Thursday Thirteen – My Passions

I have a very strong belief that a life lived well, is a life lived passionately. We need passion in order to chase our dreams, invigorate our relationships, inspire us towards improvement. Passion is what makes us human. Sometimes passion can become an uncontrollable force in our lives resulting in rash, impulsive and sometimes destructive actions. However, by channeling our passion towards that which enhances our experience of life, rather than lead to its dissolution or demise, we can all live our life less ordinary. So, here are 13 of my own passions in life. These are what make me happy, what give my life value, what make me want to get out of bed in the morning.

  1. Family – Regular readers of this blog will know that I have a fairly large extended family, as I have written of them before for Thursday Thirteen. I’m pretty convinced that they are a really special bunch of people, and I feel so privileged to be a part of this family. My daily interactions with those within that circle make my world one of connection and engagement. They give me support, love, perspective and inspiration. How could I not be passionate about my family?
  2. Literature – I love to read. I can still remember the first novel I ever read in one sitting: it was Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine, and I can vividly recall the way that the story swept me away from the armchair I was sitting in and into the world of Dahl’s creation. That experience, in many ways, sparked off a long love affair with books. So much so, in fact, that I have spent the last 11 years studying literature. If I’m very lucky it is what I’ll spend the rest of my life doing!
  3. Art – I suppose art is one of those terribly subjective things; what I consider art, another may consider trash. In many ways, that’s irrelevant, as long as you find something that gives you that spark, that tremor; as long as you discover that which has the capability to speed your pulse and steal your breath. I have spent days in art galleries gazing at the paintings, the sculptures, the installations, allowing myself to completely open up to the experience of viewing these creations. Truly liberating.
  4. Cinema – I can’t remember my first trip to the cinema, but apparently it was to see Disney’s The Fox and the Hound and I cried very noisily at the end. I’m pleased to say I haven’t cried that loudly in a cinema recently, but the cinema still holds that magic for me, that capacity to involve my emotions and wrench my heart. When I saw Pan’s Labyrinth, I had to sit in the cinema until the lights came up so I could try and collect myself a little before entering the foyer. A trip to the cinema is really such a special experience.
  5. Music – In one of my recent TTs, I made wishes for myself and my readers, one of which concerned the listening to a piece of music which brings you to the brink of tears. I frequently cry over a piece of music. It doesn’t need to be a sad piece, and it doesn’t need to be from a particular genre. I am equally engaged emotionally when I listen to opera as when I listen to pop, rock and roll or classical. I find it very difficult to put into words my response to music, but I always feel moved by the experience.
  6. Internet – The World Wide Web is filled with endless possibilities. There is such potential to be had through this wonderful facility, and I am so excited about what the future holds, and how the internet will evolve. The internet is such a big part of my life, that I really would feel quite bereft without it!
  7. Nature – I’m continually amazed by the natural world and the treasure that it reveals to us when we take the time to stop and pay attention. The geese flying in formation. The turning of the leaves. The blooming of the flowers. My relationship to the natural world means that I am continually aware of the changing of the seasons and the shifting of the weather, which in turn makes me appreciate the time that I have to live as full a life as I am capable of.
  8. Photography – Once again, regular readers will probably be familiar with this one, as I share my love for taking photographs here on an almost daily basis. I don’t mind saying that this is a relatively new passion, but it is one I am absolutely reveling in! Recording my own unique perspective seems to be intensely important to me right now, and it also seems important to share it through this blog.
  9. People – People just fascinate me. I want to hear their stories. I want to connect with them. I want to share experience with them. In many ways, it is perhaps this passion in particular that unites all of these relatively disparate passions: the need to share my perspective, to connect via the internet, to interact with my family, to feel moved by the achievements of others.
  10. Cooking – I really enjoy cooking and trying out new recipes, although once again this relates back to sharing and connecting with others.  What I like best about cooking is the cooking for others.  I have only very very rarely only cooked for myself, and am in my element when I have others to feed besides myself.  Does anything really compare to watching someone swoon over a dessert that you prepared for them?
  11. Scotland – I know many people will probably feel the same about their own home country, as I do about Scotland.  Scotland gives me a sense of belonging that I just don’t get in any other country.  I travel quite a lot for conferences etc. and as much as I enjoy the experience of other countries, other cultures, there is really no comparison to the feeling I get when I see the rolling green hills, the glimmering lochs, and the clutches of Scot’s pines as the plane approaches the airport.
  12. Education – Having been a student for just about as long as I can remember, this one is perhaps no surprise, but it’s not just my own education that I am passionate about.  I am also extremely passionate about the education of others, whether that is of my own children, or of the students that I teach at the university. I get so much out of communicating new ideas to my students, and getting the feedback that they now view the world in a different way.  What a buzz!
  13. Blogging – Well, I couldn’t include a list of my passions without this one now, could I?  Blogging makes me happy; it has taken my interactions with others to a whole new level.  But, of course, I not only love writing my own blog and sharing my news, my experience, and my perspective, I also love reading other people’s blogs and finding out more about them through their writing, their photos and the things they choose to share.

