Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Passing Passions

This has nothing to do with the passion I have for my wife. That's a different issue, a permanent passion. My profession is another which has never waned. This is about the other lesser passions in life, maybe best called passing passions.

I have been a life-long lover of guns. My dad called me "Billy Gun" in my early years and I can't recall a time when I didn't have at least some interest in firearms. Over the last 20 years one of my favorite hang outs has been a gun shop in which I've had the opportunity to handle guns of all types. I've also been a police and security firearms instructor for about 20 years and had untold hours of pleasure in training others in the use of guns. However, over the years that has begun to wane a bit. I have found myself drawn to other interests and have had to prioritize my time accordingly.

I've had a wide variety of passing passions. I spent several years actively training in a gym. They were good years, I made several friends, and my overall health benefited from it. I transitioned from that to martial arts and trained hard for about 8 years. Though an injury now keeps me from participating as I'd like to, I still consider myself to be a marital artist. I also spent a few years bicycling quite hard. All of these have had a positive effect on my life.

I spent some time delving back into my childhood and tinkered around with some old farm tractors for a while--that was fun and I rebuilt some of my mechanical skills, but it got to the point where I was working too hard for the amount of fun I was having. I still have the interest, but don't do much with it.

I also played with snowmobiles for a couple years, but now that's almost love turned to hate--can't stand them.

Now I'm into motorcycles... Harleys, as a matter of fact, and have a love affair with a bike older than two of my kids and many of my co-workers. It tends to occupy quite a bit of my spare time. This was a return to an interest of 30+ years ago, an interested dropped due to lack of time and money. It has also helped rebuild my mechanical skills.

The point here is that all these passing passions have had an effect on me, having changed my life in one way or another; some changes have been physical, some mental, or maybe attitudinal, but all have been changes. Also, these have been passions, more than just short-term interests. These are things to which I dedicated time, money and effort. In retrospect, I can say that all my passions, both passing and permanent have been worthwhile investments. I've received some reward for my involvement with all of them.

I look around and see so may folks today, young folks, middle aged and older folks without passions. They go through life bouncing from one thing to another, never making any one thing important, not making any investment of time, effort of money in anything. They've never invested themselves in anything, and so have never reaped the rewards.

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