I recently read a familiar old quote from Calvin Coolidge shared on one of my regular blog stops, Mary Jaksch’s Goodlife Zen. Coolidge speaks of the key to success being beyond talent, genius and education, but rather lies in persistence. And persistence is much easier to maintain if you have passion! I’m not necessarily talking about the sexual kind of passion though that does breed success as well… among other things. I’m talking about the deep-down-in-your-gut excitement you feel when you’re about to do/get/have/experience something you just love love LOVE! Something you’re passionate about. Something you can’t wait to do over and over again. (Family blog here, keeping it clean!) If it’s something you want, something you’re passionate about, then persistence comes easier! And without persistence, what you end up with is unrequited passion.
My heart used to race with excitement at the thought of an upcoming SCUBA dive. Heck, I’d set the alarm clock for 1:00AM to make a high-tide dive an hour and a half from my home. And, I’d jump in the water 2 hours later if the opportunity presented itself again. As a SCUBA Dive Master I assisted in SCUBA classes 2 days a week after work and made an average of 2-4 dives a week during the northeast dive season. SCUBA diving TOTALLY blows my skirt up! Even as I type this, the idea of getting in the water and diving anywhere excites the daylights out of me. Unfortunately, it’s been 9 years since I’ve gone diving… not since I became pregnant with my Old Soul (because diving contraindicated for pregnancy and breastfeeding). As such, I’ve lost my persistence and, sadly, my passion has been sidelined to other more pressing things in life!
Then there’s running. I was never a good runner. Matter of fact, I never referred to myself as a runner at all. The boys’ PT said running is when both feet leave the ground at the same time… so I’m not sure I EVER actually “ran”. But you can be sure I was out there 7 days a week logging 3-5 miles a day! And I loved it! Cruising the neighborhood, the sunshine in my eyes, checking out my neighbors’ landscape designs or spying through lighted windows as folks relaxed into their evening routines, making my way [albeit slowly] down River Road, watching the water gently roll out to sea, all to the beat of my beloved Eagles ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’ and ‘Taking It Easy’. Priceless! Sadly, it’s been a long while since I ran/jogged/did whatever you want to call it, on a regular basis… It’s just not nearly as easy to find the time nor as peaceful pushing 100+ lbs of boys yelling “home” in a jog stroller. My passion still exists but my persistence has taken a back seat to other priorities.
You know I could go on… There’s a bunch of stuff I love like mad to do but don’t get to do much anymore because it doesn’t fit into my schedule or is incompatible with motherhood just now. Things like playing beach volley ball, mountain biking, roller blade hockey (I used to love playing defense), going to the movies on Friday night or out to dinner with the Sarge. Those things either don’t happen anymore or happen WAY to infrequently.
I’ve lost the persistence behind my personal passions! The kind I had when I couldn’t wait to get there and do that. I’m talking about waking up excited about the things I’m going to do this wonderful day.
Don’t get me wrong, I am massively passionate about my children; loving, teaching and advocating for them… No, there is no lack of persistence when it comes to my passion for my children! I’m excited about waking every day to their smiling faces and spending time with them. But I’m not excited about figuring out what to make them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I hate to cook! I’m not excited about driving them 60 miles round trip to school. I’m not excited about doing laundry, dishes, mopping the floors or vacuuming the house. I am NOT passionate about the daily grind that goes along with the life I’m living just now. I know…. SHOCKING! But, I’m missing the things I’m passionate about! I’m missing the persistence that makes me successful in actually DOing these beloved activities.
Yes, I admit it, I’ve lost (or more realistically given up) my persistence with a number of things I’m passionate about… and I miss ’em like heck! So, as the parent of two children with Down syndrome and an Old Soul that all lovingly demand my attention, I’m asking for ideas on how to get it back. How do you fit in those activities that you were once passionate about but that have taken a back burner to this truly joyful and wondrous life of special needs parenting… or any parenting for that matter.