A Passionless Mind

February 4, 2007    By: Kristen J @ 5:48 pm   Category: Life

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything at the thang. Sure, I’ve had a lot of things going on but mostly I attribute it to the fact that I’ve got issues with long term commitment. It’s true. It’s not only men that have problems with this area but women too.

Don’t worry, I don’t have difficulties in committing myself to my husband or children, although some days are easier than others, I have problems in committing myself to projects or passions.

Have you ever watched Oprah or some such show where they talk about living your best life? Usually they say, “Do what you love! Find your passion and you will be happy!” I just watch those shows and think to myself, “What the hell (that’s for you Jacob) would that be?”

Sure, there are things I love; chocolate, mysteries, shopping, running, writing, and a lot more. I just don’t know if I want to pick one of those things and devote any passionate energy to them.

I’ve met people that are willing to do that. People who say, “Cooking is my passion.” Or “I live to scrapbook.” I wish I could relate to them but I feel a kind of mental disconnect. I just can’t see defining myself by a hobby or a past-time. I really, really wish I could though.

This very issue is why my husband often calls me the Hobby Goblin. For those of you who haven’t heard this nickname before let me explain: it means I pick a hobby, I find out all about it, buy all of the supplies, really get in to it for awhile then, after I’ve chewed it up I spit it out. See, it’s the commitment issue.

One good thing about my “problem” is that I usually come back to a hobby after a little bit. Maybe this is a new beginning for me and the thang, then again maybe not (I don’t want to make any commitments here).

Does anyone else have problems with finding a passion in their life? Maybe I have an honest-to-gosh mental disorder that can be found in the psychology books.

Or maybe I’m being too hard on myself. Maybe my passion right now is for my husband and growing children. Once they’re all out the door (um, I don’t mean Geoff) maybe I’ll have the energy to commit myself to loom weaving or maybe I’ll make macramé hangers for everyone I know.

31 Comments »

  1. Is this the same “Silver Sunshine” Kristen J.? Thanks again BTW.

    Comment by Daylan — February 4, 2007 @ 7:14 pm

  2. Kristen. I have no passion. I feel like such a loser because my husnamd has a passion he lives for — making music. Every waking moment is to do this one thing – finding gigs, finding people who are into weird avant garde noise, etc. Free time? Practices his stuff, lays down tracks, etc.

    Me? Nada. Nothing. Nope. I used to have passions, but now I feel like I have no interests at all (except for a few mindless video/computer games). I feel your pain. I really do.

    (Actually, I’ve read this could be a sign of depression, which I doubt if that sounds like you, but I suppose it could be me. I feel like I want to LOVE something, but right now… meh…)

    Comment by meems — February 4, 2007 @ 8:25 pm

  3. Sorry it posted twice. I guess I have a passion for pushing too many buttons!

    Comment by meems — February 4, 2007 @ 8:26 pm

  4. I know Daylan, my problem maybe is my passion has a short fuse. I’m in to jewelry for a while and then I’m not.

    Meems, don’t worry I took care of the too many buttons issue. I’ve heard that about depression too and at times I know it has definitely applied to me.

    My mom thinks it’s a genetic thing. She said my grandpa would always call himself, “Jack of all trades, master of none”. That totally fits me.

    My husband also has many longterm passions, music and blogging being two. That’s part of what makes me wonder if I’m emotionally dysfunctional because I have difficulty embracing a hobby? experience? I’m not sure what you would call it.

    Comment by Kristen J — February 4, 2007 @ 9:44 pm

  5. After chasing 4 kids around all day I barely have time to take a shower, let alone pursue a passion! Or am I just using my kids as an excuse to not live my best life?

    Comment by She-diddy — February 4, 2007 @ 10:57 pm

  6. Hobby shmobby. They’re overrated! Whip crackin’ though, now that’s a mom’s hobby if ever there was one. Ring-a-ling K…and G for that matter.

    Comment by Maralyn — February 5, 2007 @ 4:52 am

  7. Now Kristen, your hobby goblinism-jack-of-all-trades actually has a very nice name in the land of gifted education. It’s called “multi-potentiality, ” and actually, I have kind of have it too. It’s a blessing and a curse. Basically, you’re smart and talented enough to be good at a lot of different things, but because you’re interested in such diverse activities, you never really put all your attention towards one thing to become great at any one thing. Just interested and good at a lot of things.

    I wish I was an expert in one thing I was passionate about, instead of mildly good at a lot of little things.

    Comment by meems — February 5, 2007 @ 5:51 am

  8. I just nominated you for “sorely missed” over at the Niblet awards, then you do a post!

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being passionless. I guess my passion is music, and maybe photography, but I sometimes think my passion for music is unhealthy/obsessive compulsive.

    Comment by Susan M — February 5, 2007 @ 7:31 am

  9. Susan, you are an expert at music! You know your stuff!!

    Comment by meems — February 5, 2007 @ 7:56 am

  10. Thanks meems, but I’m an amateur music geek compared to some of the pros I know!

    Comment by Susan M — February 5, 2007 @ 8:13 am

  11. Thanks Susan! You were one of the people I had in mind when I was writing this post with your love of music.

    Maralyn-whip crackin’ can be fun!

