Tuesday, 17 November 2015

how I'm becoming an enthusiast for life

#midlife blog crestingthehill.com.au

I've read many, many articles on "finding your passion" that tell me that my life is not complete unless I find something that I am completely passionate about. I think there is a lot to be said for swapping the word "passionate" with the word "enthusiastic". That way you can embrace lot of different experiences without being zoomed in on just one.

There are far too many things in life that interest me - I want to spread myself wider than just being focused and passionate about one specific area. I want to embrace all the different things that come my way with enthusiasm and zest and decide as I go along whether they are important enough to keep in my life, or something I can cheerfully move on from. I don't want to be locked in to just one "Passion" that defines me.

For example, I love my husband, but then along came our kids - and I love them too, then along came their partners who are pretty terrific in their own right. Next will be grandbabies who will be just as fascinating and absorbing. Putting all your passion and love into one person precludes the joy and enrichment of extending that circle of love to others. I read a book a long time ago by Sheldon Vanauken called "A Severe Mercy", Sheldon was a friend of C.S. Lewis, and he and his wife had an intense, overpowering, passionate love for each other that allowed no room for anyone else - including children. His wife's early death was referred to as 'a severe mercy' because it was ultimately unsustainable to love someone to the exclusion of all else.

Today's world is big on the idea of having a BFF (best friend forever if you've been living under a rock and not heard this abbreviation before!) But why have just one BFF? Why not have multiple friends - dive into those friendships with enthusiasm and invest yourself in them? You might only be able to manage a few or maybe you are a social goddess and can juggle heaps of friends, but why not enjoy that diversity rather than expecting one person to provide all your friendship needs? What happens if that person fails in some way? Do you move on and promote someone else to the onerous task of being your new BFF?

#midlife blog crestingthehill.com.au

I want to be known for living with gusto, for expressing and embracing love and friendship. For building people up and investing myself in lots of different relationships. I want to try new things and see if I like them, I want to sing out loud and dance if I feel like it and make every day count. I want to be the silly, fun Nan to my grandchildren, I want to laugh a lot and travel more and appreciate all the many blessings I have been given.

I don't want to find one Grand Passion, no I want to find LOTS of things to be enthusiastic about. I intend to try something new regularly - whether it's blogging, or leadlighting, or ballroom dancing or adult colouring, or getting a tattoo. None of these activities need to define me - they just become little parts of who I am becoming. And that should be enough to keep me going for the next few decades or so!


23 comments:

  1. What a great post. I have often thought that being told that you must find your passion in life puts a lot of pressure on people, especially young people. I have seen plenty of people get so involved in one passion to the exclusion of exploring more well rounded lives who then wake up one day and wonder what they have missed. I like your take on it. Enthusiasm is a fantastic alternative #abitofeverything

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    1. I totally agree - I spent way too long looking for something to have as a passion - now I just share the love around :)

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  2. Love your post too. I guess reading, writing and walking are my passions. I don't have a spouse so I do have a BFF by default---we've survived marriages, deaths and everything in between, but I like having different friends for different activities and moods---and not having one "crowd"
    I'm never able to sign into my regular google + account or my blog on yours so I usually don't comment but really wanted to!
    http://courtingdestiny.com/2015/11/some-travel-stories-911-paris-and-me/

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    1. thanks so much for finding a way to comment - I think we all need someone close or something special, but I like the idea of not being exclusive or precious about one particular "passion"

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  3. if you need to define a passion for someone, broaden it. it can be your passion is "curiosity" or "learning" or "growing" that's what I do...I'm interested in so many things. I feel like I have to have an answer ready for people so they don't bug me with "what's your passion" or "you gotta find your passion" anymore. lol.

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    1. Me either Karen - I think they've narrowed their lives down to one thing and that's not my idea of a life well lived (and I'm not going to defend it anymore either).

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  4. enthusiasm goes a long way in life. I find that to be especially true in my relationships with my grown children and my Grands. Why be critical? Be enthusiastic. Learn about their interests. (American Girl dolls have their Up side. the back stories of the dolls open the way to a page in history.] Expand your universe. You've said it better than I have but no matter how you put it, it's a key to a life that has some bounce in it.

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    1. I love the idea that we can invest in more than one area of life - that we can spread ourselves around and share love and be positive rather than pouring it all into one particular thing.

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  5. You're on the right track, Leanne!

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  6. [ Smiles ] If we all discovered what it is that we are passionate about, we would be on our way to a blissful journey!

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    1. I agree Renard - there are so many things in life to get excited about and that's what makes it all so interesting!

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  7. I have a passion for life - full stop! I don't want to just have one passion but I want to experience all that life has to give so I totally agree with all you have written, Leanne. Thanks for linking up and sharing with us at #WednesdaysWisdom.

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    1. me too Sue - no locking myself into one thing - I want to fall in love with lots of things and I think it keeps us interesting :)

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  8. What a lovely lovely post! You write so well and so interestingly - I agree with you - love when shared only expands! Hope to see you again at #abitofeverything.

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    1. thank you for your lovely compliment and I am a great believer in expanding love :)

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  9. Leanne, this is so true, we need to open ourselves to others, to love and receive love. Sometimes it is so hard to do. We open ourselves to joy and pain at the same time.

    I think that your model for life is a great one, experience all you can, enjoy the time. When I was single I said I was looking for a man with ambition. People would look at me oddly, thinking I was only looking for a man that was financially successful. Then I would explain that I wanted a man who ambitiously explored everything in life. That was ambitious about pursuing me, a good life, a family, hobbies, friends, good food and drink. I think it's the same quality as you are using "enthusiast". We get so bogged down with life that it seems impossible to be enthused or ambitious, but if we could change our perspective life would be more, bigger, better! Good for you!

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    1. thanks Nikki - I think it's about spreading your net wide - not just hunting for one thing to focus all your energies on. I think that can be quite selfish, it's far better to invest yourself widely and enjoy the relationships and a little adventure along the way.

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  10. Very well said my friend! It makes a lot of sense when you put it that way. I remember you telling me once that you didn't like the "passion" thing. I'm binge reading tonight trying to get everyone caught up.

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    1. I think it's the idea of only having one thing you focus all your energies on that I don't like Rena - I think we are bigger than that and have room for lots of "passions"

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  11. Yes indeed! I completely agree, actually I wonder whether you saw into my mind and these are my words! I think you are absolutely right and this is why my blog was born. You only get one life and you should love it and live it the best you can. Don't limit yourself with can't, won't, tomorrow or anything else you might regret. Great post Leanne!

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #LifeLovingLinkie

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    1. thanks Sally - I feel like that is the theme of my blog too - find things you love and get on with doing them. Don't limit yourself trying to drill down to just one "passion" get out there and try lots of things!

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  12. Thank you so much for sharing with us at #JoyHopeLive!

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