I have always felt that I will run out of time. The time it will take to experience all I came here to experience, to do all that I want to do, to have an impact. My mother raised six daughters to “leave the world better” than we found it. Oh, but Mom, you didn’t mention how fast life would go. Blink and you’re decades into it.
Perhaps I feel this urgency because I’m one of the lucky ducks who has a passion. I joke that my passion came from my lack of talent at anything else, but I often wonder if my lack of talent at all else is due to my passion for my passion.
I came out of the womb asking for a book, paper and pen. I can’t remember a time I didn’t have one of the three nearby, although my laptop replaced paper and pen long ago.
But even with that—with decades of books and writing—I feel this sense of “get on with it.” There’s not enough time to read all the books, to absorb all the ideas, to translate the thoughts in my head to the page. I must have felt this, even as a small child, because my mother complained (proudly) that I pestered her mercilessly until she taught me how to read at a very young age.
When I write or read, this urgency disappears, oddly. That’s the beauty of a passion—linear time ceases to exist when you indulge it. I think of my father painting a canvas or planting a garden, my mother at her desk. They frequently lost track of time, content in a world of their own making. One did this via her work and the other via his hobbies, but both found that sweet spot where they lost themselves in the most beautiful way.
If the numbers hold true, more than 11,000 people read this blog. I wonder if that’s why I was born wanting to learn the intricacies of the written word. Is it for this? Or something bigger, weightier? Even if only 10 people were reading, I’d still write (and I remember at the start of this blog, when less than 10 were reading. If you’re one of those and you’ve stuck with me, you get a gold star.)
Writers write. And I’m a writer, that I know.
I sound like a t-shirt slogan, don’t I? Ugh. “Not enough time to read all the books and save all the dogs.” But it’s true, in my case. A natural affinity for books and dogs. Not exactly a phrase that makes you the life of the party on a dating app or in today’s crazy world at large. Perhaps I’ll become “one of THOSE people,” as my friend Matt likes to tell me. Perhaps I already am.
I think passions serve the world, if we let them. Today, I interviewed a woman who was completely jazzed over corporate supply chains. The level of excitement and enthusiasm in her voice was what I generally reserve for scoring the last Mayana Kitchen Sink Chocolate Bar at Whole Foods. While her passion is far from one I’d want, she loves it. And she’s helping a bevy of hospitals run better because of it. Changing the world for the better? Maybe her small corner of it. And if we all did that, well, how very nice it might be.
It takes all kinds. Daniel Clarke Bouchard came into this world itching to play the piano. He’s a prodigy who has played Carnegie Hall but also loves to play hockey. Cory Nieves was CEO of his own all-natural cookie company at age nine, turning his passion for baking into something he shares with the world. He says the main ingredient in Mr. Cory’s Cookies is love.
I can hear some of you through the ether already. “But I don’t have a passion, Kay.” I beg to differ. Everyone has something they do that makes time stop. You may not think of it as a passion, but the ability to lose yourself in an activity is a message from the Universe. It couldn’t be clearer. And if you haven’t found it, get quiet. See what you’re drawn to do. Not what your head says is smart or your heart leads you to. Instead, what your gut directs you to. Your gut never lies.
Pay attention to whatever it is. Nurture it. Make time for it. We’re given these proclivities for a reason, likely because we can change the world—whether in tiny or big ways—by simply “doing our thing.”
Because, tick tock goes the clock.
As my father used to say: Let’s see whatcha’ got, Ace.