    She-diddy-maybe you showering could be your passion.

    Meems-curse this “multi-potentiality”!

    Comment by Kristen J — February 5, 2007 @ 8:14 am

  12. I’m only realy passionate about helping people, and it’s the one thing I have no idea how to really do. I believe the Gospel helps people, so I study the Gospel so it can help people, but I don’t know what to do beyond that.

    I can’t give up my job and go work in a soup kitchen, because I love my children and more than anything, I want to help them, and that means college educations to just be ok in american society. Also, is working in a soup kitchen really helping people, and am I not capable of being of more help than that?

    Comment by Matt W. — February 5, 2007 @ 9:51 am

  13. I am exactly like you.

    Comment by Jacob J — February 5, 2007 @ 10:18 am

  14. Gosh I so identify with this idea of having no one passion….
    Jack of all trades and master of none! LOL I used to get upset with myself about this… but I can appreciate it more now that I realize that i can pretty much do anything I decide to do… that in itself is a talent I think. :]

    Comment by Stephanie — February 5, 2007 @ 10:55 am

  15. Ok, so I’m either more normal than I think or, there’s a lot more crazy people than I thought there was!

    I like that Stephanie, it’s not a mental illness that I have, it’s a talent.

    Comment by Kristen J — February 5, 2007 @ 12:28 pm

  16. If it is a Mental Illness, it is called “Apathy” and it affects most people I know.

    Comment by Matt W. — February 5, 2007 @ 12:52 pm

  17. So…there is a name to my “disorder”. Hhhmmm, I don’t know if that makes me feel better or worse!

    Comment by Kristen J — February 5, 2007 @ 4:47 pm

  18. Why do you think you should have a hobby? Here are some thing to think about. How do you feel about yourself? Do you like yourself? I find many LDS women don’t really like themselves. Do you take time to have fun? How is your relationship with your husband? Is he your best friend? What about your kids? Of course you love them but do you like them? Do you take time to play? Do you have one or two close friends that you go out with and have fun? Do you enjoy your Church participation? If you say no to any of these things then work on them instead of a hobby. If you say yes to them then your life is truly blessed. The need that others have for a hobby may be filled with the relationships around you. Remember, Woman is that she might have joy, not that she might have hobbies.

    If all else fails, you can always start a 12-step support group. :)

    Comment by Rich K — February 6, 2007 @ 11:29 am

  19. If you say no to any of these things then work on them instead of a hobby.

    Ummm, I think many of those things you listed could be considered hobbies (or at least could be related to hobbies) Rich.

    Also, you might need a few lessons on responding to women when they say these kinds of things. Kristen wasn’t really looking for a lecture from some doofus she has never met. Heck, she doesn’t even like lectures from her favorite doofus in the world after nearly 15 years of marriage.

    (No offense intended bro. — but this is the fabulous Kristen J you are lecturing here…)

    Comment by Geoff J — February 6, 2007 @ 11:37 am

  20. Hey Rich,

    I think you make some good points. Maybe I should state it more like this: I wish I had a creative outlet that I was passionate about.

    I think Geoff is right in one way. While men approach an issue with the idea of solving the problem, kind of like your comment, women most of the time just want you to say things like, “I know how you feel! It is so hard to really find a niche for yourself. or “I found that I really enjoyed…”

    I do appreciate the effort though.

    Comment by Kristen J — February 6, 2007 @ 1:56 pm

  21. Geoff and Kristen, I think the both of you are laboring under a misapprehension. Geoff, while Kristen is the “fabulous Kristen” to you, and well she should be, to me she is a digital creation on my computer screen (no disrespect intended). I had no intention of rescuing Kristen or telling her what to do. What I did, was to provide some suggestions to think about. I don’t think this qualifies as fixing a problem. If you have already thought about them – cool. If not then they may be of benefit. Either way, I’m not invested in the suggestions so it matters not to me whatever you do. ( I was going to say something about a rat’s whatever but I believe one must always respond with decorum. ☺ )

    As to a lecture, the word comes from medieval Latin meaning to read often. To read in the middle ages meant to repeat out loud the text in front of you. Reading and speaking were one. No one read silently. Call me silly but I don’t believe this is what Geoff meant. Now my handy dandy little dictionary defines lecture as “an educational talk to an audience, esp. to students in a university or college.” Or “a long, serious speech, esp. one given as a scolding or reprimand.” Now I have thought long and hard about this. (Naw, that’s a lie. I spent maybe split second thinking about it. ☺ ) And I’ve come to the conclusion that Geoff’s use of the word was in error. This was just the case of a Samaritan stopping by to see if he could help.

