Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Passion and Balance

Passion--(from the Ancient Greek verb πάσχω (paskho) meaning to suffer) is a term applied to a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something.

The term is also often applied to a lovely or eager interest in or admiration for a proposal, cause, or activity or love--to a feeling of unusual excitement, enthusiasm or compelling emotion, a positive affinity or love, towards a subject, idea, person or object.

After USDAA Nationals, I always have a time where I reflect on the year, the good, the bad, the whatever...and think about the year, my life etc. This year was the first time, after Nationals, I haven't wanted to take a 8 week break from agility. I did things differently...and I think for ME, it paid off :)

I have many passions in life besides working dogs...nature, playing the guitar, photography, riding horses, friends etc etc....I decided this past summer that I needed to take a break from agility, to rekindle that passion I once felt for the sport. Training was getting old, I was losing that zest and drive to really work my dogs...in other words, I was just getting flat. I needed that break.

So I did it, I enjoyed discovering the state of Minnesota...something I refused to do for a long time. Why? Because I always hoped we would be moving. Once I accepted we were going to be here for the long haul, it made things change for me :) The things I have discovered this summer really have made living up here so much more fun, and my outlook towards winter a lot more pleasant (not saying I'm ECSTATIC...but I'm not dreading it :)

So I discovered the state more, I went fishing a LOT, I enjoyed being out on the lakes, riding jet ski's, hiking etc. Just enjoying the things I refused to see before. And you know what? This place is pretty darn special...

During this time, the dogs and I didn't do much agility...I just kept them in shape, did lots of hiking and let them enjoy being dogs. I didn't enter nearly as many trials, went out with friends more...and just took it all in.

With Minnesota only getting a few months of summer before the cold and snow hits, I realized that for ME personally...enjoying those warm months was paramount to my happiness up here. Taking some time off from that stuff, restored me, I was happy again and motivated. Life was good. The dogs seemed to feel the same way as well! I was worried that the breaks would affect their performance at USDAA Nationals, but they ran great. So I think the break was good for them too.

I think passion focused on ONE SINGLE thing is great at first, can be the driving force behind your commitment when things are not going as planned, when patience is required, when learning difficult things etc. After time sets in however...all that energy put into one focus can dwindle and that passion can go to the wayside...the "normal" sets in and you lose some of those feelings.

I think with everything in life, to maintain balance and that passion for things you love...one must distance themselves a bit. Taking a break from one focus and putting your energy into other things for awhile tends to put things back into balance. And the motivation comes back.

Which is why for me, as I ate my Chinese food last night...my fortune seemed like a good start for a bit of change:
I welcome change...well, most change :) I realized today, things need to be shaken up a bit again. My summer of fun and enjoyment were good for that time of my life. Now things need to get back into serious mode. Dogs to work, I need to get back really working out again--stayed in good shape, but after Nationals I realized more fitness is always better!!!

Time to refocus on things that need to be moved to the forefront of life and put those other things on the back burner. When the time comes, things will switch up again, and those things that I have lost passion for will come back into my life, and balance will happen again.

This way everything remains shiny and new! What do you do to put balance back in your life? How do you re-set your focus? Regain your passion?


D said...

Great post! It certainly shows where the term "too much of a good thing" comes from. Perhaps in your case "too little of a lot of good things".

I'm especially glad you seem to have found the magic key to surviving your "time" in MN, it really is a beautiful state... Except maybe in January, when I have a pretty difficult time finding anything good to say about it. :)

Amis said...

You *know* I like this post. :) I am getting ready to go on my agility break, 8-10 weeks of nothing but hiking and indoor swimming for my critters. And I have plenty to keep me balanced (photography, friends, travel, biking, outdoorsy crap...) maybe *TOO* much! HAAA!

Loretta Mueller said...

Amen D and Ami!!!