As many of you know I am recovering from a "Major depressive episode", or what we used to call a nervous breakdown with suicidal tendencies.
Don't worry, things are going much better. However, I realized that I really need to find something I am passionate about. Something I look forward to doing. This would really help the depression and give me more of a reason to stay alive.
I am in a wheelchair, so that limits my activities to non-physical or at least only activity from the waist up.
But, I'm having a really hard time finding anything. I have things that I do, but I can't call them passions.
Do you have ideas? What are some of your passions?
I knew a woman who was in a wheelchair that made jewelry and fused glass. She might have been able to stand up and walk for very short timeframes. I do know that working with glass is very expensive as you need a kiln and they are expensive.
Heidi, One of my passions is astronomy. That's something you could do from a wheelchair, with maybe some help setting up the telescope. I don't know if that interests you, but if it does let me know and I can point you at some inexpensive but wonderful starter setups.
Of course, you have to sit outside in the cold and dark...the upside is that you get to discover the wonders of the universe with your own eyes, and when you spot that elusive galaxy or nebula, and see it "live," you don't seem to mind the cold so much :)
Were there any topics for study you use to crave time for but couldn’t get to because day to day life got in the way? Or maybe a topic that you love that could now be deepened?
Also, maybe it’s time to write, maybe a memoir. Don’t worry about who will read it, at first, just the act of writing it and the remembering that goes along with the act of writing may help ”spark” things up a bit.
As someone with natural curiosity and intelligence, maybe you could methodically, carefully and critically go through the Criterion Collection:
If you never ever liked sports before, not even once, it's never too late. Honestly.
My lover & partner in crime, a life-time sports hater, just spent eight months watching the Yankees, probably no less than 150 games. Miracle, I know; and believe me, I'm grateful.
Now she's obsessing over the future of the team, like what would happen to the Yankee clubhouse should they bring in Machado. She's gone deep, deep inside baseball. I'm thrilled.
Now she's talking baseball with the boys at work. Arguing, gesturing, betting, and even cussing. With the boys. At work. She is the softest, most feminine of sorts. She's the opposite of a stereotypical sports fan. Yet:
We went to New York *specifically* to watch baseball, three games in fact; and no cheap seats, either.
I'm thrilled. Miracles exist.
The point is, you never know what might interest you. You can still surprise yourself. Your new, life-reviving passion may come out of left field, literally.
(Speaking of left field: she brought back a Brett Gardner bobble-head, which she keeps on her work desk. Normally, she despises our culture where grown-ups no longer have to give up their childhood toys. And yet...)
You never know what's coming around the next corner...best be ready for it when it comes...
One of my children draws and sketches on a simple sketch pad using charcoal pencils.
For me, some of my best poetry was during some of the lowest points in my life when I battled depression. It has been a creative outlet that allows me to vent what I'm feeling, by putting it on paper. In a way that's similar to drawing because a poem is a word picture v. an artistic painting or sketch.
Writing or drawing also helps to find your joie de vivre because it helps to get in tune with yourself and your creative expression.
Think back to when you were growing up, or were a young adult, or a [younger ;) ] full adult, to the things you once upon a time WISHED you could have done/learned/experienced, but couldn't pursue at that time because you didn't have the financial resources, or the time, or whatever the "can't do" reason was.
Whatever those things once were, at least some of them are probably things you might be interested in pursuing now.
The importance of doing this is that, of the universe of things you were once interested in, anything you decide to do (or pursue) now would be authentic to your own genuine self.
Sometimes, when you actually do this, you find that you are no longer interested in whatever-it-was, and this is fine. You grew beyond it, and this is a normal part of life.
(I once had great interest in learning a number of very specific foreign languages, but now I am uninterested in most of them because I have "grown beyond" those cultures, or I have no reasonable expectation of writing about them. On the other hand, the ones I continue to be interested in, ARE of "passionate"/great interest to me. In the larger geographical area where I live there are various Friends of the Library groups who absolutely LOVE my contributions of books and learning materials on subjects I USED to be interested in!)
Go back and think about the girl you once were, and what that girl dreamed of (or mentally "tried on") as "wish upon a star" possibilities. Somewhere in that very personal mental collection, are very likely clues to the genuine deep interests which could be your reality now.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/16/2018 12:59PM by Tevai.
