“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to talk, mad to live, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles explode.” – Jack Kerouac (a Pisces!)
Most often, passion sneaks up on me. I am a Pisces, after all!
I am reminded of this today, October 20, 2010, on the 11 year anniversary of Elizabeth Dole dropping out of the 2000 presidential race. From July 1, 1999, until that date, I passionately worked full time for her campaign in Iowa, without realizing just how passionate I was. Sure, I worked 80-hour weeks, but it was just a new normal for me, and thus a part of my life routines. I was devastated when she dropped out. Part of the devastation was the naivete that she would make it all the way. After all, this was my first big campaign, and the cynicism I now have hadn’t developed yet.
Most of the devastation though, was bred out of a true passion for the cause. I met so many people who had never been involved in the political process before, and they were putting it all on the line for this candidate. Democrats, Independents, and Republicans: they were all uniting behind her. There was no room for extremism in her camp. That experience fueled my desire to stay involved in politics for over a decade – and eight of those ten years as a full time paid staff person on various campaigns and organizations.
Do you wake up in the morning excited about what lies ahead? After the initial thought of “Is it morning already?”, we all should be happy to have another day to explore. We must be passionate.
“Who has time to be passionate?!” you may ask. Your life may be a struggle day to day, with getting the kids up and out the door on time, on top of making yourself presentable in a few precious minutes and then being expected to be on time, or even early, to the office. After work, there’s the mad rush to daycare, practices, meetings, remembering to feed everyone in the middle of it all, and then getting things ready to go for the next crazy day.
I have immense respect for parents who manage to balance everything life throws their way. I babysit my nephew one day a week, and it takes me a day to recuperate. And he’s not even into any extra-curricular activities yet! While I have worked crazy hours on campaigns, that’s nothing compared to raising children to be great citizens.
But isn’t that in itself a passion? So, how do you look upon that with excitement instead of an endless cycle of routines?
Passion can come from gratitude. My sister has a goal to be thankful for one new thing each day, whether it is a new thing your child discovers, a haircut, beautiful weather, or a comfy bed. We could all take pause and make this a part of our ever-growing list of things to do each day.
If you have multiple interests, find a way to make time for them. Most of us cannot be fulfilled and keep our fire fueled by focusing on only one thing. We may love our families or our work, but there has to be something else, right?
If you have never thought about your true passions, explore! Try new things and dig into those little things that make you happy. Are you a social butterfly? Find ways to meet new people. Love to bake? Try new recipes and share them with others. Want to share your mommy insights with others? Start a blog!
You may find it tough to narrow down your passions into a workable form. I, the Passionate Pisces, have this problem. I am excited about so many things! Simply describing myself in ten adjectives/phrases under the “Mel’s Musings” title was a daunting task. Thus, I must prioritize what I am most passionate about.
But even I have days when I get the blahs. What to do then? I give myself a time out – an hour or two to feel sorry for myself, be lazy, etc. And then I snap out of it and realize that another minute wasted on that crap is just that, another minute wasted.
Life is full of so many awesome things we often take for granted. Take a giant step back and look at the big picture. What in this picture gives you the most joy? Let those things take a hold of you. Be passionate…like a Pisces!