What is that one thing?

What is that one thing —  that if you don’t do it everyday — you don’t feel quite right?

Running, playing music, hiking, taking pictures, gardening, speed skating, reading, playing water polo, geocaching, scrapbooking, quilting, rock climbing . . . What if no one had ever invented or discovered your passion?  Would you feel the gap?

It does seem that so many of the things that we love to do are derived from prior necessity. Someone had to learn to sew skins together to stay warm and someone else had to run to chase the herd or dodge enemies.  Someone wanted to climb cliffs to harvest eggs and someone else figured out a way to record stories with symbols in order to preserve them from disappearing.

So many of the things we love to do have a connection to the Mother of Invention.  And then I think about needlepoint or rock polishing or yarn bombing or collecting Beanie Babies or toy voyaging?  Could you live without Extreme Ironing?  Is ironing cloth while kayaking that one thing that you would just feel weird not doing every day?  This is not to diminish another’s passion — I celebrate creativity! . . . I just wonder about the evolution of the soul’s striving to express itself in modern times.  Viva la difference!  And bring the iron aboard, Matey!

We do, make, collect, expand, display, and learn.  My interests feel fairly global.  Nothing too over the top.  They are simple: Writing.  Painting with acrylics and junk jewelry and gauze.  Playing music.  Sharing with and laughing with my Sweetheart.  Dancing.  Researching the limbic system.  Going out for Happy Hour with friends.  Taking pictures with my new and awesome camera.  Walking my dog on the trail.  Pretty basic things, actually.  But I would feel really unsettled if I didn’t have these experiences in my life.  How much of what we do, we do because our soul just doesn’t feel right if we don’t do it?  Surely there is enough time in the days.  At least this is what I want to believe.

These questions came to mind as a result of a trip to the vacuum-cleaner-bag store — which also sells sewing machines and fabric.  The salesperson, Donna, was so enthusiastic about helping me, I asked her, “What is it you like about your job?”  Donna responded by saying, “I get to be around what I love.  I get to help people with their sewing projects and then I feel inspired.”  She went on to say that her husband had built a room onto their house so she would have a dedicated sewing room.  She  said, “If I didn’t sew every single day, I wouldn’t feel right.”

Wow.  I went in search of Type A vacuum bags and left with a good dose of inspiring enlightenment.  Her passion for sewing was so evident and inspiring.  I wondered to myself, “What is it that wouldn’t feel right not doing every day?  What would I do without _________?”

It is a good question.  Since meeting Donna, I have been consciously investing time in those things that really make me happy.  Prioritizing that which I naturally love to experience.  I love dedicating Sunday afternoons reflecting and journaling with my two best-est friends.  I really miss dancing if I don’t go at least once a week.  Twice is better. Thrice is the trifecta for my week.  If I don’t get paint on my hands at least once a month, I get restless.  I can’t imagine not laughing with my Sweetheart when we are together.  If I don’t write every single day, I feel weird.

Surely, this is what Donna was talking about.  If we don’t answer to our own selves, than we aren’t going to feel connected to Self at the end of the day.  Like there is some unfinished business just wanting to be completed — something that spills over into the next day . . . and the next. Like some creativity that is wanting to be expressed in 3-D on canvas.  Those running shoes that want to commit some memory to pavement.  Some invention that is simply nagging to be discovered.  Some research that is demanding a question to be answered.

It is like hearing an added sixth chord on a piano.  Would someone, anyone (!), go and resolve the dissonance, please?  Suspense is greatly (!) appreciated in jazz and in life but do allow me to experience a classical resolve as well.  I love that feeling of returning home.

What is it that you so love to do, if you don’t pay it any heed, you don’t feel quite right?  What is preventing you from embracing it and having some fun with it?  I am beginning to suspect that we are born with a compass of passion — that instrument within that guides us to do that which feeds our souls.  I love playing music and when I don’t prioritize it, something is out of balance.  I seek the resetting of my inner compass that will point me back home to that place of consonance.


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