There is living, and there is existing, and the difference between the two can be summed up in one word: passion.
We can have passion for any number of things, including, of course, a person. But passion for a person is usually transitory, hopefully being replaced eventually by love, which is far more enduring.
Passion does not have to be lasting, but if it is, it can become the structure of our life.
Passion can be meaningful or irrelevant in the eyes of the world. Where it falls on the scale of meaningfulness is not as important as the fact that we have it about something.
One of my irrelevant passions is collecting Batman mugs. That's right, Batman mugs. McDonald's gave them out about 15 years ago as part of a promotion, but I discovered them about five years ago. Originally I'd pay two or three dollars for them, but now I find them occasionally for a quarter.
Oh joy! They are really quite nice - heavy glass, interesting handles, Batman in relief. What fun! Perhaps one of these days I'll rent them out for parties celebrating a fiftieth birthday. That would make this passion seem more reasonable. The point, however, is that I find excitement in discovering the little mugs at yard sales and flea markets.
I think those with a passion
are less likely to be whiners.
I do have a larger passion that would be recognized, even approved, by a society underpinned by work ethic. I am passionate about my business. Come November, The Shopper will begin its 25th year. Everyone knows it has been "my baby" all along. This baby has grown up, gone to college and is venturing out into the world now, but I still feel passionate about it.
How fortunate we are to be passionate about our work, about our children and grandchildren, about our Batman cups or our favorite recipes or football team. Life is absolutely delicious when we have passion about almost anything.
If you are bored, discouraged
or lonely, get a passion!
I think those with a passion are less likely to be whiners. There isn't enough time to whine when we are in search of Batman or creating a publication or bragging about our grandchildren. When we are passionate, we look out of ourselves, and then, and only then, are we interested, interesting, and alive!
When I get stressed (and don't we all), I go down to the CHKD Thrift Shop or out to my favorite consignment shops - Classy Way's Better Homes and Bargains or Elephants galore. Oh, the treasures I find there! Sometimes even Batman.
Sometimes I get up in the wee hours of the morning and write to you as I'm doing now. Writing. Writing is my passion also. Sometimes when I write I can completely forget to eat lunch as the hours fly by. I find my fingers writing, and I can't wait to read the words they've picked. I stop and read a sentence that says something just right. It transports me.
If you are bored or discouraged or lonely, get a passion! Pick anything - anything - and become the expert on it. Read everything there is to read about Houdini and regale others with tales of that magician. Who wouldn't love to hear about Houdini? Become an expert on what colors induce what moods. Save the whales. Volunteer at the Free Clinic.
Life is what passion produces, in more ways than one.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.
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