Passion lost – passion regained?

Those are the risks of falling in love, aren’t they? First that your passion can consume – if not all of you, then part of you. It can pull you in, give you chance to find a new side of yourself, to express yourself, provide an outlet, a channel for your creative self, even a sense of release. But if you take a break, perhaps to focus on something else, because there’s only so much of you, your time and energy, to go around… does it go away, and for good? And can you regain that desire—should you try?

It’s a common story. In my case for a pastime, a creative pursuit. Months since I have written very much, aside from a few scribbled notes, scattered ideas, observations, phrases that seemed a good idea at the time. This after a daily habit – at least ‘something every day’, almost a superstition, that if I stopped, the practice would fall away. Not, as it turns out, an unfounded concern.

Real life, as they say, got in the way. Until that became something of an excuse. I lost the knack for getting into ‘flow’, what Hungarian-American psychologist Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi described as “a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter.” For a while.

And then what?

Anhedonia is ‘the inability to feel pleasure and motivation from normally pleasurable activities. It’s applied to those people who have lost interest in activities they used to enjoy. It’s from the Greek, ‘an’ being a prefix for ‘without’, and ‘hedone’, meaning pleasure, delight—you’ll be familiar with the word ‘hedonism’, too.

Now I don’t want to get dramatic or self-pitying. Anhedonia can be used in Psychology to describe a general feel of decreased pleasure, a general detachment that may be symptomatic of a depressive disorder. That, lucky me, is not the case here. Still, it’s a useful term.

So if I’ve lost that lovin’ feeling about one, fairly discrete, area of my life, does that matter? It’s not something I depend upon, was particularly successful at, or ‘need’ in any material sense. Could be time to move on.

Yet. Well, I think the attraction is still in me somewhere. I miss it. The creative outlet, yes. The sense of achievement – sometimes. The freedom to write / do what I want in an otherwise dutiful life – fanciful, but yes, I think so.

Of course, it could simply be a love of nostalgia

I am not disinterested; it’s just become easier not to do it. And that’s not the same thing. It’s too easy to believe your time would be ‘better spent elsewhere’.

So I will reconnect. Reignite.

I have made a start, by reflecting, remembering what I enjoyed about it—not hard to recall. The hard bit is next: making time for it again. Today.

I am opening up some old writing, drafts I haven’t looked at in a while, prepared for them to be—terrible. Is there anything more mortifying than reading something you wrote months ago (or years)? What that experience will be like, whether that will help, I’ll write up in a future post.

 

Have you ever attempted to regain a lost passion – what did you do to get it back?

Photo credits
Photos by Devin Avery and Photo by Chandler Cruttenden on Unsplash

 

27 thoughts on “Passion lost – passion regained?

  1. I usually cannot get it back, so I decided that if I lose my passion in something, then that means it is time to let go. I don’t lose my passion very easily. So, that works for me.

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    1. Yes, I know what you mean; no point forcing anything. I have to decide if it’s a low flame or an extinguished one!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know what I’d do if not for writing. I have no other hobbies. I hope you get your passion back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nor me 🙂 I don’t really count interests such as reading or cooking, much as I enjoy them.

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  3. ‘Real life, as you say, got in the way’…… for me that was British politics enough said! I am by no means a talented writer lol, I get by so to speak, but I have noticed ‘one’s flow’ does return even after an enforced break… and I’m looking forward to reading those new writings of yours… I never tire of reading your blog 🙂 .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very kind, thank you for reading. Yes, I think the recent political events have been one of the distractions or ‘downers’ that have dampened creative spirit a bit! I think it’s in there somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for the thought provoking question!

    From my point of view, passions simply subside until I choose to dedicate some time and attention to them.

    They never really go away, they’re never really gone. They just wait patiently to be rejuvenated or awakened from a prolonged slumber.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good image and way to think of it. I need to give it the attention it needs to thrive. Thank you for sharing your experience.

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  5. An insightful post. My conflict between drawing and photography is relevant. I seldom manage both together at any period of my life

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    1. That’s interesting. I admire the polymath, but wonder how much proficiency or expertise someone can gain in multiple fields at the same time. It’s less about ability than time and focus, I think.

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  6. Your writings are always so insightful. Loved it. Just a thought to ponder, does the stage of anhedonia could negate again over period of time, like a pendulum. Love the word btw

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    1. It’s a useful word, isn’t it? I like the image of a pendulum, something that may swing away, but to which you stay connected throughout; that’s very helpful. Thank you so much for reading, you’re very kind.

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      1. I absolutely loved the word. Thanks for your lovely share

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  7. I suspect Passion never comes back… 🙂 Now Passion comes in many a guise. If your writing eludes you, there probably is a (series of) reason(s). I’ve dropped writing too in a way. The posts are easy captions on pretty pictures… 😉 One of the reasons is that the novel I was writing plus another two I had in mind were depressing. And right now, I don’t need more “depressing”. 😉
    But, but… this january, I have opened my “TO WRITE PENDING” folder and begun to sort it. Move out junk, align story projects… And the day will come when I start writing again…
    So, no worry. Enjoy your break.
    A + (tard, as the Frogs say…)

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    1. It’s interesting, isn’t it, how one simply knows whether a passion has gone or is simply on a lower flame, and will flare again. I hope you find your way back to writing. In the meantime, we look forward to continuing to enjoy your blog, the vivid images, the armchair travel – and I think you underestimate the words, the anecdotes and insights. A plus tard in the blogosphere.

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      1. You might be right about underestimating… I have to stop believing that mine was a normal life… 🙂 At any rate, it is the testimony of a world long gone… I’ll bear that in mine. Meanwhile, just did a Travellers piece you might like. A bientôt mon amie.

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        1. I think there’s a piece of yours I missed. You’re posting more lately, which is a treat. Looking forward to it.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You can always find it another time. Much obliged about the “treat”. My goal is two posts a week. Can’t do more, and I don’t want to bore readers… 🙂 I have managed to keep that goal for a while, but lately, I’m sorting out a lot of stuff (pix and writing) as I’m changing computers, so that takes a bit of time…
            Cheers

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  8. That was a great and comprehensive article…all the tips enumerated and explained will be helpful for those who are wise enough to tap from it. Any business nowadays without social media signals and presence may not make it to the outermost, and investment too is part of the key to success in business. Keep up the good work.

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  9. clippingpathcutout Feb 4, 2020 — 6:22 pm

    nice post

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  10. When I read my old stuff, 9/10, there is stuff I would change. Sometimes it’s because the old stuff sucked, but not always. As writers, we have the ability to write from different perspectives. Our life experiences influence our thoughts. You are not the same person you were yesterday, and you definitely aren’t one from a year ago (or more). Use your old stuff and refine it.

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    1. That’s an interesting perspective. I look back at old writing and assume (hope?!!) my writing has improved, but perhaps I am just or also a changed person.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Love that your posts are always fodder for much thought and introspection…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very kind, thank you for reading.

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      1. My pleasure…😊

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