Gretchen Rubin wrote in The Happiness Project about the year she spent “test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happy.” The Puppiness Project is my attempt to learn the same from Honey, my Golden Retriever.
For years, I’ve loved hanging around people with passionate interests.
It’s exciting to watch someone throw himself into something with his whole heart. Whether a baseball fan, a motorhead, a dungeons and dragons role player–it’s all good to me.
Many years ago, I made two friends who took passion to a new level because they taught themselves things outside mainstream interests.
J was an avid genealogist seeking his family’s roots. His innate interest in history expanded and grew. J helped others learn their family’s history. And then he expanded even more and wrote a book (and a pictorial CD-ROM) on American synagogue architecture.
It appeared that J’s passion for learning and finding recognition for the wonderful stories hidden to most of us took over and he couldn’t help but follow it. I found it energizing to listen to him talk about his interests and wondered if I’d ever feel so passionate about something.
At the same time, I became friends with K who was exploring her interest in Celtic culture. K took talents she already had (music and art) and used them to learn about Ireland.
K took up the Celtic harp and became good enough to play professionally. She used her drawing skills to illustrate a classic Celtic story. Eventually, she up and moved to Ireland.
Ireland didn’t call to me the way it did to K. But I found it impossible not to be swept into her joy.
Ok, this is a dog blog and neither J or K are puppies (although they both like animals).
Here’s Honey’s passion–playing tug. Yes, I know she’s a retriever and that she’s supposed to want to chase a ball until she passes out from exhaustion. And don’t even start me on a Golden Retriever who prefers not to swim.
But tug? Honey could play for hours. She’s found her passion. That and meeting new people are the great joys of her life.
For years, I’ve wondered if I would ever find a passion of my own. You see, I’m a dabbler. I like a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I’ll pursue something seriously for a while and then I’ll move onto something else. I know a little about everything and a lot about nothing. I’m a great person to have on your trivia team but a horrible person to coach you through your dissertation.
Recently I woke up.
- I’ve published 206 posts on Something Wagging This Way Comes.
- I have a bookshelf full of dog books.
- I follow more than 70 dog blogs on a regular basis.
- I haven’t been without a dog in my life for more than a few months in more than 20 years.
- Every time I pass a dog on the street, I say “Puppy!”. Yep, every time.
- I’ve chosen my work to fit my desire to spend time with my dog in the middle of the day.
- My vacation plans revolve around finding dog-friendly activities.
Could it be? Have I had a passion all along and just never realized it?
[Image of Celtic Knot in Limestone by Robert Spencer.]