That thing called passion

What follows is a re-post (of sorts), originally published in April 2011. The purpose of the re-post is to participate in Monday’s Listicles, a weekly creation started by Stasha at The Good Life. The idea for today’s list comes from Jackie at  Not Wifezilla. She recently lost her friend, Marilyn, to an illness. Jackie’s friend was full of passion, which is exactly what Jackie wants us to write about today. In memory and honor of her friend, Jackie asks the question, “What are your passions?”

I was asked a similar question during a job interview in April 2011. The question stumped me, and I was not prepared to answer.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I thought I would share my original post again, in honor of Marilyn. Plus, I added an update at the end of the original post.

What is your passion? About what are you passionate?

I was asked those questions last week during a job interview. My answer? “I don’t know.”

After saying I didn’t know, I looked left, and I looked right. Then I asked out loud, “What am I passionate about?” (Please ignore my poor grammar, Mum.)

“Writing.” I said quickly – assuming responding to the question 8 minutes later is considered quickly. “I love to write. I’ve always loved to write.”

“Have you ever been published or paid for your written work?”

Oh sure. Try to put my writing in a box. My passion is pointless unless I’m paid or published, eh? I thought to myself.  “No. I haven’t published anything. I wrote for a local magazine for a couple of years, but it was not a paid gig.”

“Do you have any other passions?”

“Do I have any other passions?” Again, I look to the left, and I look to the right. And again I respond, “I don’t know.”

What is your passion? Do you have a passion or do you have passions? And, because I am famous for asking back to back questions, without leaving any time for an answer, let me throw in one more question, is it possible for a person’s passion to be fluid like water: ever flowing and ever changing?

According to Merriam-Webster, the word passion means several things. Coincidentally, Passion is used to describe the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death. (Timely, since we just celebrated Easter.) Passion also means suffering, emotion, ardent affection, sexual desire, a strong liking or desire, an outbreak of anger, etc. Passion is not confined to one thing. So, why do I become nervous when someone asks me about my passion? And, why is it a struggle for me to name my passion(s)?

I have interests; are interests weaker versions of passions?

This morning, as I prepared for my 2nd interview (apparently, one does not need to know his/her passion in life to be called back), I asked myself the question again. I wanted to be ready to respond with greater – wait for it – passion, if asked again. Then I remembered a note I sent to a friend late last night regarding the U.S. government. I’m passionate about politics. When I think about the trouble this country is in financially, I am overcome with anger. I have a strong desire to crack some political skulls. And, I don’t care if the politician is red, yellow, black or white – Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Independent, Tea Party, etc. We all need to work together. All of us. Yes, you too.

I'm passionate about my kids' education.

As I started thinking about politics, I began to think about government schools. As I began to think about government schools, I realized I am passionate about our education system. Furthermore, I am passionate about keeping our boys enrolled in a Montessori/International Baccalaureate school. I have a deep interest in the education of my boys to the point that I am looking for a second part-time job, so I can fund their private school enrollment.

I'm passionate about the weather.

Today, when my NOAA weather radio alarm rang alerting me of a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, I was reminded of the fact that I have a passion for weather. I also love the fact that my passion for weather is known by many of my friends and loved ones. In fact, my friend called me shortly after the alarm sounded. (She has a weather radio, too. I gave it to her.) She wanted to know why I didn’t alert her to the chance of storms. I quickly said in my defense, “We only had a 30% chance of rain. I wasn’t expecting storms.” OK. Sorry. This paragraph is not really needed in this post, but I really love weather. (Yes, brother Joe D., I really love writing and talking, too.)

Hmm. Seems I do have passions. I just needed to look outside the employment box. I wonder if my passion for storms will get me hired by my prospective employer. Stay tuned. I was told I would be informed by Friday.


Update: I did find a second part-time job, though the job referred to in this post was not offered to me. I have also had more time to reflect on the question, “What am I passionate about?”

While the education of my children and the weather are still high on the list of my passions, the list also includes: blogging/writing, faith/religion, politics, my family, integrity and respect.

Finally, I am passionate about holding my tongue. In a previous post, I mentioned Thumper, the rabbit in the movie Bambi. Thumper’s Dad shares some advice with son: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”

Twitter and Facebook make it easy (too easy) to write a quick jab here and there about this and that. I won’t play that game anymore. I  may disagree with any random hot topic, and I may express my opinion on the matter. However, I will refrain from releasing any jabs or digs. Jabbing and digging serve no purpose other than fueling negative feelings. I’m guilty of thinking negatively – trust me. But, I will refrain from sharing or saying it ‘out loud’.

Erica over at Yeah Write wrote something with regards to reading and connecting or not connecting with other bloggers. She wrote, “…not every yeah write blog is gonna be your cup of tea. If you don’t like a yeah write blog, back away gently.”

That simple sentence resonated with me. This world is full of things that may not be your cup of tea. Fine. Back away gently. No need to trash talk what is not your preferred cup.

Apparently, preaching is another passion of mine. My apologies.

17 thoughts on “That thing called passion

  1. I am so glad you reposted this! Because there is so much amazing writing on your blog. Oh how I disliked interviews. Specially since they ask things they don’t even care to know about us…
    Great reminder not to jab. SO important. Great list Lenore.

