Passions as We Age

Passion? Love. Relationships. Sex. Right? An article by Mary Lou Miller expanded my thoughts about passion, taking them in a new direction. “I know a lot about passion because in the process of living I lost it, but in the process of dying, I found it,” began her article.

Her story is, on one level, a story that we have heard before. A rocketing professional career, followed by a highly financially successful consulting business in which she taught others how to be successful, followed by the jolt of having to face a life-threatening illness. She set about finding out what it took to take care of herself in order to face her illness. She chose to change her lifestyle, her friends, and the food she ate. She lived to write about it and about how much better she loves her new lifestyle.

What would happen if we woke up every morning and, after our morning rituals, asked two questions: what’s in my heart this morning and what do I want to be passionate about today?

I wonder if we would eliminate some tasks or perhaps look at others in a way that is more of a celebration of living. Take shopping for example. Could the trip to the grocer somehow be a more than a pilgrimage for food but also be good for our souls? Could we make eye contact or even smile with our fellow shoppers? Be pleasant to the checkout clerk?

A more concrete aspect of focusing on passion might be to make a list—perhaps 50 or 100 or 500 items— of things we want to do before we die. Include some that you have already done (e.g. have kids, “be a great parent’) as well as some that still pique your interest. Do you need to visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame or ride in a glider over the autumn-colored mountains of New England?

What are your passions? Write them down. Then get on with it, or perhaps ‘get one with it’. In any event try finding passion in everyday happenings and see what happens. You might fall in love or learn to tango.

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One Response to “Passions as We Age”

  1. I like this approach to… life. We don’t always have to wait for a life-threatening illness to make ‘quality of life’ decisions.

    Thanks for the reminder.

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