...the thing is, if you had a passion, you'd aleady be doing it, right?
From my limited male perspective, 'passions' are about getting good at something or gaining more and more knowledge about something, and you just can't stop! And when you indulge your passion long enough you become an expert. I like to think that pro football referees and baseball umpires got to where they are because they pursued a passion.
So it seems that you're trying to 'manufacture' a passion, you're looking for something about which to become passionate.
I think that only works with video games. ...which sounds facetious but isn't. There are simple, relatively low skill, uncomplicated video games that can delight and entertain. I play a word game at night sometimes, to fall asleep and I play a space invader game that takes about 15 minutes to finally run out of lives. I enjoy the heck out of both endeavors and don't ever plan to stop; I look forward to them and I continue to improve at each. Would I attempt one of the popular interactive X-Box or PlayStation $60 games? Nope; those are waaaay beyond me.
I know myself to be passionate about golf and Saucie, but that does still leave time for me to read, write, play games, ruminate like a sonofabitch on RfM and just generally let my inner asshole run free. It's a good gig!!
I think that passions just sort of grab you. One day you are minding your own business and the next day you are a part of something larger than yourself. I would just say to follow your interests even if they seem petty or absurd -- and *especially* if they seem petty or absurd.
I'll give you some examples -- I became entranced with a particular TV show and became a huge fan. I went to all of the fan conventions, met most of the actors, producers, and crew, visited filming locations, etc. It was huge, silly, fun.
I'm a fan of one of the more obscure Olympic sports. I've attended National Championships, World Cups and Olympic selection events (which are wild and filled with drama. No one is as bloodthirsty as an elite level athlete who is trying to make an Olympic team.) I know the U.S. athletes along with their parents. I've chatted with the international athletes. I developed an expertise in photographing this sport, and was known for it at one point. I haven't been highly active in a number of years, but I keep up with it, and would love to return to full participation one day.
It wouldn't surprise me at all if I lose my mind over Premier League football (soccer!) at some point.
I can see other things possibly grabbing me. Passions make life a whole lot more interesting!
A dear friend of mine suffered a spinal cord injury and was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. He really enjoyed volunteering at a local hospital. He was happy to take on any assignment they gave him.
Bear in mind, it doesn't have to be THE ONE most passionate thing in the world to start with. Just start somewhere.
Knitting Christmas stockings is fun.
Stained glass is my favorite. I saw (on Pinterest) where someone had used what appeared to be bottoms of vintage bottle for round pieces and agates and other clear-ish stones. So pretty with "found" stuff.
Making doll furniture sounds fun.
Collecting patches from various national parks is fun because they are beautiful, not horribly expensive, and you can anticipate them coming in the mail.
I have always had trouble finding one great "passion." I don't have one area of expertise. I am a Jack-of-all-trades, and a master of none. I have never been known for any one thing.
My passion is variety. Interests come and go, like the seasons. Music is one of my passions. I play the piano, and was the ward and stake organist for many years. I liked BOTH the piano and organ. I liked almost all music, but when the Mormons banned all music except for Mormon hymns or Mormon-composed music--well, I was NOT passionate about that kind of music. When I resigned from the cult, I had no access to an organ, and I play the piano only to teach my grandchildren, and play duets, or accompany them.
I can't play tennis or ski anymore, because of a knee injury. I cross-country ski, and go on "snow hikes" with my dog. When I couldn't walk, I drove up to the mountains, anyway, with my faithful dog in the car, and we at least got to see the pretty scenery. Sometimes, I would pack a special picnic for one, plus my dog, and have a "car picnic".
I'm passionate about nature, and I like watching birds, identifying their songs, and playing them on the piano.
I love taking pictures of scenery, wild life, my grandchildren, and other family members. Making frames is fun. Scrapbooking is fun, and can become very elaborate and all-consuming. Sometimes, I give small photo albums as gifts. There is no better Christmas gift than a nice album of photos! The photos get my mind off of my self, and onto the people in the pictures. A great escape.
A lot of women I know are more social than I, and they love their water-exercise classes at the local swimming pool. Some began, because their doctors recommended it, and now they go every single day, and wouldn't miss it for anything! One teaches the class, now.
