We watched the movie Amazing Grace on Monday night with our children. It's a wonderful story about one of the men who was significant in abolishing the slave trade in England. While watching the movie it occurred to me that this man had more passion in his little finger than I did in my whole body.
I've often wondered about that aspect of myself. Why it is easy for me to get worked up about something, but it only lasts as long as the first letter or blog about it and then I drop it. Why don't I continue a cause? What is it that keeps me from doing anything big with my life?
It didn't take very long to come up with an answer. You see, I'm lazy. I know, it's not that unusual, but it's true. And, I'm afraid in my case, it's a dangerous habit. It's dangerous because I could possibly let my life go by without accomplishing what I want because I'm too lazy.
Of course, there are some things I simply can't be a part of because I don't have any money. I can't run away and join the Peace Corps or Green Peace -- they don't pay you. (Of course, I wouldn't want to leave my hubby and kids behind either, and that wouldn't go over very well -- I can see it now; "Um, ma'am? We don't allow 12 year olds to volunteer in Nigeria ...") I also don't have the funds to write fifty zillion letters and send them to all the people who don't read my blog about how I feel on the political future of our country. (As If.)
So I'm stuck in my corner of the world, wondering what I was meant to do with my life. I usually end up focusing on the idea that I only know two things: writing and painting. Unfortunately, I'm not yet the quality writer I want to be, and my art takes a back seat to everything else. So where does that leave me?
I've decided that my passion, or my writing, has become a convenient thing. I only do it when it's convenient for me. I do not fashion my life around when I write -- I write around the time slots available in my day. This doesn't make for a very consistent or productive time, and definitely makes it difficult to meet the goals I have set for myself. Welcome to the crowd.
It's not a nice picture when you realize that you are sabotaging yourself.
A couple of years ago I discovered that I have the ability to change habits. I decided there were a couple of things I was determined to do, and I committed to doing them -- every day. I am still doing them, though sometimes it takes a reminder. I have come to the conclusion that my writing needs to leave the convenient passion stage and enter the determined passion era. Unless I want my writing to continue in the "that's a nice habit" section of my life, I need to change how I view it. I hereby commit to you, myself and all heavenly witnesses, that from this day forth I will write everyday for at least a half an hour.
I realize that may not seem like much, but at least that's a chunk of time that I can guarantee won't be compromised by other things. Hopefully it will soon be an hour, but for now -- a half hour a day. In leaving the convenient passion behind, hopefully the passion part will grow so it becomes difficult to think of it only when it's convenient. That's when I'll know it's a true passion.