Just for the Pure Joy of It

Let Your Passions Simmer

Ginny and her dad, Tony Mangano, in Washington DCTwo years ago, after writing an article entitled What Are You Waiting For? I heard from many of you who were eager to share your “Want To Do In My Lifetime” lists. My father also called me with his list. A few months later, my husband and I found ourselves spending some beautiful spring days in Washington, DC with my parents, so that my dad could visit the National World War II Memorial.

Later that summer, my husband and I plucked an item from my own list and we took a vacation to Italy. Earlier events that year, including the passing of my father-in-law, heightened our awareness of how important it is to make time for enjoyable activities, rather than postponing them.

There are so many reasons we delay even small joys. A friend of mine who recently retired and began pursuing his interests in art and music commented, “I’m doing the things I’ve wanted to do for 25 years.” While it’s understandable that we put some things on the back burner until there is more time to devote to them, what if we could at least keep a passion or two on simmer? What if we let these joys seep into our lives years before retirement? Spending time doing what delights us is not only rewarding in itself; it also gives us a vibrancy to bring to our work and our relationships.

Start With What Intrigues You The Most

Rhonda, a client of mine, read me the list of things she dreamed of doing. What sometimes stopped her from doing them was that she worried about being disappointed. “What if I don’t end up liking it after all?” I assured her that she could always move on to the next thing and that experimenting could be part of the fun. I try to remember to take my own advice. Years ago, I signed up for a hip-hop dance class and although it was more challenging than I expected, I did add a few new moves to my repertoire.

Flamenco dancerThis year, the Spanish guitar calls me and I’ve decided to take Flamenco dance lessons. What makes me think I’ll be able to dance this art form whose masters are usually life-long students? I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’ve got the Flamenco hairstyle down, but that’s a good place to start, right? If it turns out that I enjoy it, I’ll be delighted to become an old woman Flamenco “master”. Furthermore, I’ve already planned the next form of dance on my list… Latin style.

As you set your goals and plans for the year, make sure to include something just for the joy of it. Start with the one that intrigues you the most.

Make Your Heart Sing

This week, in honor of Valentine’s Day, send yourself a valentine by making specific plans to incorporate a heartfelt joy into your life. You can also encourage a loved one to do the same.

“We’re fools whether we dance or not,
so we might as well dance.”
– Japanese proverb

Here's to you,

The Bucket List movie poster
P.S. Though I haven’t seen it myself yet, I’ll pass along a relevant movie recommendation from my husband. Jess says that despite mixed critical reviews, he gives The Bucket List two thumbs up. Directed by Rob Reiner and starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, the story follows two terminally ill men on a road trip with a wish list of things to do before they die.

© 2008, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to reproduce this article provided it is without any alteration, includes the copyright above, and if distributing electronically includes a link to www.inthecurrent.com.

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