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Opinion

Student Health: Reminding self of former hobbies offers break from reality

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October 26, 2016

Do you have a passion? Is this passion a hobby of yours? Do you frequently get lost in pursuing this passion?  I hope so, because for many of us, passion is the ingredient that has been missing from our lives.

Some people feel that they are too busy to pursue a passion. Being too busy to do what you are passionate about should be a big warning sign that you ought to look at what you are doing with your life. Passions play a special part in grounding us. They make us feel safe and centered when we would otherwise might feel pulled in a million directions.

So what is your passion? Chances are, if you don’t have one now, you did have one when you were a child. In fact, we are so ambitious when we are children that we may have had many passions that we pursued. Try to remember some of the more long-standing hobbies you had and ask yourself why you moved away from them. If you are completely lost, ask a parent, grandparent or older sibling what it was that we seemed to get a charge from when we were a kid.

Of course, some of our passions may seem rather childish to us now, but ask yourself what past spirited participation in those endeavors (like Play-Doh, baseball, the Easy Bake Oven, piano, Lincoln Logs, a Chia Pet or water colors) says about you.  What was budding there?

Just so you know, I am a convert to this idea. You see, when I met my wife I didn’t think about my non-work passions. I had many things that I used to love to do when I was a kid, but I thought hobbies were long behind me. I also didn’t think having passionate pursuits outside of my work was a efficient way to use my time; television or internet was better.

However, when I was challenged by my wife to get a “hobby” in my life I found that I could easily reconnect to my past joys. I always loved exploring the great outdoors, and I also loved fiddling with the camera. I combined the two. I now do nature photography. This passion/hobby comes so natural to me that I can take it up at anytime I want and be immediately immersed in it. An instant break from reality.

Good luck pursuing your passion, and I hope that it can give you a needed break from the stresses and strains of your daily grind.

Mark Huttemier is a personal counselor and training coordinator at UW-River Falls.