Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What is your passion?

A mom recently asked this question. I imagine a lot of moms ask themselves what their passion is... along with the rest of the world. If they haven't, they should. It is a good question.

What is your passion? What is my passion?

I have been pondering this a lot lately, mostly because I have so much going on that it is difficult to know where to focus my energy. It has also been difficult to pinpoint what, exactly, my passion is.

Take for example 15-year-old Jan Lisiecki. Haven't heard of him?

He is a superbly talented teen from Calgary who has been wowing audiences since he was very young with his ability to make music flow from the keys of the piano. He has been compared to Mozart, but hates being called a prodigy, saying that someone who is a "prodigy" has their abilities come easily to them while he has to work extremely hard to accomplish his goals. However, because he has such a passion for music, he is willing to work that hard. Lisiecki had his orchestral debut at the tender age of nine (you know, when most of us are getting our kicks by jumping off swings and swindling nickels from our parents to buy corner store candy). He has played at Carnegie Hall (if you don't know what this is, don't talk to me... until you Google it and educate yourself), along with numerous other notable (no pun intended) concert halls.

He writes music, performs Sonatas I could never dream of perfecting, and excels academically as well. I had the great pleasure of interiewing him when I worked at Metro newspaper in Calgary, and he was also very well-spoken and pleasant.

Music is his passion.

So what is yours? What do you dream of accomplishing?
What do you hope you can do with your life?

What is it that you spend your time promoting, furthering, practicing? Do you have a hobby? A mission? A goal?

When you post on Facebook or Twitter, what do your posts usually talk about?

Lately, mine have focused on my family and my newest little addition, Kaleb. A 13-month-old little character who loves bolting through the dog door and putting chess pieces in my refrigerator certainly makes for some entertaining Facebook statuses.

Are you proud of what you stand for? Are you furthering yourself and others by what you do with your life?

It has been difficult for me to pinpoint my own passions because I have recently discovered that I love to do so many things.
For example, I thoroughly enjoy organizing events, fundraisers, and parties. I organized Canada Day for my town. I went all-out for my son's birthday party, even though he will never remember it. I have organized fundraisers for different charity organizations and would call them successes. But I wouldn't call event-planning my passion like it is for some people.

I have also taught piano for nine years. Nine years of explaining where Middle C is, understanding my parents' frustration at how many times I played "Birch Canoe" (Leila Fletcher's Book 2), and encouraging my students to add dynamics, feel the rhythm, create stories with their pieces, and stop looking down at their hands, because their hands won't tell them what notes are next. Some days are frustrating... other days are so rewarding.  When I see the shining looks of pride on their faces after they perform their pieces at the year-end recital, I am so content and happy to know that I was able to play a part in encouraging the arts and showing them what fun music can be.
Is that my passion? I also used to relish times I could play and practice my own pieces, but have had to give up my hours of playing in recent years in favour of earning money to support myself and my family. I would have called music my passion in high school, but is a passion something that comes and goes?

When I was five, I wanted to be a journalist. When I was 18, I started college to become one, and worked for a few years at different papers. The thrill of seeking out stories and interviewing people never really died for me. However, the feasability of continuing in that line of work took a backseat when I had Kaleb, as the hours were not conducive to being a mom. Maybe I would have called that my passion, and maybe it has just been put on the back burner for now.

I am also a youth leader. Right now, I teach piano and help run a youth group. I love the youth I work with. Sometimes I am discouraged, other times it is invigorating to see them so full of life and energy, even if it is exhausting. One-on-one coffee times, pancakes in my office, and sampling fries around town allows me to pretend I'm not really growing up. The teens love having my little boy around, so it's great that I can bring him along to a few things here and there. While I say it is at times discouraging, it is equally rewarding. I look forward to seeing them every week, and I hope that I can be a stone, in their huge pond of experiences, that leaves a few ripples... but with that hope comes the huge responsibility of making those ripples count.
When I began preparing for a Bible Study or event, I become very passionate about what I am doing... I am excited to think that I am allowed to be a part of their lives. However, every time I hear the song "Give Me Your Eyes" by Brandon Heath, I am reminded of why I really do this: because I love them and want to show God's love in a tangible way to these youth. Don't know the lyrics to this song? I won't type them all out... but look them up.
I would say that my passion for being a youth leader is sparked whenever I work with, spend time with, or prepare for events with the youth.

But I'm certainly not a Jan Lisiecki. I don't seem to have one passion. I can't seem to differentiate between being a perfectionist (because my motto, thanks to my mom, has become "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right") and having a passion. Whenever I work on something, I am wholly there. I might get distracted, but in that moment I want to do that task and finish it well.

Have I not yet found my passion? My one thing I would focus on?

Is it my baby boy? My family? I do all of this so Kaleb can have a good life and a mom who takes care of him. It influences all of my decisions. I want to be a good wife, a loving mom, and a woman who God would be proud to call His own.

What is your passion?

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