Social women love their book clubs. They are everywhere, and would love to have you join! Some are supported by church groups, some meet in neighborhood homes, some meet at bookstores, some are online.
I love to learn. Over the years, I have taken classes in whatever subject I have needed for work, or whatever subject interests me at the time. One class does not have to become your life's career, you know. I forget a lot of the information, but the process of learning gives me a "high." Besides music, I keep up with astronomy, botany and gardening, zoology, natural science, geology, philosophy, geography, travel, football, rugby, soccer (my grandchildren play these), ballet, health and nutrition (I have no choice there), all the fine arts, studying other cultures, etc.
There will be subjects you will not love, so don't force yourself, thinking you SHOULD like these things. If you feel tired, or bored, look for something else to do. People brag about learning languages. I was forced to learn one in college, and became as fluent as the returned missionaries, but after I graduated, I haven't used it since. It was tedious, to me. I also don't like politics. Some people think I'm ignorant, but I learn the bare minimum, enough to vote, but I hate angry debates, and all the lies and fake news, etc. I would rather listen to classical music, and stare out the window.
I also hate cooking. Isn't that awful. Oh well. I love gardening and yard work, though. Keeping a clean house can be sort of a passion, when you are in the mood.
If you lose track of time, and stay up late at night doing something--that is what you want! That's getting into "flow." I would be learning something new on the piano or organ, and all of a sudden it was midnight, and I hadn't even eaten dinner! That is bliss! I'm lucky, because I get into that same "flow" in my career. I would actually rather work than socialize, except with my family, of course.
Before I had children, my pets were my passion. I highly recommend a pet! A cat is much easier to care for than a dog, and doesn't require walking.
My therapist says that "action precedes motivation". Another poster mentioned this. Sometimes, you have to try first, and get into the hobby a little bit, before making the decision whether you like it or not.
Have fun dabbling! Maybe, like me, your passion will be doing a little bit of everything!
My Mormon mother collected tea cups. My athletic brother collected stamps. My secret passion is Hallmark Christmas movies.
Is there something you like, that you laugh about?
My never Mo grandmother collected teacups and saucers. She installed a shelf near the ceiling in her living room to hold her collection of them. It lined 2-3 walls. She was an avid collector of many things, antiques and collectibles. It was something she grew into after her children were grown, when she had the time and money to dabble. Grandma used to say that shopping for her was therapy. She was like a curator with her collections. She knew the history of nearly every piece she owned. Going to visit her was like stepping into a storybook cottage. There was always something to captivate us.
Reading. I loved having Kindle on my phone, but it doesn't seem to work any more. Favorite authors include Diana Gabaldon, Patricia Cornwell, Lisa Scottoline, Nelson DeMille, and often, Stephen King, who is about three months younger than I am, and has a way of totally nailing anything set in the Fifties. I've heard that something like three-quarters of Americans have not voluntarily opened a book since leaving school. My grandmother taught me to read before I ever set foot in school - one of many cherished things she taught me.
Over the years, I have had fun taking classes in other languages. I am bilingual in English and Spanish, and was able to get around in Europe pretty well with very basic German, French, Italian, and Greek. I had dictionaries in all of them, plus buying a Spanish/Italian dictionary while in Italy. Whenever I have the chance to speak to someone in another language, I go for it.
In one of my Social Security offices over the years, I was the ONLY person in the office who spoke anything besides English, so I tended to get clients (and documents to translate) from all corners of the known world. Officially, I wasn't supposed to translate documents in anything but Spanish, but some documents (like birth certificates) are so basic and uncomplicated that you don't need much depth in a given language to translate them. We didn't have to translate every word, just extract important stuff like name, date of birth, place of birth, name of father, maiden name of mother etc.
Because of my experience with Spanish, French and Italian, I have ventured to translate church-issued Latin documents, too. No problem. Solving language problems is a fun thing for me.
Well, right off, I'd say that "passions" might be over-rated!:-)
This is how I deal with my life in my 77th year. I'm not prone to feeling down, or depressed so I cannot empathize as I have no idea what it is like.
I don't know if I have any real passions, but I do have a lot fun doing a variety of things.
By that I mean, find a way to have FUN. Laugh a lot. Be open to learning new stuff. Just enjoy every day. Give yourself permission to think...funny. Look for the humor in our human foibles.
