by Irwin Lengel
(Lakeland, FL)

Passionate – emotional, ardent, intense, as a passionate desire

Other words to describe passionate are: Fervent; ardent; zealous; loving; obsessive; fanatical; enthusiastic

One of the things I have written about when thinking and writing about retirement is what to do with the many hours we now have since we no longer have to be away from home 8, 10, or 12 hours of each and every day.

Some of us were smart and found a hobby or something else we were passionate about so that when retirement came, we replaced our hours of being at work with hours now being taken up by our hobby or passion.

But what about those of us that weren’t that smart?

Some of us, myself included, wrapped ourselves up in getting better educated and then thought that our work was the most important part of our lives. The result of that course of action was that we never learned to do anything else but work.

What do we do now that we are retired? The answer is to find something we are passionate about. Something needs to fill that void.

So, how do we find what we want to do for the remainder of our retirement lives? There are several schools of thought on this subject but one of the ways I used was to determine whether the choice of activities I chose to replace my former work day is a true passion or merely an imposter.

Some of the questions I asked myself were: How excited am I about it? Do I lose sleep over it? If, the topic or item I chose to do is something that requires my full attention and I just can’t wait to pop out of bed every day to “get on with it,” then I took that as a good sign. It meant, leastways in my own mind, that I found something I was passionate about.

Another sign was that I tended to ask myself each day, how far behind am I with regards this project I consider to be my passionate project.

My thought process is that if I am worried about meeting a deadline that I may have set to accomplish the project, that is a good thing because then my worrying will, in turn, help me fend off procrastination thus motivating me to be more concerned about the project. Not only does this process allow me to understand how far I may have come with regards the project but it also enabled me to see how far I have to go which is but one of the ways to help me get better in what it is I am trying to accomplish.

Last but definitely not least, should someone ask me what I am working on, I would probably be hard-pressed to define it.

Let’s face it, say I am attempting to write a book, or create something for an editor but haven’t really got my arms around the concept just yet as to what it is I will be creating. The fact of the matter is that I may personally know what my end goal is and as such have a plan that is defined more to the project level but this may also mean that my core passion is a little undefined at this point.

Let’s face it - we all probably have had more than one passion in life. Taking a cross-country trip throughout the USA is one of my passions. Another is to spend several weeks at the shore just enjoying walks at both sunrise and sunset on the beach. Other passions have been hanging around for years. Some probably took more hours than I care to remember to pursue but bottom line is that in each and every thing I attempted to do led me to a better understanding or what my true purpose is in these our retirement years.

So, in closing this blog today, once you are retired, keep looking for those passions to become awakened in you. Once you see your excitement levels rise over some project that you have attempted, you may just find that you will continue to strive to be better, the words “give up” will soon be forgotten, and chances are you will find your true passion in the process.

My goal is to do exactly that and eventually find my true passion or “writing niche” as that is one of the most fun things I find myself doing. That is - when I finally take the time to sit down at my computer and let the words just fly onto the paper.

Until next time!

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