Curiosity, I believe is something we’re born with, but with age, it slowly atrophies and dies, not always, but my hunch is that if you look back at your own life a part of you has given way to indifference or apathy.
Our kids are a great, yet painful reminder of my atrophy. Above is Nathan’s first play school drawing, he was so proud. It doesn’t matter that he’s chosen to colour outside the lines or the fact that the bath is orange. He’s cultivating his curiosity through his creativity.
When we play with his Duplo sets my first reaction is to find the box to figure out how Lego intended the pieces to be assembled, he doesn’t care, he builds things his way, thereby expressing his innate ability to conceptualize a product that fulfills his desire to express himself.
He not wondering if it will sell, if its cost-effective or if it will even be useful, he’s just building a house. It has a window for a front door, a series of daisy chained plastic flowers as a chimney and ‘human’ Lego head as a planter (only adults would find this deeply disturbing). His goal is to foster his creativity through his curiosity.
There comes a point in our adult lives where some of us are lucky enough to relinquish this curiosity for passion. Those that do are often branded by many as Mavericks for ‘following their passion’, but I’m not sure many 25 year olds or even 50 year olds knows what his/her real ‘passion’ is.
I’ve spent the better part of 15 years chasing my ‘passions’, of which I have many, some I’ve even able to turn into a vocation for a time, but interestingly most of those happened, naturally, organically and as an extension of me cultivating them. Passion doesn’t just appear in the ether. I didn’t just miraculously find my passion, I cultivated it.
I’m 33, I’m, for this period of my life, a Stay-at-Home/Work-from-Home Father, it’s a vocation I cherish and nothing makes me happier than being able to share these fleeting moments with my kids. I wear many hats: Husband, Father, Friend, Farmer, Nurse, Homemaker, Cleaner & Cook.
But I doubt it will be where my journey ends, soon they’ll both be at school for the better part of the day, even longer with extramural activities and then what?
I suspect many Stay-at-Home Parents feel this way. I guess it’s why we see so many of these get rich quick schemes. You know the ones, for under $100 you can take a 3-4 weeks course in being a ‘guru’ in Photography, SEO, Social Media, even Blogging, and it only takes 4-weeks to ‘master’. If that’s the case don’t you think you’ll have a lot of competition?
I have utmost respect for my wife, she’s an accountant, a passionate accountant. She wasn’t born with a passion for auditing, she’s cultivated it. She studied a degree in Business Science and then streamed into Finance. She did a 4 year degree, a 1 year post grad and 3 year internship just to become ‘qualified’, at the bottom of the corporate ladder. Now THAT’S culturing passion.
She’s made herself invaluable to our family, company & society. She’s our breadwinner, though I’m equally happy being our bread maker. I think many men, especially those who’ve chosen this role reversal lifestyle are proud of their new-found vocations. I absolute love this article written by a Stay-at-Home Mom who feels ‘threatened’ by what in a few years may be a social norm, it’s tongue in cheek, but littered with what I’ve come to define as truths in my life.
That said it doesn’t give me an excuse not to think about the future. Truthfully I lie awake some nights wondering what’s next? When the kids are off at school what will I do to culture my passion for whatever I might be doing, or even WHAT might I be doing? Even now, though my time is limited, should I not start that journey so that in 5 or 10 years time I’m employable by using what little time I have to myself to cultivate and nurture my curiosity, creativity and ultimately passion?
I don’t have all the answers, I’m just glad to be asking the questions. How are you cultivating curiosity and passion in your own life? I’d love to hear from you.