Webster’s dictionary defines passion as “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something”. In our world, we sometimes become so focused on the “reward” for what we do that we forget to listen to our passion much less tap into or pursue it. We get focused on the final grade, the recognition, or the paycheck attached to what we do. Somewhere in all of that “focusing on the end result” we lose sight of something that matters just as much – passion.
My eldest child can tell you just about anything you want to know about the Tudors. She can list all of the wives of King Henry the VIII and tell you who their children were, how they died, etc. I mean, she even bought one of those “coffee table books” (pictured to the left) on the subject and has read it cover to cover. I mean, most people buy those and put them on a coffee table as a decoration! When she gets interested in something and wants to know more she doesn’t waste time. Lately, she became interested in learning the whole story behind “The Manson Family” so she headed to the library and checked out “Helter Skelter” (well-written book, I recommend it!). As a mom, I love watching her chase learning just because she wants to. Her passion kicks in, and you cannot stop her from learning. She buries herself in books or movies and won’t stop till she’s satisfied she knows as much as she can learn.
With hubby, it’s golf and woodworking. He spends time on Youtube watching “how-to” videos when planning his latest wood working projects. If it isn’t woodworking videos, it’s golf tutorials. The weird little tool on the desk in the picture to the right is apparently something to help improve his swing. I don’t golf so I don’t understand how it works. Whether it’s a new woodworking project or trying to improve his golf game, hubby isn’t satisfied with “good enough.” He loves putting in the time to improve his skill with power tools or his score on the golf course. I’m pretty sure the guys in his golf league appreciate his hard work too!
For me, it’s the theater. Directing, music directing, acting, . . . whatever it is, I LOVE being in the theater. I have some cherished memories of shows I’ve directed – a couple of favorites that jump immediately to mind – but each time I get a chance to direct another show, I work to improve the last experience by preparing well ahead, carefully organizing my rehearsal plans, continuing to “tweak” my procedures, etc. Leave me alone with a new script and a blank legal pad, let me get to work planning the staging and blocking, and I am in my happy place! I am very proud of the shows I have directed in the past, but I know I can always be a better director. As an actress and pit musician I get chances to watch other directors and I learn from what they do with their shows, borrowing their best ideas and strategies and tweaking those that have potential but don’t quite match my style personally.
Why do I share these seemingly random hobbies with you? Because they all have one big thing in common – passion. Not a paycheck. Not the ability to become famous. Not the chance to change the world. Just the chance to improve our knowledge or increase our skill level at something. I can say this with confidence – none of us regret the time we’ve invested. Not even a little bit. Feeding the passion we have is enough of a reward. Nothing more is needed.