Thursday, May 27, 2010

Passion and Commitment

Today at breakfast, Jack and I talked about his obsessions.  I list his current ones on our unschooling blog, and change the list as his interests change.

He recycles his obsessions a lot. He loses interest for a few weeks or months, then he gets back into them. Right now, his big loves are Arthur, Super Mario Galaxy, and The Simpsons...all stuff he has loved at one time in the past.

I told Jack that I had obsessions like that....ones that come, go, and then come back again. Examples of those for me include spirituality, Lost, Harry Potter, and the Twilight series.

Jack asked me about Australia. Would that ever end for me?

It's a question I've asked myself. Today I think I came up with my answer.

I hate to admit this, but I will. There are days where my passion for Australia is completely absent. And there are days where I actually feel very negative towards Australia. This usually happens when I get mad at an Australian person, or an Australian person hurts my feelings. Then I sort of associate the whole country with that person. Fortunately, this usually fades after a few days.

There are many days where I have my passion for Australia. This especially happens after I totally bond with an Australian person, or with a not-Australian person I've met via my Australia obsession. It also happens when I listen to Australian songs that I love; ones I'd probably have never heard if I didn't have Australia in my life. I feel it when I read a really great Australian book. I feel it when I think about how I can name all the Prime Ministers from Menzies to Rudd. It makes me feel all smart. Crap. I just tried to do it in my head again, and I couldn't remember if Gorton or McEwen came first! Now I'm feeling much less smart. Oh well.

So this is what I decided at breakfast today....

I will ALWAYS love Australia.

I will always love it, because I've decided that I'm commited to loving it.

For a long time, I've had a romantic/marriage analogy going on about my Australia thing. First it was a secret crush. Then it was a huge obsessive annoy-other-people-with-it crush. Then I felt I was married to Australia. I even bought myself a ring....seriously. It was only like eight dollars, but still. I loved it. Unfortunately, it eventually broke.

So now I think of my Australia thing as the later years of marriage. The honeymoon might be over. I've taken off my rose-colored glasses. But I'm still quite satisfied with it all.

I used to feel worried, conflicted, and guilty when the passion was missing. What if it never returns? Am I too fickle? Would I be a fool for loving Australia in the first place? Would I have to quit my blog? Could I tell my Australian friends the truth...that I'm no longer obsessed with their country. Would they still love me?

Anyway, now I think I'm at peace. The thing is not always about passion. We can't be mad about something all the time. As soon we we spend a lot of time with it, we're going to see some of its dirty and yucky spots. And we're going to get burnt-out at times. But when we commit to something, we accept all that. We take the good with the bad.

So, anyway....

What I'm trying to say is I'm planning (and hoping) to have this relationship with Australia for a very long time....maybe with this blog too.