Friday, 24 April 2015

is "what is your Passion?" a load of bollocks?

you've got to find your passion and then let it guide you - bollocks!

Since I've started talking about leaving my job, I've been told by some of my slightly 'new-agey' friends that I need to use this time to truly find my Passion (not sure what I've been doing with my life up until now - obviously not enough!). Apparently I'm not allowed to slow down and enjoy my life in a simple and non-stressful way, I can't just cruise along and lead a calm and ordinary life and take a break for a while - no! I must have a Passion! I've given it a capital "P" because that's how they say it - emphasis on the "P".

I could understand it more if they had a Passion that was wildly exciting or even better - an altruistic Passion like caring for a loved one, or sending money to refugee camps, or volunteering at their local hospital etc, but some of the Passions I've had friends go into raptures over include.....
belly dancing, gourmet club, re-decorating their house (again), the perfect coffee blend, and more. Friends are spending thousands of dollars to go overseas to "help" at an orphanage for a couple of weeks (it even has a name - "voluntouring") - and sometimes I wonder to myself about what that orphanage could have done with the same amount of money sent to them to spend on the children instead of on visitors' airfares?

I hear friends waxing lyrical over a type of cheese or a bottle of wine - it seems that you can't just eat food to satisfy your rumbling tummy or to supplement a social occasion - no! now the occasion has to be about the food itself and it's presentation etc etc. Not to mention that wine now comes with (among other things) a hint of orange peel, lime zest with grassy aromas and mineral notes, or a silky texture with tropical fruits..... (really??) I truly am happy for people to get excited over these things and fill their time with paint colours or costume tassels or feta cheese, or even hints of mown lawn, but I am getting tired of being judged for not being overly excited in response.

I hope I'll eventually find a new job to help supplement the family income and I really hope I enjoy going to work once I've had a break, but to make someone feel that their job isn't right for them if they're not Passionate about it seems to be a bit over the top to me. Surely you can go to work to contribute to society, keep yourself busy ('gainfully employed') and to earn an honest dollar. There would be a lot of jobs going begging if everyone turned their noses up at boring 9-5 jobs that didn't engender a feeling of Passion in their souls.

remember it's okay to be happy with a calm life

I think part of it is that we don't have enough to engage us in our day to day lives. We aren't struggling to put food on the table, or watching a loved one battle a disease, or going to bed early because we don't have electricity.  A lot of us have more money than we need, so there is a compulsion to spend it and to justify the spending by calling what we spend it on our "Passion". My husband and I have less expendable income than many in our social circle and we've always had to be careful with what we commit ourselves to financially......so I've missed the lead up to needing to discover what my sole focus in life is. I rather enjoy having a few different pastimes that are ways to 'pass time' rather than pursuits that I need to fulfill me and make me a Passionate Person.

So it would be nice if you could please spare me the "what is your Passion?" question and instead get a little more personal and ask me how I am - or how my family is, or what I think about world events...I'd much rather talk about how content I am in my small world, than agonize over what Passion I need to take up to satisfy the first worlders.


21 comments:

  1. I guess you told me haha! I get it, believe me, I definitely don't have a disposable income. I think what I was trying to say is this: I was a mail carrier for many, many years and I absolutely loved it. I never thought about changing jobs, couldn't imagine it. Life changed it for me after a bad car accident and I couldn't drive let alone go back to work and I thought my life was useless and over at 40. I spent a few years in a deep depression and then something happened and my mom got Alzheimer's Disease and I had to start taking care of her and I went even further downhill because I was clueless about the disease. When I started learning more about it I realized that with little changes in our home our lives could be happy again. Then I started advocating for Alzheimer's Disease and unpaid family caregivers and I came alive again. I felt needed and appreciated and it gave me a reason once again. I started writing about it(and other things) and I found that I had never been happier in my life than I am now. Yes, money gets tight. My husband works in a factory and I am on disability but the bills are paid, my mom is safe and I haven't gone stark raving mad so I'll take that as a win! I just meant do go into something that you already know you are going to hate just for a paycheck. Find something that you actually like to do and find a job around that if you want to go back to work. I really didn't mean to offend you.

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  2. Hi Rena - the "funny?" thing is that I wrote this post before you made your comment the other day & I thought to myself "I hope I don't offend Rena when I post this" because this is so not about genuine passion (which you have) - but more about all the fluff and bubble stuff that people try to pass off as a passion. I think what you and your husband do for your mum is amazing and to have the added bonus of finding yourself again in the process is pretty wonderful. I knew what you meant and I agree completely that I'd really like to find something that engages me for the next decade or so, but it won't be belly dancing or wine tasting! PS you would be the last person in the world I would take offence at - so rest easy xx

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  3. This is fun Leanne, you have comments now I can say thank you for posting this very interesting discussion on Fridays Blog Booster Party. I hear what Rena says and I am so glad that she now has a reason and purpose to get up in the mornings. Really that is part of what we all want and I agree with you Leanne that we don't need other peoples stereotypical boxes put on us to do what is expected of us. Lets live outside the box, you sound pretty content to me without belly dancing. Keep writing,
    Kind regards, Kathleen

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    1. Thanks Kathleen - I love being part of your blog booster party and having a chance to discuss stuff like this. I like your "living outside the box" idea especially! x

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  4. I have always been on the run and now here I am: sitting around thanking god for internet and blogging. Life changes, people change and so do our priority. It is not always easy when we stop 'complying' with the expectations of others. But it is also the moment when we set free. #blogboosterparty3