    So now what you meant to say, Kristen, was you wish you had a creative outlet that you could be passionate about. Yes, I know how you feel. I too share that feeling at times. It is not a comfortable feeling to have to carry around with one’s self. But I am sure that if this is something you really want you will find a way to make it happen. But if you don’t I could give a rat’s whatever. It’s your problem so you figure it out. ☺

    With warmest regards, Rich

    Comment by Rich K — February 6, 2007 @ 7:27 pm

  22. I was just feeling grouchy Rich — sorry about being rude.

    (Plus as the regulars around here can attest, Kristen is fabulous; and since I haven’t seen you around these parts before I figured maybe you didn’t realize that fact…)

    Comment by Geoff J — February 6, 2007 @ 8:22 pm

  23. I didn’t think you were being rude. No appology necessary. I certainly didn’t take any offense. I think you simply misunderstood my intent.

    Rich

    Comment by Rich K — February 6, 2007 @ 8:47 pm

  24. Well geez Rich, now I’m feeling grumpy because you don’t give a rat’s @$$ about whether I find a creative outlet or not.

    As Geoff’s mom always says, “I never!” (I hope you sense the humor there)

    Comment by Kristen J — February 6, 2007 @ 11:13 pm

  25. Sorry my inner child slipped out. But it highlights one of man’s vexing problems in his relations with women: whether to be sensitive or truthful. ☺

    Rich

    Comment by Rich K — February 7, 2007 @ 8:46 am

  26. I also feel much like you in this Kristen. Most of my life is just one average thang after another. I lack ambition at work, I just want to be good, but often don’t feel a need to be great.

    When I ask myself ‘what do I really want?’ i usually mentally shrug and say I dunno.

    Comment by Eric Nielson — February 7, 2007 @ 9:39 am

  27. Back on the Apathy track, I think Apathy is indicative of the modern man, we have so many options of what to do, and a lack of need to do much of it, that it is difficult to gain passion about any of it.

    Comment by Matt W. — February 7, 2007 @ 10:15 am

  28. Matt, Kristen doesn’t sound apathetic to me. On the contrary, it seems like she has lots of passion; it just redirects itself a lot. Is that about right, Kristen?

    Comment by Jacob J — February 7, 2007 @ 11:18 am

  29. Interesting point Matt, I think I can agree with that.

    That’s pretty much me in a nutshell Jacob. For instance last night I was thinking to myself, maybe I should try making my own handmade paper with which I could make my own embellished journals and books! Now this morning I’m thinking, maybe not.

    It just seems that after I master the basics in something I think, what’s next? Kind of like Eric was describing.

    Or maybe I’m just plain lazy!

    Comment by Kristen J — February 7, 2007 @ 1:36 pm

  30. I read and reread your introduction to the subject and the assumption contained there and I don’t think I agree with it, at least as it applies to me. I’m not sure that the paradigm of a single all encompassing hobby is necessarily a universal paradigm. I love to paint miniature soldiers and build miniature armies. I find painting such small detail relaxing because all the worries of the day are forgotten as I focus on these small miniatures and painting them. I think that’s the function of a hobby: take your mind off your troubles and have fun. But after awhile I get tired of it. I’ll pickup a book on some aspect of the theory of the mind. I’m fascinated by the subject. Once I’ve met that need I move on. Next it might be trying to understand some aspect of western philosophy or do research on 16th- and 17th-century military history with the purpose of publishing. Maybe I’ll jump online for the intellectual stimulus that will give me. Maybe none of that interests me at the moment. Maybe I just want to haul out my sea kayak and go paddling. I’m out there on the water, just me, the water, and the beautiful islands floating by. May be I’ll be greeted by seals with their big beautiful eyes peeping out of the water like live Killroy pictures.. Maybe I’ll watch a bald eagle swoop down and pluck a salmon from the sea. Maybe I’ll have the treat of sitting there while a humpbacked whale and her baby silently undulate by, every now and then breaking the silence when they take a breath. Afterwards I paddle on enjoying the physical exertion as I travel to new adventures.

    The point being, I don’t have a single overwhelming passion. I have a need to engage my mind about things, I have a need to create, I have a need for adventure, I have a need to physically tax myself. I have the need to intellectually challenge myself. As I fill one of my needs (or fill it for the time being) I move on to another. Part of my recovery is to stay in tune with my needs. As my needs shift, my activity shifts in line with my current needs. Then I’ll recycle through my needs again and again. But in all cases my needs are being met with what I love to do. It’s just that what I love to do includes a variety of things. You’re not a “jack of all trades.” You’re a lover of many experiences. At least I am.

    Maybe doing that one thing meets the needs of some people. For me, doing one thing only would drive me up the wall. But hey, that’s just me.

    Rich

    Comment by Rich K — February 7, 2007 @ 6:48 pm

  31. Well maybe that’s just me too. Everyone’s comments have been interesting to me because I realize that my feelings are actually more the rule than I thought.

    If you ever want to take up a hobby that relaxes your brain you should try knitting. Talk about meditative. I often have to put the needles down and take a nap right where I’m sitting, my brain gets that relaxed.

    Comment by Kristen J — February 7, 2007 @ 8:00 pm

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