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.
- 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?
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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!
- 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?