monotony that we have created for ourselves.  I’d love to see what your next quest is going to be all about. C’mon, surprise me! 🙂

Love
Ma

My theme for this year’s ‘Blogging from A-Z Challenge,’ is a set of 26 open ‘Letters to my Son’ from me that I will be writing throughout April. Read more about my theme here.