I am very limited these days as I need a rollator/walker/cane to get around. I've learned to adjust to a different kind of life.
I've kept busy knitting scarves, (72 this time) making greeting cards, (over 300), reading dozens of books, and writing as a hobby. I want to start sewing again when I clear out one project to make room for it. I have a project ready to start - making "Go Green Bags" which I started well over 10 years ago before they became all the rage and a necessity.
I give myself permission to watch old movies, watch TV, listen to music I like and just sit and think or nap. I read my favorite authors, re-reading them about two years later. It surprises me how much I missed the first time.
I go out and shop and visit with people. I make it a point to say something to garner a smile or a laugh from someone. So many folks spend their whole day looking down and never smiling.
There are so many interesting things to learn about. I look up stuff many times a day. Me and the Google-god are getting very well acquainted! I love learning about the earth and how it works and what the universe is all about, animals, Nat'l Geo LIVE, and on and on. What a great time to be alive. SO many new technologies and fascinating things to learn.
My mother was handicapped and she did cross-word puzzles for as long as she could, and played the piano until she was bedridden.
I love keeping in touch with my family and friends on my Facebook and getting to know people from around the world.
You'll find things that garner your interest and spur you on to learn more. The best part? You can choose. And you can change your mind. Love languages? Learn one. Like math, and physics, and chemistry? Get busy learning.
I've learned that it's OK to do things differently as our lives change. I've become a believer in "Times and Seasons" in our lives and it's Ok to enjoy all of them and stop doing some things and do other stuff. There are no tests. This is not an exam. There are no time limits. Do what you want and enjoy it. Only you can figure that out. And, I'm sure you will!
I make up little sayings that I share. The one for today: "The greatest happiness comes from gratitude and a bad memory about the ugly stuff."
My daily motto is: "Make Nice."
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/17/2018 01:56AM by SusieQ#1.
My mother used to love crossword puzzles. She was very good at them. She possessed a remarkable vocabulary. She didn't vocalize those words as much as she could pull them out of thin air for crosswords. It was a gift I decided that she was so good at it.
And shorthand (that's something you don't hear much about anymore.)
If I am cooped up in the house for long periods of time I start getting depressed. I have found that being out in the sunlight really helps to energize me and restore a sense of well being. Discovering passions gives life interest, meaning, and purpose. I tend to rotate my interests but there are three core, innate tenets I call my three Cs: Constructive, Creative, Compassion. Most of my passions and interests seem to fall into one of these three areas, however, I often combine them. For example, one project I'm currently working on is designing and building a permaculture garden. The garden serves a constructive, useful purpose of producing food. The design process for a garden is as creative an endeavor as creating a beautiful painting. A well designed garden is truly a work of art! Much of the food produced in my garden is compassionately donated to local food pantries which are always in great need of fresh produce. The best part of all is that I get my sunshine fix and a bit of exercise to boot!
As I had mentioned, I tend to rotate my interests which include interior design, landscaping, furniture refinishing, raising small farm animals, photography, quilting, baking, canning, candle and soap making etc. etc. By rotating interests and passions you will expand your life experiences and stave off monotony.
How about some logophilia? It's passionate by definition.
I've been looking up new words, power words, loan words, origins of all kinds of words. I'm also going to add some French and Latin phrases, and maybe relearn my German and Spanish. But you only need a few words to reach word ecstasy.
Part of finding your passions is to know yourself. Develop opinions, like Mother Who Knows did. Knowing what you do NOT like helps you to know what you DO like.
My wise grandmother used to tell us kids, "When you feel depressed, do something for someone else.
Christmas time is perfect for giving to others. I used to feel sad and alone Christmas, until I focused on others.
I was going to suggest some things, but SusieQ#1 beat me to it. I love to make Christmas cards, too and now my grandchildren like to help me. We use our original artwork, and the computer, also. This led me to learn some new computer programs, such as Publisher, and Adobe Photoshop, and teach these techniques to my grandchildren. We bake Christmas cookies, make jam in the summer, and make pecan logs to give as Christmas gifts. It's fun to select ribbons and design wrappings for these, to make a festive presentation. We set aside a special day to deliver them, personally, and go out for a treat afterwards.