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    1. That is so true Debbie - I've read some of your posts and you are certainly in the middle of a huge journey - thanks for stopping by and I'm now following you on G+

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  5. Hi, Leanne! My first response was, "Ouch! I hope she doesn't read my post on the Friday Blog Booster Party!" Lol! I was both nodding my head in agreement and cringing in (guilt? conviction?) as I read your post. I totally agree that sometimes we can mistake hobbies for "passionate and worthy pursuits." Just because I enjoy doing something doesn't mean it should be my sole focus, right? :) What I prefer to focus on is "purpose," and I hope (!) that is the message I convey. I am in my first year as an "empty-nester" after being a SAH, homeschooling mom for 18 years. My purpose was pretty well defined for me! ;-) But this is a brand new season, and while I want to enjoy it (i.e., pursue a few "passions" or interests or hobbies), I don't want to squander it (fail to contribute to the person next to me, across the street, across the world; fail to do whatever it is God wants me to do today, tomorrow, next year…).

    Thank you for this post!! It has given me much to think about today. It has also reminded me to be conscious of the way I present things, because while fun, entertaining activities are great and I'll continue to write about them, I am after a much bigger long term goal, for both myself and my readers. BTW, I enjoy your perspective on so many things {I've been poking around your blog ;-)} -- and I LOVE the sunnies! Totally agree with your "fashion over 50" perspective! :)

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  6. Hi Wendy - now I'm heading off to read your post! I am all for passions and hobbies etc but it all seems to have gotten a bit out of control. I envy people that have found their niche and they are in hugely satisfying jobs or pursuits, but for some of us it's just a case of tonking along until the next thing takes our fancy. This 50+ stage gives so many new opportunities (including blogging!) and I'm like you - I want to check it all out but also find something worthwhile to engage in (like Rena has found). Thanks for the kind sunnies comment and now I'm heading over to read your post! x

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    1. I get it!! I have a cousin with a huge interest in wine, and he has turned that into a thriving business. For years, however, he has operated a non-profit that has rescued many girls from human trafficking. He has turned his "passion" into his livelihood, and uses his livelihood to pursue his "purpose"…okay, my wording sounds pretty sentimental, but do you know what I mean?! He's one of the lucky ones you reference, but he got there through tough circumstances (laid off of his job, cashed in his retirement to take a chance on a business he had always wanted). He's younger than me, but sometimes I think I want to be that gutsy when I grow up! :)

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  7. I think you should find the job you want and the heck with what anyone else has to say about it!

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    1. Exactly Carol - I'm going to sit at home on my bottom for awhile and enjoy being a lady of leisure and then find something to bring in a few dollars and relax a little :)

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  8. Wanting to find your "passion" is definitely a first world problem, just like you said. Those that are doing their passion work, at work, are lucky. Most people just have to work. They have to find their passion outside of work and that ok. Cheese, wine, I love them but passion? Great question to ponder.

    Anita

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    1. So true Anita - I think that sums it up in a nutshell - some lucky people get to do what they love but I've yet to find anything that fires me up for any length of time. I think there is too much focus on the lucky few while the rest seem to be saying "what about me?" there's a lot to be said for being content with a little. :)

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  9. I. Loved. This.

    As a person who works in food service management, I like food well enough. I enjoy a job well done on it's own. If pushed,I suppose I like movement and some of physicality of the job and I like the idea of a diverse workforce, though sometimes the results are underwhelming. I don't LOVE my job, it's not my great PASSION and it certainly expresses very little of who I am or what I enjoy in my off hours.

    Truthfully I do have a passion in writing, but I also know that I don't have the means to pursue it full time. I hate when people "encourage" me to leave a job that pays the bills but that I dread to follow my "passion". They have no concept of what that would cost. They have no idea if there would be a payoff ever. These people just blindly parrot some common wisdom that they may have the privileged to follow either because their passion is profitable, they are extremely lucky/talented. or they have the money. It makes me feel bitter and unseen.

    So thanks for seeing all of us who have to work and for whom pursuing a passion may never be wholly realistic.

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    1. Welcome to my 'real life club' Jessica - where you work to put food on the table and have enough left over to dabble in things you enjoy! The lucky few just don't get the fact that not everyone has the same resources to 'pursue their dream' and even if we did, we may never be famous (which seems to be the goal of a lot of "passions") Keep writing though - you never know what's around the corner!

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  10. You know there is actually a difference between your job and your work. Your job is how you earn money to support yourself. Your work is what is really important to you. A parent can have a job to support their family, but their real work can be parenting. There are people who are fortunate enough to have a job that is their life's work, but most people are not that fortunate.

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    1. That's really true Heidi - I think we mix "job" and "work" up sometimes and put the wrong emphasis on what we do to earn money and not enough on what we do that truly matters.

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  11. Calm is good. Calm is definitely good. Coming from Blog Boosters.

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    1. Yes calm is my new mantra! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  12. Hi Leanne, you have got some good conversations going here. I wanted to let you know that this post was in the Top Six most clicked on Fridays Blog Booster Party and you will have special mention. It has also been shared on Pinterest and G+. Well done.
    Kathleen

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  13. Interesting read, my PASSION has been and always will be TEACHING, and I look forward to returning to it someday on a full time basis, but until then, I'll teach via my blog, bloggingwithblake.

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