Saturday, June 27, 2009

Grudge match: Professional Passion versus the 10-Year Itch

Let's talk about ADVENTURE, PLEASE because that is what I am craving at 3:00AM as I write this. My biggest challenge in life is satisfying my thirst for adventure while also being a full-time marketing professional and the Mom of a very intense almost 4-year-old. Can you relate? 

Most people don't know that I once dropped out of college for a year to live in Southern California and be a beach bum and that I once dropped out of marketing for year to study photography in New York City. Next year, I will have been in Milwaukee, a place I swore I would never live, for ten years. And it's been good. But seriously, I've got the ten year itch. Bad. It's gotten to the point where every time I see a kayak on top of a vehicle, it hurts. (This is a subtle hint to my friends who have kayaks and live on the lake.) 

Last year on my 40th birthday trip to Tulum, Mexico, I saw people kiteboarding for the first time and it was a real "holy shit" moment for me. I have never had any desire to scuba dive, or surf, and frankly, while I love the ocean it generally scares the crap out of me. But kiteboarding? OH. MY. GOD. I. WANT. TO. DO. THAT. 

And what have I done about it? NADA. Social media is great, but there is a lot more to life. We stay up late and blog and Tweet and post. But how often does this divert us from focusing on what is REAL? It's time. Let's do it! I'm taking a kayaking clinic this Friday (another passion I've been putting off). I'm looking into kiting camp with Broneah kiteboarding in Michigan for next month. Next year, maybe Puerto Rico. Someday: Patagonia. I can no longer bail for a year, but I still have to scratch the itch. 

What passions are you putting off because you are "too busy"? How do you balance your passions and your profession?

Photo credit: Andrew Chatham


  1. I'll go with you on some adventures Sue!

  2. Hey Sue, I keep doing both at the same time. I'm an IT geek and a musician, and very passionate and excited about both. Often after a long day, at around 9pm when the kids are in bed, I just fire up the coffee pot and start playing. Not all passions allow for simultaneous pursuit, but many do at some level. And I admire how you take the occassional break and do something completely different. A lot of people were envious of you when you left the agency to go learn photography. How cool was that? So, many different strategies, but anyone following their passion is going to much more satisfied in their life. This is it. One chance (at least for most of us...) -- Steve D.

  3. One of the best places to kiteboard is right up the lake from you in Sheboygan. Great wind, great beaches, great kite boarding community.

  4. Denise - bring it! Want to go kiteboarding?

    Steve - that's awesome that you have been able to balance your passion for music with work and family. I think half the battle or more is making it important enough to not fall to the bottom of the list. I've learned that if I go to long without getting over the "Mommy guilt" of doing something for myself, I'm not a happy Mom, and that's just no fun for anyone. We actually set a better example for our kids by showing them what it looks like to be happy.

    Anonymous - thanks for the tip. I hadn't thought of Sheb. I'll check it out.