Life Chronicles · Owlish Contemplations

Do It with Passion … or Not at All

I bought this journal today when I was driving home almost on a whim. I say “almost” because yes, it was a sudden decision & not planned for days in advance like most of my far-fetched ideas. But it wasn’t a sudden idea nor a foreign one.

You see, I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals for 2015 – and the one overarching one that keeps coming back to me is:

I must learn to take the time to be creative and passionate about what I do in life.

This past year hasn’t exactly been the easiest for me. There were times when I thought my head would implode. There were times I thought my heart would burst with all the stress. There were times when all it took were a few words to undo me into tears. I looked at pictures of myself at the end of my school year in May, and I just looked … not well. Run-down. Worn out. Tired. And I asked myself, “Is this really how I want to live my life?”

Yes, student teaching and finishing school [and starting a brand new job as a first-year teacher!] were necessary parts of my life. Sometimes you have to sacrifice the sleep and the time to accomplish the greater good. But when I look back on 2014, so many parts of it were lived on auto-pilot because I was just trying to get to the next thing. And that is definitely not how I believe God created me [or any of us] to live life.

I was created to be creative. To make art with my life. To sing songs and dance dances and take pictures and stop and revel in the moment. The deepest parts of me come alive when I know I’m doing what I was made to do … be that writing or theater or teaching or artfully recording the moment … and I want that to come back in 2015.

Not only did I make goals for my writing project and reading lots of books, but I realized I also needed to make a goal to intentionally capture life as it’s lived. Something that will remind me on a daily basis not to let it slip by without letting passion color my days. Something that will help me get excited about teaching kids in the classroom and helping design and strengthen a national leadership program – because I am truly so blessed to get to do those two things which I love most in the world.

Hence the photojournal which is now sitting conveniently on my coffee table. My goal is to take a picture a day [yes, like all the 365-photo challenges that have come before me], and print off the month’s worth at the end of each month – putting them in my photojournal and writing a brief caption for each one.

A) It’s the fastest way to scrapbook, and
B) It’s a colorful and visual way to record life as it’s happening … even the seemingly dull and mundane days which so often go unnoticed.

“That’s quite the weighty goal, Lydia,” you might say – and secretly think, “She’ll forget about it or drop it in a month, maybe two.”

While I do admit it is lofty when I think of it all at once, I want more than anything to remember how to savor the moment and express it creatively through words and pictures – and so I want to tackle this one. I will be lenient on myself … if I miss a day or two without a picture, it won’t be the end of the world. And maybe I’ll find as I go along that it’s more realistic to do 3 or 4 pictures a week instead of daily. But I’ll start with every day for the month of January, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

Passion is what gives our life color and meaning and excitement. Passion sometimes has to be conjured up when we are dead tired and we’ve been grading papers till our eyes want to fall out. But when we intentionally seek it out in all the small ways of our life – we’ll find that it adds up to something monumental – like maybe a changed life or an inspired creation. And that’s worth all the time we put in to keep it alive.

Here’s to a brilliant, more colorful New Year!

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