Tuesday, May 10, 2011

a plea for passion

No, this isn't that kind of post - dad & my BB's, you're welcome to read on. *wink*

STG has a driving passion. The man is manic about mountain bikes, and he has been since he was a wee lad (actually, I'm guessing my strapping love was never really a wee lad, but that's neither here nor there). He rides whenever he can. He reads about riding. He blogs about riding (NB: Some of STG's blogging is neither work nor family friendly - be forewarned). He watches movies about riding. When he gets together with the guys, they talk about riding - sometimes also beer and girls, but probably which beer and girls go best with riding. If he has extra cash, he spends it on riding - bike parts, protective wear (yay!), gas for a drive to a ride, riding holidays. 

When STG talks about riding, his eyes light up. His voice changes - he can go on and on about the history of mountain biking, the technological developments, the best rides in the area, the best rides in other areas, and a whole lot of other stuff that I sometimes forget to listen to. There is something about the self-mastery and excitement of barreling down a mountain that fulfills and challenges him. He has a knowing about his relationship to riding that totally inspires me. I love listening to him talk about a ride. He expects it to be an issue between us - that he loves his riding so much. And in a way it is, but not like he thinks.

The fact is, I'm envious - not of the time and attention STG spends on riding, but that I don't have that same feeling for anything in my life. For some time now I've known that something was missing for me, especially since I've simplified my life and my schedule in the last few months. I quit working so hard on my life so I'd have more time to enjoy it. And then things got ... sideways ... and now I'm ready again to enjoy my life. Maybe it's exhaustion, or lack of practice. But when I have a free evening to go do what I enjoy, I'm left not knowing what that is.

There are a lot of things in life I enjoy - singing, dancing, reading, writing, hiking, yoga, kayaking - but nothing that has consumed me as completely and consistently as mountain biking does for STG. I get excited about something. I invest in it for a while, and then the interest dies out. I posted on Facebook last night, having spent the entire evening correcting an error in my budget spreadsheet, that I need a hobby, or better yet a passion. I woke up this morning to a surprising amount of feedback, that included Freckles reminding me "Didn't you used to write??" and DLock provided such a long list of things I love to do that one wonders why I'm not out doing them every night.

I doubt anyone who knows me would argue that I'm a dispassionate woman. The thing is, the activities that REALLY excite me are mainly mental - writing being the top of the list. But what I want is something that gets me out and moving and interacting in nature. Kayaking seems like it'd do, but I've never allowed myself to spend the money it would take to really get out there. Or maybe that's just an excuse. Maybe I use money to keep from doing things - like kayaking - that I know would move my body, feed my soul and up my passionate-life quotient. 

Looking for an image for this post, I stumbled across this blog post on the topic of passion - while it's a tad sciencey, it ends with this great question about harmonious passion: 
Notice the impact your good (harmonious) passion generates in relation to ... your own well-being – your sense of vitality, aliveness and purpose in the world; your relationship with others – what and how you relate to others;  your physical health and energy levels;  your performance and outputs – the quality and quantity and your satisfaction levels. When you pursue your passion, is it harmoniously integrated, creating a kind of peace within? 
I know what the impact of that harmonious passion looks like - thanks to STG modelling it. And I'm thinking I'll know when I'm there. The other great point in that post though I'm less clear I'm ready for:
Take responsiblity to make it happen ... recognize which activities play to your talents and strengths and matter very deeply to you, not because something or somebody outside you tells you to, but because the activity or activities make you feel alive: they are instrinsic to your identity. Take responsibility to cultivate and nurture them.  

I'll let you know what I find, as I wander passionately out into my life. But for now it's time to cook ... because taking care of my sweeties is something that ALWAYS matters to me.  

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