Friday, June 14, 2013

Follow Your Passion


One of my reasons for travel this spring was a reunion of college friends. We meet every 3 years in a good hotel somewhere and laugh, eat and drink for three days. This year several friends couldn’t make it, including one who has an interesting hobby/passion/obsession. She is a fan of a particular opera singer, Finnish I believe, and she goes to hear this woman wherever she sings in the world.

I am rather impressed by this, and a trifle envious too, as I have never had this kind of overwhelming passion for anything

 I have met people who read a book a day, every day. I used to love playing tennis, played a couple of times a week, but there were women at my club who were on that court at 8 a.m every morning. I have friends who play bridge every day. There are sports fans who follow their teams wherever they go.

                So what is wrong with me? Why have I never felt this strongly about anything? I go to Giant’s spring training games but only because I’m right there in Scottsdale. I try to attend live tennis matches when I can. I go to the opera and ballet sometimes. But no one thing has ever meant so much to me that it has taken over my life.

How about you, Reds and readers? Have you ever been so passionate about anything that your life revolves around it?

Oh wait… I’ve just thought. I have written at least two books a year, for the past thirty years. This means writing every day. So perhaps I do have my passion after all. 

And thank you for all the fabulous survival stories you shared about trips gone wrong. How so many of us made it through so many harrowing experiences, I don't know. But I think the winner of the ARC of Heirs and Graces has to be Susan McNichol. Susan please email me at with your address and I'll send you the ARC. And please tell us if you ever found out whether your Scot was delusional, had killed the other man or really was targeted by the Mafia!


  1. Rhys, I was going to say--of course you have a passion! and your readers have a passion for the books you write.

    but that is an amazing story about your friend following the opera singer around the world...

  2. Rhys, your passion must be writing. Reading and writing. Yes. And you love the outdoors and hiking. You write about it often.

    I've always had a passion for the water and water sports, especially the ocean. Born in Salem, Massachusetts and growing up mostly there and in Marblehead, I think it would be a surprise if I did not crave those things.

    I've also had a life-long passion for neuropsychology and medical studies. I never wanted to be a doctor. These were just always hobbies that led to a job and a career or two completely by accident.

    I hope Susan McNichol lets us know if she learned more about the terrifying adventure she had. What a book that would make!

  3. I could take a guess that we all share a passion for books. It's a wonderful obsession.

    I knit. First thing in the morning; while listening to audiobooks; while watching my second passion - Red Sox baseball. Right now I'm working on a wedding gift for my niece. It's an afghan made up of 20 different Aran style squares. But, just like I usually have more than one book going at once, I also have a lacy shawl on my needles that I work on from time to time. Socks, sweaters, hats, scarves - I make them all.

    Now I have to get back to my tea and the Tree of Life block. And, of course, a book in my ear buds. (Thank you for recommending Martin Walker's Bruno series.)

  4. That's interesting Rhys. If you find out the opera singer's name, let us know.

    I have a huge passion for opera, but unfortunately, I do not have a budget to let me fly around the world seeing my favorites. I do make it a point to hit every opera house that I can when I am traveling however.

    Reading is another passion for sure. My friends are always asking me how I can read so many books. I just explain to them that it is all about priorities. Reading every day makes me happy, so I will always find a way to squeeze some in. It's never enough!

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  6. My passions have changed over the years. In my forties it was knitting. I would go to every conference and take every class offered by the top designers. Now it's my writing. Enjoy your weekend.

    June 14, 2013 at 8:48 AM

  7. Rhys, what an interesting question. I've had lots of interests--that's one of the things that makes my books fun for me, as I get to write about different things--but I suppose there have been two abiding passions in my life; reading and Britain, particularly London. The writing comes out of that.

    I can't be in London every day, but I read every day. No matter where I am, or how tired I am, I never go to sleep without reading.

    I can't imagine life without reading, and I suppose that is passion indeed.

  8. Great post, Rhys. Gets me wondering when passion becomes obsession. Following an opera singer around the world could be seen as obsessive. Is this bad? Nah--it's her time and her money, and it makes her happy. I just think it's a different psychological profile. I'm too lazy to become truly obsessive. :-)

    However, passion...yes, like most here: reading and writing. I would say photography, travel, and animal welfare are biggies. Reine, I'm also fascinated by the neurosciences, and also psychology.

  9. Yes, I suppose we all have the passion for reading or we wouldn't be here. But I'm not so passionate that I could sit indoors on a sunny day. I love being out in nature, walking with friends, travel, singing, playing my harp, oh and writing too.
    But nothing to the exclusion of any of the others.

  10. Reading. Of course. And mostly mysteries, although I do read other sorts of material, including memoir, biography. Also,books about cognitive dysfunction, neurological disorders, and mental illness (in an effort to better understand a relative who is afflicted with so many problems). No matter what I'm reading, at least one book is a mystery.

    I also love birdwatching and have a collection of books about birds, and of course also own some field guides. In the last three years I have not had as much time as I would like for birdwatching, but I have decided to start MAKING time for it again. Birdwatching is always part of my vacations, though.

  11. Me, too, I could EASILY lay around indoors all day reading! I guess I'm obsessive, after all. :-)

    I used to think there was something wrong with me, actually. I'm just so content with a book! When I read BROKEN HARBOR by Tana French, I don't think I stayed in my pajamas all weekend (except to walk the dog and get groceries).

  12. Whoops, edit error--I stayed in my pajamas all weekend except for...

  13. I'm not surprised that most here are devoted to reading but the number who mentioned psychology is striking. I was going to call it...figuring people out...but that is after all psychology.

    Travel to Europe is an obsession of mine too, and the only thing that I regret not having more money to indulge in more often. Every 18 months is simply not enough. I wish Euro travel could be a mainstay/indulgence at the level of my reading and writing.

  14. I have actually blogged on this subject a few times. When I was a young executive, ambition was my passion and I worked hard because advancement was a goal in itself. Then as my son entered double digits in age, I got pretty consumed in getting him raised with good mental health and self-sufficiency.Now he is in college and I haven't found a new passion to follow. My life is pleasant, my marriage is joyous, my work with non-profits is fulfilling...but I notice the lack of that driving passion in my life and I miss it. Still hoping something presents itself.