Each of us is born with at least one special gift. For some it might be musical ability or for others a facility for languages. While athletes work hard to achieve greatness, they are usually equipped with special aptitudes or physical attributes conducive to their sport.
My friend Gail is skilled at crafts and artwork. Perry is also a talented artist while Terry loves tennis and is really good at it. Others excel at golf. My husband is a wizard with numbers while I can’t add anything with more than two digits.
All my life I’ve observed and envied people who have found what they love to do and do it well. I’ve tried many things over the years and as I enter life’s third trimester I’m still searching for that elusive something. Over the course of mining for my passion I’ve spent a scary amount of money pursuing what I hoped would be “my thing”. What I learned is that the amount of money expended is not directly proportional to the pleasure derived.
In my 30’s I was sure that if I bought a good tennis racket, the proper shoes and a cute outfit, I would soon be challenging Chrissie Everett. Instead, I discovered that I’m not the least bit competitive and couldn’t care if I hit the ball or not. When I acquired my grandmother’s piano, I was sure after a few lessons I would be pounding the keys like Jerry Lee Lewis. Never happened. Buying a lovely down-filled Ditrani ski suit and the ski equipment failed to make me love standing at the top of a hill freezing my knockers off. I’ve tried oil painting, pastels and watercolours. Pilates? I fell off my exercise ball and split my chin open. Yoga? Couldn’t get the breathing straight–I was always inhaling when I should have been exhaling and exhaling when I should have been inhaling. And running hurts my brain with all that pounding.
I’ve taken golf lessons and tennis lessons. Most of my girlfriends love golf and have encouraged me to get involved and have convinced me I’m obviously missing something. I find it excruciatingly boring. After three holes I’m ready to slit my wrists. It’s hard to be passionate about something you’re not good at and I want my natural aptitudes to kick in and make me a passionate participant immediately. Is that asking too much? Where oh where can my passion be? Is there a test I can take?
One thing I am sure of is that there is nothing I would rather be doing than reading a book, a magazine, a newspaper or even the French side of a cereal box. Words upon words linked together satisfy me like nothing else, except maybe a pot of tea and brownies. But it’s such a passive use of time that I feel “underemployed”. I can’t shake the guilt feelings when I spend an afternoon engrossed in a book or culling my pile of magazines. My inner voice keeps reminding me I should be doing something more productive, like running half-marathons, upping my heart rate in a Zumba class or at the very least doing my kegels.
Blogging satisfies my urge to write though I can’t imagine ever writing a novel. Dialogue, characters and plot are not my forté. But blogging requires no prearranged show-up time, special clothes or financial outlay. I do it to clear my head of mental clutter. No deadlines. No editors. No agents. No explanations. Just me, my keyboard and those wonderful people who chose to follow what I have to say.
I’ll never be competitive, athletic or particularly productive. But I think my passion lies in enjoying what I never had time for during my working life when I was constantly required to be competitive and productive. I’m passionate about my relationships with the people in my life. I’m a passionate and voracious reader. And I’m passionate about blogging. There’s nothing I would rather be doing than reading and writing.
Have you found your passion? Is it community work, spirituality, entertaining, gardening? Enjoy your gift. We all have at least one.