|Steep Ravine near Stinson Beach, Photo by Evan Blaser|
Career coaches sometimes say, "What you want to do on your day off is what you should be doing with your life." If I won the lottery, I would get myself a cabin overlooking one of the more primal beaches in this area, and then I would sleep. When awake, I'd walk and meditate until I grew tired, and then I'd sleep again. I try to come up with someone more productive, but I can't get past simple sleeping and observing nature. That's my deepest personal desire. I suppose this indicates that I've coped with profound exhaustion by avoiding passion.
Yikes ... let me say that again and make myself really see this: I've coped with profound exhaustion by avoiding passion.
I don't think I'm alone. If you have lived with exhaustion and illness since childhood, you might shy away from anything that gets you too excited and uses too much energy. After awhile, it becomes default. Consequently, you coast and do whatever takes the least amount of energy. When you do indulge your interests, exhaustion forces you to stop before you can do anything productive. This is a serious problem because passion is what moves people to put up with hardship required to get them where they want to be. Passion is what distinguishes "This hobby is pretty cool and I'll work on it when I feel like it" from "I will do whatever it takes to indulge this activity as often as possible and make it my life."
How does one regain passion? Can you regain it if you never actually had it? Can it be consciously developed and if so, how? How can you sidestep the exhaustion that comes from a chronic illness and regain passion?
In the meantime, I'm planning for our next excursion to a campsite on the sand, under palm trees near Santa Barbara.