Doing something for someone else is almost selfish, in a way, because it makes you feel better about yourself. You are useful. You were able to cheer up someone. Whenever I'm out on errands, I like to smile and say nice things to people, and thank people for their services, and open the doors for others. I drive the same way--maybe that's why I've never been in a car accident or gotten a ticket. Yeah--"make nice!"
Probably my passion is planning things. "Whatever happens, happens first in the imagination." (Emerson) If I execute even half of my plans, that is success. At the basis of each plan is love. The purpose is to benefit others. Even a picnic in your car with your dog creates joy! LOL!
Yes, get out in the sunshine! Sit up straight. Raise your arms to the ceiling. Smile. Sing. Often body language--even faked--can lead the way.
Be careful with music. If you're depressed, and suddenly play overly cheerful music, it can make you anxious. Start out with more laid-back music, without lyrics. Gradually increase the tempo, as your mood changes, and end up with music with a lot of rhythm. I end up with either heavy metal or Beethoven--strong and powerful, but you go with your own tastes. No angry lyrics.
Another quick fix is to just change where you are. Go into another room, go outside. Drive away (only if you feel safe behind the wheel). Enter another dimension, such as the watery world of a bath, a very warm or very cool shower, candlelight, aromatherapy. I know people who are passionate about aromatherapy, and herbal teas. It can be anything!
As an English major, reading is one of my main passions. Books, graphic novels, manga, I love them all. One of the reasons I bought a Nook in the Navy was because if I had hard copies of all my books on top of the manga I had, I wouldn't have had any room in my rack for clothes.
Writing is another passion of mine. I took multiple creative writing classes. Fiction is my main love in writing (sci-fi, fantasy, and horror are what I want to write. Cue the "literary" fanboys dissing me). However, I was published in my college's literary journal for a non-fiction piece. I refuse to post any of my awful poetry here, though.
In my final semester of college, I signed up for a beginning painting class. Even though they can be a bit more expensive, oil paints are good to start with; they keep their color when drying and have more time to blend. They do take more time to dry, though, and texture can be hard to get right at times. And wear old clothes when painting.
A warning about writing and painting: try to finish by a deadline, not when your work is "perfect." Otherwise, you'll obsess over getting it exactly right and never complete it. And don't be too afraid of showing a "mostly complete" work to others; you can learn what is and isn't working in the piece to improve your craft.
Thank you everyone for your ideas. I am a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none. So, I'll just keep hunting. Tevai, I like your idea of looking back as a pool of things. Who knows, maybe something will tickle me.
In a funk, I recently focused on the small, almost imperceptible stuff I gravitate toward. I didn't realize how much those little whispers were enticing me to dig a little deeper. I thought I was wasting time, and even being childish, but I can't wait to wake up and "dive in." "Passion?" Really, no, just super interesting. (Sometimes I think people who advertise about their "passions" are on an ego trip - I know, I know, people describe their experience in dramatic or diverse ways). But I can't believe how many others find interest and even joy here. Weirdos. hehehe.
If your good with your hands try some carpentry. But you may have to stand and have good strength in your arms. Start by buying a $100 router and router table. and a $100 table saw. Maybe try some small cabinets with drawers. And learn about dovetail joints, french dovetails, mortise tennons, tongue and groove joints.
Start by watching some Norm Abrahm, New yankee workshop videos. If this is too hefty than there is also painting (which requires even greater skills, and knowledge).
You could try reading "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. I'm no artist, but it was enormously helpful to me. There are some semi-spiritual bits in it, but you can ignore them and still get as much out of it. I came away from the book with a mental list of go-to activities that I know I enjoy (I rely on this a lot now, especially on difficult days), and also the ability to recognize when I do or do not like something. Pretty basic stuff, but I was surprised at how much I had to learn. Before I read the book, I wasn't even sure if I liked anything. Another thing that helped me get in touch with myself better was meditation. Self-knowledge for me is really important, because stuff that other people like doing doesn't necessarily cut it for me.
I love sports, especially hockey. It’s amazing how fast they skate and controlling a stick and puck at the same time. The Paralympic Games are good too; they have a lot of wheelchair events too. A lot of healthclubs have classes for people in wheelchairs If you like reading, they have bookclubs, where you read and discuss books.