Thursday, September 27, 2012

8 Reasons to Follow Your Passion

I like cheesecake.  And I, on occasion, make cheesecake from scratch.  It's a laborious process, and I always freak out a little towards the end, wondering if I have cooled it slowly enough for the center not to crack.  But it's not my passion. 

I am a sucker for a romantic comedy.  Sign me up and stick a fork in me, because I am done.  I always cry at the end of Love Affair, which is a modern remake of An Affair to Remember.  I can practically recite every line from You've Got Mail.  Mr. Darcy (if you have to ask who?, don't worry about it) is in the back of my mind most days.  But it's not my passion.

It's taken me a long time, but I have finally figured out that I HAVE to write.  It's what I do.  Sometimes it's funny, sometimes vewwy, vewwy serious (read that in your Elmer Fudd voice) and sometimes I have no idea how something will turn out until it's done.  But it's my passion, and it's what I do. 

So over the span of my passion-following, I have inadvertently built a list of reasons to do what I do.  They are:
1.  It's how God made me.
2.  It's what I like.
3.  It's better than doing something for which I do not have the skills. (Gardening, math, needlepoint)
4.  Writing makes me feel like I have a purpose.
5.  I take pride and confidence in my writing.
6.  The other parts of me, like the funny and the quirky and the emotional, support my writing.
7.  I can encourage other people with my writing.
8.  It's something I can mentor and pass on to the next generation.

Ask yourself these same questions:  How am I hard-wired?  I work with all IT guys, and the warm, fuzzy stuff does not naturally come to them.  What do you like to do?  What do you like so much that you would do it for free? Do you have other parts of  your personality that support your passion?  Can you pass this on ?  Would someone else benefit from doing this as well?

So what's your passion?  There's a line from the 1990 movie Pretty Woman I like: a random street guy yells out, "Welcome to Hollywood...what's your dream?" 

Well, welcome to the rest of your life.  What's your dream?  Find your passion -- follow it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I Like It

If you know anything about me at all, you probably know that I am on Facebook.  I started out being a "protective parent" to see what my then-young teen children were doing, but now my Facebook presence has evolved into me interacting with friends who are my age.  Yeah, I'll comment or like something on one of my daughter's or son's friends' pages, but just because it's cute or funny or pithy.  

I realized the other day that I "like" a LOT of things on Facebook.  To me, it's kind of an affirmation that a person has posted something worthwhile and not just letters taking up space.  Then there is the ubiquitous posting about something sad, like a death or illness.  It's always weird to "like" that, because I wonder if my friend gets the idea that I am commiserating with them in their time of need, not that I find something great about something bad.  

I like that there's NOT a "don't like" button to choose on Facebook.  I love that people have to choose to be positive and there is no room to be negative, except if you actually take the time to write a comment, in which case I think you are licensed to express your opinion, even if you are stupid or thoughtless or just plain mean.

But what if there was never an opportunity to be negative?  What if you always had to either express your like or zip your lip?  This kind of makes me think about Philippians 2:3, "Don't act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves."  

Why not use your words today to "like" people?  You may not like everyone.  I don't like everyone.  But something positive can be said about everyone.  For example, my ex-husband is an excellent trip planner and a great money manager. 

So go out and like somebody.  Give 'em the thumbs up.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What's Your Vote?

Some days I think I totally get the small-town charm thing. I voted recently, and my voting place is at a church near my house. You would have to know it was there to find it, even though it's been there probably 40 years. 

What I like about it is that it is the epitome of a "sleepy little place." We don't have picketers on voting days, nor does anyone seek us out for exit polls. You come, you go, and in between , you see that the people in our voting district are pretty much the same, that is, middle ageish regular people that probably have a dog or a cat and kids and cook out on holidays. There's a few young 20's thrown in here and there for a little spice. And I like that.

Conversely, my aunt and uncle live on about 20 acres in Dasher, GA, surrounded by a 100-acre swamp. It is super quiet and a nice place to get away for a night or two. You can hear yourself think.  Really.  Like the actual neurons firing.  And you may not see anyone on the road when you drive somewhere.  In exchange for this very quiet and slow way of life, however, there is a tradeoff. Sure, Jacksonville closes down by 10, but there are places and things TO close down. I do have to tell you that I talked to her the other night and they were so bored that they went to the Wendy's parking lot to watch it rain.

Maybe I'll stay in the city after all.  What's your vote? City or country?