The Cold Penguin

expanding the box

My most feared word: passion

on January 13, 2014

Saturday was a stormy day in NC.  I like to take advantage of bad weather days by conquering a home task that has been bugging me for a while, but I continue to put off.  So I cleaned out my jewelry boxes, untangling necklace after necklace, and cleaned out my beside table “junk” drawer.

While doing this I learned a few things.  One, I need a much better system for organizing my necklaces.  Any cute ideas anyone can suggest would be greatly appreciated!

And the second thing took a bit of time to sink in.  I had a small notebook in my beside drawer hidden by a pair of socks, some hair ties, and yes, more necklaces.  I cleaned out the notebook, ripping out old grocery lists, schedules, etc. to have a nice, clean notebook to use.  And during my page ripping (which is oddly satisfying), I found a goal list I created almost a year ago to the day.  It was my 33 in 33 list.  In other words, the 33 things I wanted to accomplish during my 33rd year.  I had completely forgotten about the list and didn’t think much of finding it at the time, but did think enough not to rip it out of the notebook.

Then yesterday during my Zero to Hero assignment, I read a blog post by The Underful Journey titled Confessions.  And I could relate to everything written in the post.  I have felt all of those feelings before and it was nice to see that I wasn’t alone in my internal struggles to be a better person.

It also brought me back to that list.  I sat down and checked off all the accomplishments I completed.  I only completely accomplished 3 of the 33 items on the list.  I did part of or a version of 6 items of the list, and then 24 things I did not even slightly accomplish.  It should be defeating, and I guess on some level it is, but mostly I can easily shrug it off.


Because going back to the post Confessions, my eye-opening moment of what really is accomplishment and laziness.  When you are not putting energy into something, or “being lazy”, then it just means it’s something you are not passionate about.  If it was really something I wanted to accomplish, I would have put more energy into it.  But I didn’t.  So it means that it sounds good on paper for me to accomplish, but in reality, it’s not.  It’s not a passion.

I hate the word passion.  There are people out there who have a clear goal and passion in life and I am disgustingly jealous of them!  I do not feel that I have a passion.

But do I want to give up on trying to accomplish things?  Absolutely not!  I don’t want to just shrug everything off saying I’m not passionate about it.  Because that is the true definition of laziness: giving up on finding your passion.  It’s not lying in bed all day and making no effort to get up, as we usually see laziness.  It can be someone who goes through the motions of life, gets up, gets ready, goes to work, takes care of the home, goes to the gym, but is not fully present and engaged throughout the day.  They are putting no extra energy or emotion into their lives.  They just do what they have to do, go to bed, and wake up and do the same thing again.  To not be lazy, would be to put some energy into something in your life that brings you joy.  Whether you love to cook elaborate dinners, are lucky enough to treasure your job, love spending time with your kids, take time to write a blog post and make it the best it can be, or even just working on finding what you are passionate about.  Even further, maybe it’s an accomplishment in itself to find out something isn’t your passion.  If you try something, and don’t love it, that’s ok.  And you accomplished finding out that is not your thing, so you can try another.  That’s not a bad thing at all.

So that’s my goal for my 34th year, to try.  I may revisit some things on my 33 list, and some of them I may dismiss.  I may come up with new ideas.  I have 10 days until I turn 34, so there’s plenty of time to figure out some things to try, not to accomplish.

For those of you who are curious about my list, here it is.  Otherwise, I challenge you to throw out the words passion, accomplishment and laziness from your vocabulary.  Instead, think of:  What would you like to try?


My 33 for 33 list:

  1. run a 5K (ran several of these this past year)
  2. zip line (yes)
  3. white water rafting (I had plans to do this on a vacation but the water levels in the river were way low)
  4. yoga handstand (not even close!)
  5. ride a bike (nope – I don’t think I even got on a stationary bike this year!)
  6. play tennis (I have played “tennis” poorly with my husband – we play anything goes, just hit the ball – so this was put into the questionable accomplished pile)
  7. knit (no supplies or anything)
  8. sew (I don’t even own a sewing machine, so I’m not sure what I was thinking when I wrote this one)
  9. run a Spartan race (sort-of accomplished, I did a Warrior Dash)
  10. ride a horse (we had it on the books then it rained and we never rescheduled)
  11. roller blade or skate (no)
  12. host a party (we had an Easter brunch – so sort of accomplished)
  13. learn to play chess (the beautiful set has not been out of the box)
  14. go to a local botanical garden (no)
  15. swim (no)
  16. learn French (no, I have listened to a few Coffee Break French lessons and played on Babbel a bit, but I don’t know anymore than I did when I started learning French in middle school)
  17. see a famous work of art (yes – we had a date night to the local Mint Museum)
  18. volunteer to help build a house (I went to the Habitat for Humanity orientation but they seemed a bit overwhelmed with volunteers and was never able to wiggle may way into it.  Granted, I didn’t try too hard.)
  19. grow a plant (I found out when we planted a vegetable garden I am allergic to nature.  Itchy rashes – no more gardening for me!)
  20. learn the constellations (no)
  21. juggle (no)
  22. see all the best picture nominees for the 2013 Oscars (I saw 4 of them)
  23. Read the 2012 NY Times top 10 books (read 4)
  24. do a split (nope – not even close.  I think my flexibility has gotten worse!!)
  25. do a bridge/wheel (see above)
  26. become active with the local Go Red campaign (no)
  27. make a new friend (no)
  28. reconnect with an old friend (no)
  29. 10K (no)
  30. make homemade dog treats (no)
  31. build a snowman (haven’t seen a drop of snow)
  32. visit my grandfather (no)
  33. make a homemade candy bar (while I’ve made candies, no candy bar yet)

One response to “My most feared word: passion

  1. It’s wonderful to hear that my post inspired you. Thank you for that, and thank you for your comment. Good luck with your goals!

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