Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Cats, Kids and Passion

Ladies and gentlemen, I feel accomplished! Today I successfully took both the cat AND the toddler to the vet and made it home again without my hair standing on end from stress. This is all the more worthy of note seeing as the cat, who needed to be there, most certainly did not want to be, and the boy, who did not need to be there for any reason beyond not being able to stay home alone, was very much interested in getting into everything. Plus, I think I should get bonus points for doing this while seven months pregnant.

I'm definitely getting to the point at which leaving the house requires having a very good reason. It's hot, and I'm carrying around a space heater in my belly. If the toddler breaks away and dashes off, I will look like a penguin scuttling across ice if I try to run after him. In order to get me out of the house, one of three things has to happen:

1. An appointment I really shouldn't miss. I admit it was rather tempting not to worry about getting the cat her shots, but then, this is the most high maintenance cat ever, and if I didn't then something catastrophic would be bound to happen. (Seriously, this cat does not seem to understand that part of being a cat is being easy to manage. She's allergic to poultry, and recently had enough issue with the non-poultry food we were giving her that we were on the verge of having to go home made!)

2. We've played with all the toys, read all the books, have nobody available for a play date, and I can't justify letting the boy watch yet another half hour of Jonathan Bird's Blue World. And even then, sometimes it's easier just to let him throw the dirt in the potted plants onto the floor than bother to leave the house.

3. There's something I'm actually passionate about doing. But let me tell you, the threshold is pretty high. I love going swimming, for example--it's so amazing to feel weightless at this particular stage of pregnancy. And yet the hassle of putting on the swim diaper and the bathing suits and the sunscreen and packing the bag and driving to the pool and making sure the boy doesn't swallow too much pool water and getting showered and dressed in a humid changing room with a boy who doesn't realize the floor is disgustingly dirty and then getting into the hot car and undoing all the feeling of refreshment granted by the pool is really a bit too much to handle sometimes.

It's crazy how many worthwhile things in life require actually having passion before we're willing to do them.

Back in college I joined a group of aspiring game developers. We called ourselves GeeQ, and each of us, over time, earned nicknames. One day I brought a bottle of Passion Fruit drink to the group, and when I finished it a friend of mine asked "So are you full of... passion now?" (Cue eyebrow wiggle.) And from then on I was Passion GeeQ.

A while later my then boyfriend (now husband) and I went on a trip to Haiti to help with some medical work there. We had a lot to do and needed to stay focused, so the team made it clear this was not a romantic getaway. One night toward the end of the trip we were asked to talk about our experience there. The first thing out of my mouth was, "The theme for us this trip has been passion." Of course, I meant it as passion for what we were doing and compassion for the people who came to the clinic, but everyone else chose a rather different interpretation of my words.

So "passion" has been following me around for a good while now.

Lately it's come back again. At the beginning of the year I gave myself two major writing goals to complete before the new baby comes: to write the first draft of a new book and to finish a polished draft of another. I've done both, and with some time to spare.

I didn't count on having yet another book idea spring up on me and beg to be written.

It doesn't make sense to start a whole new book right now. I'm two months from my due date. What with all the appointments and general weariness that come with pregnancy, chances are not good that I would be able to finish this book before baby.

And yet, I feel so passionate about the idea. I simply can't stop myself from writing it.

That's how it is with passion--even if the thing we're doing doesn't make sense, we feel compelled to do it.

So I am. I've started writing. I don't know what will happen or when the book will be done, but I'm going for it.

What are you passionate about?

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