Monday, July 18, 2011

passion (Monday musings)

Ever since we saw Buck, I have been wondering what it would be like to have a true passion for something.

When I was growing up, I always wished I was so passionate about something that I wanted to devote all of my energy to it. Dance. Gymnastics. Figure skating. Anything, really.

I would watch the Olympics and feel kind of heartsick that I wasn't really good at something. I still feel that way a little bit when I watch So You Think You Can Dance. (Because I already know, the answer is NO. Just like when Jill says she watches Survivor and wonders if she could do all of those things. For me, the answer is NO. I could not.)

I've been passionate about things in the past. Reading. Scrapbooking. Education. Singing. Quilting. French. Blogging. Politics. Baking. Mothering. Photography. I just don't feel really passionate about anything right now. (Well, still reading. Always reading.)

Since I've been sick for a week (bronchitis), I've had a lot of time to lie around, read, and think. Among other things, I read Saving CeeCee Honeycutt (loved it). Here's a passage that really gave me pause:

"Everyone needs to find the one thing that brings out her passion. It's what we do and share with the world that matters. I believe it's important that we leave our communities in better shape than we found them.

"Cecelia Rose", she said, reaching for my hand, "far too many people die with a heart that's gone flat with indifference, and it surely must be a terrible way to go. Life will offer us amazing opportunities, but we've got to be wide-awake to recognize them. . . if there's one thing I'd like most for you, it's that you'll find your calling in life. That's where true happiness and purpose lies. . . you've got to find your fire, sugar. You'll never be fulfilled if you don't."

". . . But how will I know what my fire is?"

". . . Oh you'll know. One day you'll do something, see something, or get an idea that seems to pop up from nowhere. And you'll feel a kind of stirring–like a warm flicker inside your chest. When that happens, whatever you do, don't ignore it. Open your mind and explore the idea. Fan your flame. And when you do, you'll have found it."

I guess I'm at a bit of a crossroads, maybe. I've sacrificed a lot of my time, my dreams, to nurture my children. And while I know for a surety that my older children don't need me any less than my younger children did, it's different now. They still need my love, my attention, my interest, but they don't need me to do every little thing for them. They don't need me constantly.

Now I think I have a little more time to devote to my passions, if I can only figure out what they currently are. When I was in the years of pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing infants, I was passionate about that. I wanted to be a doula, a labor & delivery nurse, or something along those lines. I could still be passionate about that if I put my mind to it.

I still want to be passionate about mothering. I just have to figure out how to be good at it in this new phase. It doesn't come as naturally to me.

I feel a rekindling of my passion for quilting.

I think I could be passionate about volunteering. I'll have to explore that further.

I want to be passionate about things that make me happy, but I also want to be passionate about something that makes a difference for others.

Right now, I just don't know what it is. I wonder how long it will take for me to find out.

The thing is... I really don't want to have a heart that's gone flat with indifference.


Gail said...

Even with a pasion there are hills and valley's.

Mothering makes everything more challenging. Even with older children. My boys are 18 now and it feels like they need me more than when they were 2. Right now my pasion to paint is in high gear, but it is summer and my children are pulling me in five different directions. I just hope to still be in high gear when fall comes and I have a few hours of the day to myself.

Just do the things you love to do and don't worry about if it is something that will help others. While helping is always a good thing. You must honor yourself or pasion will not come.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

You so aptly described the journey of making our lives worthwhile.

Like you, I have wondered. I discovered that my true passion is developing into the kind of person I want to be. I want to be kind. I want to be helpful. I want to be someone the Lord can count on. That's my real passion. All the things I do along the way (scrapbooking, teaching, crafting, etc . . .) are a means to help me become that person and give me something to share. It makes each one of those interests or mini-passions so much more enjoyable.

Charlotte said...

I love this post, especially the line about not wanting "a heart that's gone flat with indifference." I think that with goal—along with finding your passion—you'll never have a flat heart.

There's a BYU devotional from June 2010 (I listened to mine in a podcast) called "What Is Your Calling in Life?" and while it focuses a lot on professional callings, the principles are so applicable. I think that perhaps our passions change with time, that's it's not always one set thing.

This has given me much to think about, and I hope that you discover what your passion is for this season of your life. I love feeling passionate, and I hope I can always have some form of passion in my life.

PS I too am always passionate about reading.

Michelle said...

What a weighty topic - one that I can relate to. I feel this strong need to not waste this "start over" phase of life. I figure - if I'm starting over, I should make sure I absolutely do what I love. The tricky thing about passions? They don't always feel practical. To me, you always seem like the type of person that touches everything with a little bit of magic.

Mothering is definitely something that will BRING out your passions - good and bad.

Just remember - a great person (you) once told me that the more areas we are interested in and pursue, the more interesting we become. You're brilliant.

Tasha said...

I feel the same way. I finally have some breathing space in this phase of mothering, but do I take it, or do I dive in completely and give myself to them,having no regrets about not being there for them.... I want to start quilting and sewing again too. If I could just get that room unpacked!

jenn said...

Ouch. I didn't have these words, but I have had this struggle for a year now and feel no closer to an answer or passion or even an idea of what I want to do. If you figure it out, let me know how you did it!

Elizabeth said...

I just read that passage out loud to my husband. I am loving the book also. Reading is my only passion also and swimming at the beach.

Jill said...

I love that passage and loved that book!

I think this is something most of us can relate to since it's rare for people to recognize and pursue their passions. I think it seems like there are more because we see people on TV and in magazines, but I think they're the exceptions. I love what Jane said (of course) about her passion being about developing into the person she wants to be, that's brilliant! Then we can channel all our interests into being a well-rounded, wonderful person. I love Jane!

Jill said...

P.S. Bronchitis, seriously!! Please tell me you're letting/coaxing your family to take care of you!

Rebekah said...

Many times I feel heartsick in this regard as well. The thing is, there isn't one thing I want to devote my life to. I'm fine with that. I'm an investigator, I guess that's what I'm passionate about. A few years ago I spent two days at work 'learning' Finnish. Then I was done with that. Then there was the week that I was macrobiotic. Then I was vegan for a month, etc., etc. That's more of who I am.

I like life. I guess that's my passion. I like to see how life is different under varying circumstances.

Jill wrote a post a few weeks ago about talents, and how not all talents are display type talents. I think the same goes for passions. Also, I think you should remember that the possession of passion doesn't manifest itself the same way in everyone. Some people are slow burners, but that doesn't mean that they aren't passionate or can't be passionate about things.

Christina said...

I love this post, Michelle. I'm still in the stage where my kids need me constantly, but I also feel pulls of this struggle, and just the struggle to be passionate about nurturing them in the best and most deliberate ways. Thank you for sharing!

Denise said...

I'm in a rather passion-less state currently. It seems it's all I can do to just slog through each day, fall into bed at night, and get up to start it all over again. I need to reignite my blogging passion, as I feel completely disconnected right now.

I wish I could get passionate about defrosting my garage refrigerator, but so far I haven't had any luck on that count.

Miranda said...

I haven't stopped thinking about this post since I read it the first time. It struck such a chord with me, Michelle! I feel like I am always jumping from one obsession to another when what I really want is to find a passion that I can grow and learn and excel in. Hmm...maybe I'm passionate about being obsessed with things? :)

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