Last year around this time my good friend Mattie decided it was time that she stopped procrastinating and do what she always wanted to do – learn to paint. She said all her life she’d wanted to learn to paint but some thing or other would get in the way. “I’ve seen too many of my friends with all sorts of dreams who never got around to fulfilling any of them before they were too ill or died.” So she enrolled in an art class at the senior center and every week, she attends class. When I went by her house the other day; all along the wall of her family room were pictures she’d painted, beautiful landscapes, portraits and still life. On her easel was another she was working on. After working as a nurse most of her adult life, she had finally acknowledged her passion and said it enriched her life.
I have another friend who taught himself to play the guitar and every spare moment, he’s in his garage learning new chords, listening to all sorts of musical styles and trying to imitate them. He doesn’t do this because he wants to be a recording artist and make a lot of money; Rather, he told me, he’s doing it because it is what he loves. He, too, has found his passion.
I’d never thought about passion in that way before – discovering things within you that you’ve always desired to do but for one reason or other, you’ve disregarded as being unimportant or because of what others might think. We usually think of passion in a limited sense having to do with romantic desire. In a broad sense, it is being enthusiastic about life.
So when do we find time to discover our passion, what we love to do no matter how trivial? Retirement is the perfect time; that is if your health and finances allow you. If you’ve always wanted to learn to sing, dance, travel, knit, write, act or whatever, find a way to satisfy your desire. Don’t discount it or put it off for another time. Don’t think that you’re too old. Pursue your passion with boundless energy regardless of whether it will lead to financial gain. Pursuing your passion can make life so much more fulfilling.