What are your passions?  What gets you up in the morning and looking forward to the new day ahead?  What makes you live a life less ordinary?

My other TT posts: Dream Chasing and Origami Wishes, Birthday Nostalgia, Blogging Lessons, What I Found in Madrid, Rules To Live By, My Life in Scent, My Family, New Habits and Memorable Moments


November 29, 2007. Inspiration, meme.


  1. Robin replied:

    What a lovely, inspiring list. We have many of the same passions – music, cooking, blogging (of course), art (I just wrote about that a week or so ago on my own blog)…

    I’ll add travel to my list too. There is nothing more exciting than a new destination.

  2. No nonsense girl replied:

    I love your list!!!! That’s very inspiring!!!!

    Mine’s up, 13 truths that have changed my life!

  3. Malcolm replied:

    Excellent list… thank you for sharing it. As for my passions, they include family/friends, music, movies/TV, the Internet, and blogging.

  4. geekbetty replied:

    I love to create things as well, blogging, art, cooking, writing.

  5. On a Limb w/ Claudia replied:

    Yea for passions! A passionate life is truly worth living. Good for you!

  6. amy replied:

    What a beautiful post. Thank you for visiting me. I couldn’t visit the site you had mentioned. I’ll keep trying!

  7. Nicholas replied:

    That’s a wonderful list. Isn’t it life-enriching when an interest becomes a passion! No wonder your blog is always so captivating.

  8. Linda R. Moore replied:

    Wonderful again.

    If it isn’t too personal–roughly where in Scotland do you live? I’m English, but we started going to Scotland when I was six. First my brother moved up there, and then my parents did when Dad retired. I get homesick for Scotland even when I’m not from there!

  9. Amy Shipp replied:

    I really really enjoyed your list. I share many of your same passions- music, literature, blogging, photography, family! nature… I appreciate your TT list, it is nice to get to know you a little more. 🙂
    <3, Amy in AZ

  10. Julia replied:

    I’d go for music, literature, cooking, my homecountry (Germany)for the same reasons that you do -feeling at home, but I would never leave out the most important thing in life: CHOCOLATE!
    Happy TT!
    Greets Julia

  11. pussreboots replied:

    You and I have many of the same passions although I’d put Wales in place of Scotland. Happy TT.

  12. CandyQ replied:

    I’m a little late in dropping by, hehe! You always have great TT posts. My passions? Family, literature, my faith, blogging, music.

  13. amypalko replied:

    Yes, Robin, travel would be a good addition! I’ll need to check out your post on art, too.

    Glad you liked it, No Nonsense Girl.

    Sounds like we have very similar passions, Malcolm 🙂

    Being creative is such an important passion to have in life, isn’t it Geek Betty?

    Thanks Claudia! It looks like you’re passionate about passions – so am I!

    You are most welcome, Amy! I’m glad you liked what you found when you visited me here. As for the link, try this one, Romancing Yourself

    I’m so glad you find it captivating, Nicholas. I must admit that I am passionate about this blog, and I do hope that that comes through in my writing.

    Thanks, Linda! At the moment I’m just outside Stirling, but I was raised mostly in Edinburgh and I’ve also lived on the north coast. Nice to know that we have a Scottish connection!

    I’m so pleased you enjoyed it, Amy, and that we share so many passions in common 🙂

    Ah yes, Julia, I missed out chocolate, but I do adore it! Especially Galaxy chocolate. I was once in the States on a research trip, and I really really missed my British chocolate! Is it the same for you with German chocolate?

    It’s good to feel passionate about your mother country, I think, Pussreboots!

    I’m so pleased that you like my TTs, Candy! That means a lot to me.

  14. Celticangel replied:

    Scotland is one of my passions, too. Sadly, it’s not because I live there.

    May I borrow your topic for a TT?

  15. amypalko replied:

    I think Scotland is a passion for many folk who don’t live here, Celtic Angel. And yes, of course, you may borrow the topic. I look forward to reading it! Let me know when it’s up 🙂

  16. Twice Tagged « Lives Less Ordinary replied:

    […] To read more about my passions, you can read my Thursday Thirteen all about them. […]

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