Passion or Obsession?

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I’m slowly discovering the meaning of the word passion.  Or maybe it’s obsession.  At this point, I’m not really sure.

I’ve heard the saying many times that, if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.  But how do you find this occupation that makes you want to jump out of bed and start the day, and keeps you up late into the night because you don’t want it to end?  I don’t know.  I’ve never found it.  Instead, there are a lot of things that I like (not love) doing.  So my work life has followed down a path of like.

I think part of the trouble is another discovery from a few years ago.  I took a Strengths assessment and found that my highest scoring strength was Achiever.  My friends would have said it would be WOO (winning others over) because I seem to always be their cheerleader.  WOO didn’t show up until number 6.

No.  My top strength is Achiever.  What that meant for me is that, no matter what I do, a part of me needs to do it well.  I’m pretty much a perfectionist when it comes to my performance in anything.  That also means that I tend to give up on things that I don’t think I’ll do well… like running.

I’m heading into my 10th year of off and on running.  I have finally come to a point where I do consider myself a runner.  A slow one, but a runner none the less.  But running is not a passion, an obsession, or even something I like very much, at least not yet.  It’s a challenge.  And challenges feed the achiever in me.

So if it’s not running, what has been waking me up in the morning and keeping me up at night.  As my recent posts can attest, I’ve recently re-discovered the world of crafting.  Or maybe it’s just the downtown district of papercrafts.  I’ve always liked making things.  I’ve done leather crafting as a kid, cross stitch and crochet as a young adult, and paper mache in more recent years.  But never really as a hobby.  It was always because I wanted something (I remember my mom making me a purse as a kid, and I later made a couple of belts after watching what she did) or I needed a gift for someone and didn’t have the money to buy something as nice as I thought they deserved.  Then there is Halloween!  Starting in the early 90s, we would decorate our yard.  The first year was those cheap vinyl tombstones.  That evolved into cardboard (really lame) and then into carvings from Styrofoam.  Those were awesome and lasted over 10 years before I decided that they needed to be upgraded.  I discovered Stolloween and copied his techniques a couple of years ago.  Now I have a new graveyard.

But that was all I did. I think the perfectionist in my was preventing me from letting my creative side come out to play.  I mean, if you mess up on a Halloween prop, it’s ok because most of that stuff looks messed up anyway.

A year ago, I decided to try out painting and drawing.  I loved it, but again, the perfectionist steps in.  So I haven’t done much.

January 2017 rolls around, and I decide to work on being better organized.  I buy a coil bound planner, but decide that the pages aren’t really working for me, and it’s hard to add anything to it.  So I buy Recollections 6 ring planner and look for inserts.  I search the internet because I didn’t like the ones in the stores, and made an amazing discovery.  Using a planner is not the same as it was 20 years ago.  Back then, you penciled in your appointments in case they changed, and used it only for scheduling your business dealings and taking notes.  Today, planners are still used to plan out your day, week, month or year.  But they are also a creative extension of the owner.  From planner clips and dashboards to journal cards and stickers, planning has become an art form all it’s own.

So I made my first inserts and planner clips… and went a little overboard.  Why make one when you can make 20?  Then I made some colorful laminated dividers and listed additional sets on Etsy after a friend told me that I should.

We are only into April, but the last couple of months I’ve been waking up early with my mind talking to me about the stuff I could make.  I’ve been going to bed later and later as I try to put the last touch on whatever papercraft item I decided to work on after work.  I’ve written a couple of easy project tutorials for this blog.  And now I’m planning on doing my first video tutorials and hoping that I don’t make too much of a fool of myself on camera (even if I’m planning on only letting you see my hands).

I’m undecided as to whether crafting is actually my passion or just a current obsession.  Right now, I’m just enjoying the adventure.  I hope you will join me.

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