On pursuing your passion

Categories: Hacking Life, Making Time, The Juggle, Uncategorized, Working? Living?


A recent poll by Beyond.com of more than 6,800 business executives found that, in this economy, 58 percent said that they’d take any job they could get if they were unemployed right now. About 17 percent said that they’d go back to school, and 6 percent said they’d wait for the economy to get better, but about 18 percent said that they would “pursue their passion.”

Which is all well and good, if money is no object. But how do you pursue your passion without falling behind on your mortgage payments?

I think you have to start by figuring out what your passion is. If you’re really lucky, you’re already doing what you love — even if it’s not for pay, even if it’s technically not your “job.”

In my case, it’s writing. At least, I think it is, right now. I don’t have a manuscript tucked away in a drawer or under my bed, though I do have an outlines for a cookbook or two gathering dust on what’s left of my desk, and I can’t sustain a plot line long enough to write a short story, let alone a novel. That’s not the kind of writing I mean. That’s the kind of writing real writers do, and I’ve never thought of myself as a real writer. It’s just that I can’t not write. I’ve been that way since I was old enough to hold pencil to paper. I feel better when I can get my thoughts out of my brain and onto the page — or, for the past decade or so, the screen.

I know that I lose sight of it often. Sometimes, when there’s a break in my work-housework-laundry-mom-stepmom-wife-freelance-life juggle, all I want to do is sleep, not contemplate my interests. It’s hard to follow your stream of consciousness anywhere when the kids and billsĀ have taken control of the boat.

But if you don’t pursue your passion, at least here and there, at least a little bit, what’s the point? It’s more than “me time” or figuring out what to do with all that leisure time we working moms are supposed to have at our disposal — it’s a matter of doing the thing that makes you tick, the thing that makes you you.

What’s your passion? And how to you make time for it?

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4 comments so far...

  • Singing is my passion. I make time for it by joining a church choir. I’ve been in choirs for nearly all of my life and while I’d like to make more time and be part of a community chorus or ensemble but haven’t seen where to slot that in yet. There’s a line from a song by Harry Chapin, “Mr. Tanner” that describes exactly my feelings on it:
    “Music was his life it was not his livelihood, and it made him feel so happy and it made him feel so good. And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul. He did not know how well he sang; It just made him whole.”

    Anytime I’m feeling particuIarly happy with my voice (been asked to sing a wedding or special service) my daughter brings me right back to reality by saying, “shh mommy (covering my mouth), no singing!”, when we’re at home.

    Mich  |  March 4th, 2010 at 2:09 pm

  • if you want it badly enough and believe in it enough you will make time for it. period.

    vera babayeva  |  March 5th, 2010 at 3:46 pm

  • Hi, I’m just discovering blogging. I, like many educated women out there, gave up my high tech career to be a mama (yes, worth it). However, now that my children are older and in school a good portion of the day, I have returned to my “artisan” side…..don’t get me wrong, I was always ‘making’ something with my hands, usually late at night after work then after they went to sleep when they were babies. Now, I’m making jewelry with all these different beads, crystals, wire, silver and different ‘whatnots’….and I soooo enjoy the sense of peace and calm while listening to my spa music on pandora. SO, I’m looking for help with my small business from you ladies that have already started your own…..specifically, online store. I need to find the ladies who want to purchase my adorable, funky fun cuffs/bracelets adorned with flowers and other lovely details. Anyone have any suggestions? advertising? groups? resources? networking groups? suggestions for exposure? Let me know……..I’d appreciate the assistance. Monica

    Monica Ferraro  |  March 5th, 2010 at 11:59 pm

  • I’m with you - for me it’s writing, though I haven’t yet figured out the way to go at it beyond in the so called “leisure” time - or after kids are asleep, or before they’re awake, or on the morning ride on the T. I do believe this kind of steady plugging away at it is the key - and am lately taking encouragement from an anecdote I heard about a young Michelangelo, working away at a sculpture his mentor knew to be beneath his capability…so much so he grabbed a hammer and smashed it to bits. “Talent is cheap, Michelangelo,” he said, “Dedication is costly.” Here’s to hanging in there and focusing on the dedication piece. Except for the odd few who have dumb luck enough to stumble in to a life of their passion, I don’t think you can get there without it…

    Stefan  |  March 7th, 2010 at 9:41 pm