Welcome! And thank you for taking some time out of your day to check out my new blog. So what is this thing all about anyway? The idea is to take you on a little journey of discovery with me. This blog is about discovering and nurturing passions. Those things in life that we spend our time on after we work 12 hours a day. Our hobbies, our fascinations, our obsessions. For some of us, it is the thing we do in our spare time, while for others it’s work, family ancestry, kids, or maybe an old car on blocks in the garage being restored.
It’s that thing that keeps you up to 2am when you know you have to wake up for work at 6am.
Now of course those things are completely different for everyone. It would be a strange world indeed if everyone spent 10 hours a day knitting socks. A warm world perhaps, but strange.
It never occurred to me that some people have no idea what they are passionate about. I just took it for granted that everyone has their thing–that spark, that “fire in the belly.” Certainly, in parts of the world there is little time to entertain anything beyond the need to survive. Food and shelter trump passion. There are desperate people who need food in their bellies, not fire, and we must never forget how fortunate we are. More on that later. For now, I’m referring to people who were never encouraged to find what moves them. You know the mantra: “Get a safe job, put food on the table, and save for a rainy day.” Then, at 60 when the kids are gone and the house feels too big, there is nothing to do but get a divorce or buy a sports car. Let’s stoke those embers sooner so there won’t be a manic need to light a bonfire later!
If you are one of those people, never fear. Your thing is out there waiting patiently to be discovered. We will find it together.
But before we go too far I should tell you what my “things” are. Here is the short list:
- Cycling (preferably up very steep hills)
- Travel and Foreign Cultures
- Baking (the more butter the better)
- Old Houses
Now maybe some of these you find interesting and some you find boring. I love this photo I shot of an old craftsman house in Pasadena, CA. I liked taking it and I like looking at it. Maybe you do too, or maybe you have no idea why someone would spend two hours taking a photo of an old house. That’s as it should be. They are my things, not necessarily yours.
I could expand on that list but it would start to drift into interests, not passions. And that’s not what we are here to talk about. I’m interested in dozens of things, but I don’t loose sleep thinking about them. I like a good cafe latte but I don’t read about coffee roasting in the wee hours of the night. But some of you do and that’s fantastic. Find the perfect grinder and sip the perfect espresso knowing that no one makes a better one than you.
Often our obsessions can be combined to become super-obsessions. For me, nothing beats traveling with my bike and taking photos of old houses in foreign lands. Taking a break at a great bakery completes the experience perfectly!
It’s important that we make room for our passions. Life can overwhelm us, and there are lots of things competing for our attention. Television, video games, web surfing, texting and social networking all want a little piece of us. Give in too much and before you know it time has slipped away and there is nothing left for you. It is important to remember that time is precious. Don’t waste it.
It occurs to me that this train of thought may seem very self-centric. After all, a life well-lived should not be all about one’s self, right? Right.
One of the biggest rewards in life is turning our passions outward and using that energy to help others. Giving Back, is the phrase of the moment. That is going to be a big theme here. Opportunities to make a difference are all around us; some big, some small, but all important and worthy of our attention. Combine those needs with our passions and everyone benefits. Let’s have fun, but let’s not make this all about us, okay?
Leave a comment and tell me, what’s your thing?
This week’s poll: