Finding Your Passion versus Planning Your Passions

Ameraucana chicken egg

After four days of my 100-day Time Treasure Hunt Challenge, what I have to show for it is this egg. Not really, but I had to show off my Ameraucana chicken’s grand accomplishment, her first egg.

What this post is actually about is passion, but not the “find your passion” kind of bullshit we have heard way too often. First of all, I don’t think we have just one passion or that it stays the same or that it is something to find.

There are things that draw my curiosity, like riding my bike cross country, and things that I love, like being outdoors and horses and dogs, but none of those are a grand passion that I’m going to build my life and career around.

And writing is not something I can say that I love. It’s way too hard and frustrating to feel that way about it. But if I don’t write, I find myself getting a bit crazy and lost. It feels like something essential is missing from my life.

The reason I’m thinking in the context of “passion” at all is because I recently bought a “Passion  Planner.” I’ve tried a lot of planners, both online and paper form, to organize big projects and To-Do’s. None of them worked very well for me.

So when I read about the Passion Planner I was skeptical that this planning system would be any better than the others. Still, the optimistic side of me wanted to check it out. I first tried the free pages you can download. When I found I liked the planner’s layout and organization, I ordered one.

Over the weekend, one of my focuses was to lay out the Passion Roadmap, using the pages and prompts in the planner. I’ve dubbed my roadmap the Treasure Hunter’s Map.

These are the three main areas I’m mapping:

Feeling Better

dog swimming in pond

This includes improving my sleep, spending daily time outdoors, tracking my nutrition to eat better, drinking 60 ounces of water per day, lifting weights three times per week, and daily meditation.

I also quit drinking anything with alcohol. This is a tough one for me in the summer as hot weather and beer go so well together. Stopping at a micro-brewery and tasting their brews is a common social ritual after a bike ride.

I keep telling myself that I need to give this a try to see if it helps my sleep, migraines, stomach upsets and issues with depression and anxiety. I’m still looking for a good substitute to feel less deprived and left out of the micro-brewery experience. I don’t drink sodas but may make an exception for root beer. If anyone has any suggestions on beverages they drink in the summer, please let me know in the comments.

Gardening and Herbalism

raised beds

Every year I put a ton of work into planting a garden only to neglect it and not harvest and process the food in a timely manner. The result is wasted food and herbs and a waste of my initial efforts and enthusiasm.

I’ve begun working on this area by hanging a calendar by the door to the backyard to keep my gardening notes. So far I’ve written down when things were planted, and what I’ve harvested. My plan is to harvest the plants that quickly fill back in every two weeks.

I’ve already harvested stinging nettle twice and mint once. I used the mint, along with pineapple, for a water infusion that helped make the heat more tolerable. You don’t need a fancy water infuser to infuse water. Putting the fruit and herbs into a mason jar works just fine.

Steve built me the wonderful raised beds that are sitting on the deck. I had run out of room in my other raised beds. I’m now waiting for the seeds to start sprouting.

Writing

I have the least amount of detailed plans in this area, which is bizarre as revising my manuscript was the thing that got me started on this endeavor in the first place. But I’m taking on a “No shaming” attitude. I’ll keep plugging along and flesh my plans out this week.

I’ve made my writing focus broader than just revising my book. I want to do other types of writing also, such as revitalizing my blog, submitting essays, and checking out storytelling events.

I’ve learned one thing already that you may also find useful. The Passion Planner has a space for a “Not To-Do” list. I wasn’t sure what that space was for until I read Sean Kim’s post, “Why Creating a Not To-Do List Leads to Innovation”.

You can use the space in different ways but I plan to list any tasks that are nagging at me but I shouldn’t do because they will interfere with completing my top priorities. “Clean house” went into that section over the weekend and may remain there for quite a while…

Happy summer to you!

dog shaking off water

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Written by Maery Rose