Pursue Your Interests

Pursue your interests. I think this is the answer to many of our questions — How can I get out of a rut? How can I meet new people? What shall I do with extra time on my hands? It’s even a good response to What shall I do with my life? Often, we are in search of more than income and career.

You don’t have to pursue your interests with a big payoff in mind. Some things should be done just for the joy of doing them. When my mother retired 23 years ago, her doctor said, “Now…you’re going to have to find something to do with yourself. You can’t just sit around the house and go crazy.” So, at the age of 60, my mother took her first quilting class. Over the years, she has made many quilts for herself, family members and friends. She even introduced me to quilting. I made a few quilts until I discovered that my fingers and temperament were more adept to writing than sewing. People would see her quilts and encourage her to sell them. “Rudell, you could start a little business for yourself!” She would look at them in contempt, as if they had taken away all her joy. Even today, Mom continues to quilt — working at her own pace, to her own satisfaction.

Don’t worry that your interests are so different from the work that you do or the persona that you have created. It’s not as if you need to make a grand announcement to the world about it. When I’m thinking of doing something new, I just keep it to myself. I don’t need anyone’s permission to experience a life different than the one I know.

Pursuing our interests can be an approach to life. It’s easy to stick with what we know and continue to live in these experiences. Trying something different will open us up to new experiences and opportunities.

Is there something that you have always wanted to do? Do it. There’s no age limit to self-discovery or joy.

One of Mom’s quilts. December 2009.
A wall hanging Mom made for me.
Inscribed — Love Mom, February 14, 1996