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Monday, November 29, 2021  

A Life Filled with PassionPublished 1/13/2003

I’m here to talk about passion. Not the sweaty, naked body type passion, but the kind of passion that pushed a person to take on a cause, change a career or simply do something for the love of it, lose track of time and themselves while they do it, enjoy it. The kind of thing you will do at the end of a hard day at work, even though you’re already tired.

I know people who swear that work is that way for them. And if your work involves the creative process like artists, musicians etc., that may be true, but for the rest of us, I feel we need something outside of work and even outside of church and family to be passionate about. In the real world, the majority of us work because we have to. We may enjoy our work but it’s also something we have to do in order to maintain food and shelter and even to support those things about which we are passionate.

I know for me, I need a creative outlet. Whether I’m playing music, painting a portrait or writing, I’m outside myself, losing track of time and de-stressing. O.K., so I’m an overachiever. You don’t have to do that many things, but the point is, your life may have more color, and less stress and be fun if you do something for you.

"I’m not creative; I can’t draw a straight line." Fine. Play golf. Bird watch. Volunteer at a Nature Center. Join a literacy program and help someone learn to read. Find something you can care about and become involved in. I’m not suggesting that you neglect your family or job, but think about things you’ve always wanted to do, learn or be. Take a class, learn a new skill. Learn to use a bow and arrow, learn to knit, break out the old bicycle, and play soccer. Maybe when you were young you wanted to be a chef. Take a cooking class.

"But why? I already work to support my family, am involved with my church and actively raising children. Why do I need to add anything more into my life?" Well, maybe you don’t. Maybe you have enough already and adding anything else would just add more stress. You are the only one who can evaluate that. But if you have nothing you can lose yourself in for a few minutes, no way to escape the unpleasant parts of reality, you may be missing out. Look at your life and think about those things you’ve always wanted to do, see or try. Wouldn’t one of those fit into your life now?

When I was in my 40’s, I had a friend who was ready to retire. She had so many plans for all the things she felt she couldn’t do until the time came that she could quit work. Within less than six months after she retired, she was dead from a brain aneurysm. She never got to do all the things she had planned. I don’t want you to sit around in fear of dying. But isn’t there something you’ve always loved that you can fit into your life now?

We need to do the same things for ourselves we do for our kids and spouses. We try to tell our partner we love them before they leave the house and not put it off, just-in-case. We want to play tea party with our 3-year-old because they only stay three for a minute or two. Do the same for yourself. If you put off learning to ride a motorcycle until you retire, maybe you won’t have the eye sight or arm strength by then.

I’m an avid reader, and have been since I was about eight. I can’t imagine a life without books. I know people who never read for pleasure. Want to punish me, take away my books. I absolutely don’t think everyone needs to do the same thing or even the same type of thing. If you love music but don’t play an instrument then listen to a new kind of music, learn more about it, take music appreciation, go to a concert. Most towns have free concerts somewhere. Always wanted to be an actor, the star of the show? -Join a community theatre. Don’t want to be on stage? Paint the scenery.

All I’m saying is that in these trying times of terrorism, nursing shortages, smallpox and etc., we need something else. Search for something about which you can be passionate. You’ll feel better and so will those around you because you will be happier.

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