What is your passion? (Thoughts on Aging, Part 2)

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a friend in which she mentioned how she didn’t have passion for one aspect of her job. She was troubled by this, and felt that this lack of passion was one of the reasons why she wasn’t succeeding. 
Passion is a luxury, I told her. We don’t all have passion all of the time, and sometimes that’s OK. Sometimes the other obligations of our lives–the day-to-day stuff–take over and we don’t have the space or energy to focus on our passions. That, of course, isn’t an excuse for not being your best, rather, it is an explanation of why we can, at times, feel lost or uncertain, I explained. 
(This is where I should note that by passion I don’t mean sex, though, that is a very nice kind of passion. I mean that which inspires and motivates us, or “any state of the mind in which it is affected by something external.”)
Afterward, I thought that I must have sounded so discouraging! I didn’t mean to; I wanted to be helpful. The truth is, I have spent a lot of time these past few months thinking about my passion, my inspiration. And, I have concluded that, we, as women, we have so many responsibilities that we rarely reflect on where we are and where we are going, nor do we always have time to think about what excites us and what gives us energy and strength. I’ve only taken the time to do this reflection because I realized several months ago–in a panic!–that I had this milestone birthday coming up, and I wasn’t certain if I was where I was supposed to be. And, for me, talking about passion was another way of processing getting older and of figuring out my big upcoming birthday. 
So what do I know about passion after all of these months? 
  1. I’m lucky. Lucky to have the space to go on this journey. Lucky to live in the United States in the twenty-first century where I have options and can make choices. Lucky to be married to a truly wonderful man (Happy Father’s Day, love!).
  2. I love words. This is why I make time for Red Shutters. It’s why I feature poetry in this blog, and why I track what I read. Words are power and they bring, to me, joy. 
  3. I really like being a mom. It’s fun, rewarding, and nothing beats two little arms wrapped tightly around my neck, whispering “Mommy, I need you.”
  4. It’s (still) OK if my path ahead is not 100% clear. I’m working on relishing it. I’m trying to not waste time feeling stressed about it. I’m trying to explore new opportunities, to take risks, and to be open to new adventures. 
  5. I like to be challenged, to solve problems, to learn, and to engage with people who are striving to be and do their best
  6. I want to give back. Some of the best times of my life were when I volunteered and spent my time helping someone else. 

So, now, I’m working on adding to this list and translating my passion into sustainable action. I hope to fuel Red Shutters with this passion and thereby share with you some of that which makes me happy and excited.
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Oh, and another way I deal with turning 40? (There, I said it again!)

I did something crazy, right?

Yes (sort of).

I cut my hair. 

Bye bye, 5 inches.

This is my husband and me at the Boston Pops a few weeks ago. We saw Steve Martin (my celebrity crush) and the Steep Canyon Rangers.  They were amazing! (Sorry for the dark picture; the photo was taken with an iPhone.) Note the long hair.

And, this is me and my G a few days ago. While her little arms are in the way, you get the idea, right? 
Chop, chop. 
I love it (despite being told by someone yesterday that now I look my age). 
This might just be the cure-all for all existential crises: cut your hair!