consider yourself: your interests & passions

What are your interests big and small? What are you good at and what do you enjoy doing? Ask yourself these questions about yourself at different times in your life. Have your passions changed since childhood or are you still loving animals and painting? When you look around your home, at the items that fill it, what do they indicate about what’s important to you? Perhaps you have several interests that you pursue with varying amounts of energy.

MY ELUSIVE DREAMS: analyzed in a Venn Diagram I love listening to the plaintive Roger Miller duet, “My Elusive Dreams,” in which a couple sings about a man’s “elusive dreams and schemes.” He is apologetic and sad and just plain unable to make progress. So what about my dreams? I will say that my dreams have never equated to schemes. And that I have made progress on each of them. And that pursuing them doesn’t take an enormous toll on my family (though there is some toll). But, WHY? Why, when I could pursue other paths that would provide a much greater chance of success, do I pick dreams in which there is so little reward for so many fellow dreamers? And why don’t I stick with a dream? My novel is almost done. My non-fiction proposal is finally out to agents. And now I want to publish scrapbook layouts? What keeps me from making that final focused push? Maybe, though, I am pushing. Maybe I’m not jumping from dream to dream. Because, LOOK HERE!, at this Venn diagram and see how things overlap. Maybe writing fiction and non-fiction and scrapbooking are all the same dream and I’m pursuing this dream well. And, even more, when I really think about it, I just have to ask: “if a dream weren’t elusive, then would it still be a dream?” January 2005.

Here are some areas that might take center stage in your life:

  • sports
  • wellness (holistic pursuits, exercise, food)
  • helping others
  • faith
  • arts (drawing, painting, writing, photography, music, singing, dancing, acting, listening to/viewing art and music and performances)
  • crafts (sewing, beading, needlework, scrapbooking/papercrafts, altered projects
  • digital design, mixed media/collage, decorating)
  • study/learning
  • travel/adventure
  • animals
  • cooking (food, wine)
  • work or your own business
  • gardening, flowers
  • time with others (friendships, family, organizations)

priming the engine: ask yourself this

  • What are the labels you’ve given yourself (i.e, student, mother, caregiver, runner?). In other words, which of your activities have you taken on as a part of your identity?
  • Are there any of these you’d like to lose?
  • What’s at least one label you’d like to add?
  • What are some scrapbook pages you could do about your interests and passions?

think about it: quotations

  • The Soul is the voice of the body’s interests. -George Santayana
  • It is a cursed evil to any man to become as absorbed in any subject as I am in mine. –Charles Darwin
  • The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well.” –Horace Walpole
  • For an interest to be rewarding, one must pay in discipline and dedication, especially though the difficult or boring stages which are inevitably encountered” –Mira Komarovsky
  • A person with a hundred interests is twice as alive as one with only fifty and four times as alive as the man who has only twenty-five” -Norman Vincent Peale
  • My passions were all gathered together like fingers that made a fist. Drive is considered aggression today; I knew it then as purpose. -Bette Davis
  • Ambition is so powerful a passion in the human breast, that however high we reach we are never satisfied. -Niccolo Machiavelli
  • Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things. -Denis Diderot
  • Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion. -Georg Wilhelm
  • A human being is only interesting if he’s in contact with himself. I learned you have to trust yourself, be what you are, and do what you ought to do the way you should do it. You have got to discover you, what you do, and trust it. -Barbra Streisand
  • You must learn day by day, year by year, to broaden your horizon. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about, the more you have left when anything happens. -Ethel Barrymore
  • The road to happiness lies in two simple principles; find what interests you and that you can do well, and put your whole soul into it – every bit of energy and ambition and natural ability you have. -John D. Rockefeller
  • Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly. -Langston Hughes

write it: journaling prompts

  • What’s something you really like about yourself?
  • When you’ve got time absolutely to yourself, what do you do?
  • What would you do if money were no object?
  • How do you spend your “mad money?”
  • What did you love as a child?
  • What’s keeping you from pursuing one of your interests?
  • What would you do if there was a guarantee you’d be successful?
  • What’s something you dream about doing that you’ve never told anyone?
  • What do you fantasize about doing while driving your car or taking a shower?
  • Who do you know who is doing something you’d like to do? Describe yourself doing it.
  • How could you make the world a better place for yourself and others?
  • What are five things you’re good at?

Since 1997, I have made parties to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, teas, new seasons, endings, and beginnings. Themes have included: summer snow, Vikings, Harry Potter, cowboys, space cowboys, video adventure, knights, machines, woodland picnic, Kindergarten graduation, back-to-school, and . . did I say knights? The boys and I have mass-produced stick horses, swords, jousting poles, shields, jet speeders, armor, spell books, medieval goblets, axes, and puppets.We’ve written and produced games, quests, performances, videos, comic routines, and ceremonies. Out of boxes and sticks and string and paint, we have made Diagon Alley, castles, spaceships, snow storms, ogres, outer space, corrals, and Rube Golderg machines. I even wrote a proposal for a book about making parties with children. Giving parties was how I put myself out into the world and how I spent time with my kids --- envisioning, researching, budgeting, shopping, making, and staging parties. And then I discovered scrapbooking. My family, though, has grown accustomed to making complex parties. I suggested a laser-tag party at a fun center last week for Joshua’s birthday. “I don’t think so, Mom,” he said. “It’s not how we do things.” I guess he just wants to be invited to a laser-tag party, not host one. :) Mar 08.