Passion is defined as having a “powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, such as love or hate” about a given topic. We all know someone who’s passionate about their sports team, fitness, travel or even gardening. Most I know care deeply for loved ones, homes and pets.
If asked, I’d have to say the following:
I’m passionate about my marriage. We are surrounded by couples in distress, and that has made me even more attentive to our union. But here’s the thing .. hubbs and I are not all that similar. We have different interests but similar philosophies. One of the reasons we enjoy time together is because we give each other the space to pursue what we love and then make it a priority to come back together again. He loves to compete and is an avid sports fan. I’ve never seen anyone happier than him as he’s readying for a golf date on a Saturday morning. But .. he’s happiest when he returns, having competed and laughed with friends, excelling at a sport he loves, and all with my blessing. When he’s away, I do what brings me joy … read, write and play with music and technology. We don’t need to be alike or together all the time to be compatible. And when we are, we’re interested and interesting to each another. And the best part? After 19 years, that spark is still there.
I’m passionate about being a good example to my boys. I let them see me work hard, laugh loud, get frustrated, mess up and keep on going. They know that, generally, I’m pretty easy going; they also know that if they cross the line they’ll hear about it. I love that they know me, respect me, and most of all, value me.
I’m passionate about how I dole out my time and to whom. I think of our grand kids, for example, and how much fun it is to answer questions and just play with them, marveling in all that they do. I relish slow walks with the elderly dog and power walks for myself. I’m passionate about sharing homemade salsa and the conversations it sparks with neighbors … about helping when I can, and chats with friends and family and strangers in the coffee shop.
I’m passionate about a meal lovingly prepared and liberally shared. As someone who loves to cook, there’s no better person to cook for than someone who loves to eat. Recently, we had friends in for an impromptu meal… nothing fancy, just hearty Midwestern food: roast beef, mashed potatoes & gravy, corn on the cob, salad and dinner rolls. These friends often go out to eat so when they (shyly) accepted our invitation, they stepped into boisterous conversations peppered with requests to pass the butter. To my delight, they relished every morsel. Our youngest and I shared a smile when our guest looked up, his buttered face accompanying his wide smile. Moments like that reinforce that, while I enjoy cooking, what I really enjoy most is sharing the meal with others I care for.
I’m passionate about the “little” things in life that make it delightful: the heady smell of lilacs in Spring, the sweet sounds of northern songbirds at daybreak, roadside fruit stands, the wind in my hair, the sun on my face and Michigan summer nights that require a “hoodie.” I’m passionate about writing my blog, chatting up vendors at the farmers market, and days without schedules. I’m passionate about “big” things, too: exercising my right to vote (I’m a new citizen), being on time, leading by example and doing the right thing.
I’m passionate about learning. Learning from others, learning from my mistakes, learning what’s worked for me and what hasn’t. I’m passionate about trusting my instincts, that it’s OK to be wrong but more important to be accountable. And learning that, at 48, I am still capable of learning and growing, changing and evolving. And learning that life is still so exciting that I don’t want to miss … a thing.
What I’m passionate about comes down to this: it’s what’s not negotiable. It’s what I could never, ever leave behind. It’s how I behave and who I am whether anyone is around to know. I know, and that’s enough. It’s honing the traits and values that I’ve carried with me from middle school to middle age. It’s all of that and what’s yet to come.
What inspires passion in you?