  2. What a fabulous read! I love that you updated it later and I think it speaks perfectly to this week’s listicle.
    Erica was right, and I hope you’ll link this one up w/Yeah Write this week as I think I’d vote for it!

    1. Thank you, Jackie. I will rethink the post for Yeah Write. I had something else in mind, but perhaps I should use this post. Gentle reminders are always nice, eh? Thanks for creating a great idea for a list.

  3. What a great topic! Passion. I’m going to have to think about that. I may even steal it from you…as I’ve stolen your other great ideas.

    I’m glad you’re passionate about education. More people need to be.

    What am I passionate about? Well….I must be passionate about writing, because I’ve been doing a lot of it lately. I’m surely passionate about the idea of writing.

    I’m passionate about reading…to the point of never being without reading material. And boy do I love my Smartphone for that…at least what I’ve loaded onto the Kindle is better than the magazines and adverts at the doctor’s office!

    I’m passionate about the sky. I can’t stand to not be able to see the sky. ….weather falls into that category, naturally.

    I’m passionate about skiing. Sort of. Really…skiing fast.

    Mostly, I’m passionate about living each day of life as if it were the last day of my life. I don’t want to waste one precious drop.

    And I agree with your take on jabbing & digging. They serve no purpose other than to make people feel defensive or bad. Best to back away quietly or simply state your own view of facts in a non-confrontational manner.

    Great post.

    1. You’re off to a great start, Linda. Write a post on passion! I’d love to hear more about what you’ve shared so far. What kind of skiing – snow or water? I love the sky, too. Excellent choice. Yep, please elaborate on the list you’ve started. I look forward to reading your upcoming post. 🙂

  4. Yeay Thumper! Yeay Lenore!

    Who pushed the sarcasm button on the world? Seems people feel it’s okay to trash anyone they can’t touch in person. We can get stuff off our chest without trashing another. It takes a little time and effort, but it is worth it!

    Glad to have someone write about getting off the trashing kick. It’s not humour…it is one of the laziest forms of an attempt to take power over another human.

    We will be remembered for how we have made people feel. It’s that simple. Why would I want to be remembered for cruel wit?

    1. There is probably a fine line between preaching and sharing a good insight. I hope many read my words as a good insight and are not deterred by the preaching tone. But seriously… Thumper’s Dad hits the nail on the head. It is as simple as that.

  5. I loved this….and another Weather-phile! And I am working on holding my tongue. Not just about little snippy comments, but in general. More “don’t always feel like I have to contribute my two cents.” Just listen.

    1. I’m with you, Jamie. I am trying to hold my tongue in general, too. Listening is such a valuable skill, and I feel as though social media pushes being heard rather than listening. Thank you for reading and commenting. I am proud to meet another Weather-phile. If you don’t already own a weather radio, let me know. I’ll send you one. (smile)

    1. Thank you, Audrey. And, I love the fact that you took the time to read a re-post! 🙂 I could make an entire post on what I said for the update. Who knows, I may. But, I tend to get a little too preachy. My apologies for that fact. Thanks again for visiting!

  6. Love this. Absolutely love what Thumper’s dad said. Mrs. Amberg in 8th grade English told us…”never write something you don’t want someone to read.” I took that advice to heart and thank her often when I’m tempted to get it off my chest. Can what I write stand the test of time? It may feel right right now, but can I still feel good about it later…content wise…style and writing wise we’re still a work in progress, right?

    1. We are a work in progress, Georgette! Absolutely! Goodness knows I still have a long, long way to go, too. Since blogging, I’ve become more aware of the words I write. Your 8th grade teacher was wise.
      Thank you for reading and commenting!!

  7. I’m currently passionate about Girl Scout Cookies, especially the Peanut Butter Patties. They call my name all day long. Actually, it might be more of an obsession than a passion. But in all seriousness, that’s a tough question. Passions? Hmmm…

    Your blog is the second I’ve read today.The first had a similar theme about posting anonymous negative comments. It seems the inability to bite our tongues is in the air. I’d like to say I always stop and think before I speak and write, but I’d be lying if I did. There have been a few occassions recently that I’ve cringed after I’ve posted something…thinking I was being funny and then after rereading, thought, “Yikes.That comes across as offensive not funny.” I like the above comment and will take it to heart……”never write something you don’t want someone to read.”

    Smart post, Lenore.

    1. Thank you, Nancy.

      Is Anna selling Girl Scout Cookies? I’ll take some Samoas and Thin Mints. Yum. One roll – one sitting. EASY.

      Being aware of the jibs and jabs is hard, because it seems so ‘common place’ these days. I’ve just reached a point where I am sick of it. When Erica wrote about gently backing away, it was like an ‘aha’ moment. And I felt I was being given permission – it is okay if you don’t like everything you read. You need not always have to leave a comment. Wow. That’s good stuff. And, if you take it further – you don’t need to feed the jabs and digs. Anyway – I’m a work in progress.

      I am glad you liked this. Thanks for visiting, Nancy.

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