As I contemplated the whole “passion” prompt this weekend, my thoughts turned to the things I enjoy doing, the self-fulfilling activities that bring joy into my everyday life. I found it difficult to zero in on a theme, however, so I mentioned it to my 13-year-old daughter:
“Oh, that’s easy,” she said.
“Really. And what would you write about?”
Of course! For her, it is easy. She eats, sleeps, and breathes music. Oh, there are other things she enjoys; her friends, her family, her pets, the occasional video game, but for the most part, it’s all about music. She sings, she plays guitar, she writes lyrics, and if she’s not singing, playing, or writing music, she’s probably online, printing out more lyrics. At this stage in her life, music is her life.
It was easy for me, too, at that age. I ate, slept, and breathed horses. I spent my earliest years desperately wishing for a horse of my own, saving my every dime in a little tin box for the day my dream would come true. When it finally did happen, the passion grew stronger still. The promise of going to the stables was what dragged me out of bed each morning, and that passion continued right on through high school. My horses were my life.
It’s one of the privileges of childhood (or at least, it should be), having the time to devote to finding and pursuing your one special passion. But as I progressed to adulthood, to marriage, to married-with-four-children, it was increasingly difficult to eke out time for myself, and I found my interests changing. They became more home-centered, and more fragmented, in competition with a greater passion, my growing family. I moved sporadically from one interest to the next, at times criticizing myself for my lack of "stick-tuitiveness." I had smaller chunks of time to devote to my hobbies, and yet, they continued to develop and mutate to fit my ever-changing lifestyle. I’ve since become accustomed to the variety, and learned to embrace it.
I still love horses today, but I no longer have a horse of my own. There isn’t the time or money for that, but I do have passions that are just for me. I have a passion for creating, whether the medium is needle and thread, pen and paper, or a computer screen. Writing, quilting, scrapbooking, needlework, photography, decorating, these things give me joy and fulfillment. Despite the time-crunch, I cling to them, nurture them. For I know that the day will come when those passions will help to fill the echoing spaces of an empty nest.
And when that time comes, maybe… just maybe… I’ll have another horse of my own.