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"I seek my jollies elsewhere now."

If you check the fine print on the back of the label, you'd learn that Passion carries a short shelf life. Go ahead and Google® the word. You'll be inundated with homilies, just as if you didn't already know that Passion fuels purpose, renders success inevitable, and holds the key to that quality of life that has been so long eluding you. If you're still holding down your lunch, check that fine print on the back of the label again. Passion seems to behave like rocket fuel. What doesn't quickly burn, evaporates faster. It's a boost, not cruising fuel.

Whatever I passionately pursue seems to fuel me plenty at first.
I zoom around like a higher class maniac for a few weeks before one morning, waking up to wonder where my zoom disappeared to. I'll more than likely finish the pursuit anyway, but with considerably less enthusiasm than my zoom-influenced imagination earlier suggested I would experience. Discovery evolves into a particularly nasty form of drudgery. Completion reeks of possible disappointment. Then, that homily page Google® delivers will reliably prescribe even more of the same zoom juice it pointed at before, albeit rather less convincingly. Even more of even more of even more of the same. Advice perhaps worth every penny you didn't pay for it.

Every space vehicle jettisons its big bad booster rocket once it's propelled the payload past gravity's demotivating downward pull. Firing off one of those babies in deeper space might be a waste of fuel and produce an impossible to influence trajectory, a means for going nowhere ever faster. I think, once one passes past their Passion's short shelf life, another propellent might be considered. A slow-burning carbohydrate, perhaps, one that might allow for fine course adjustments and a little kick-back nap time. Most races refuse to go to the merely swift, but also demand some subtle strategic conniving. Nobody sprints to the end of any marathon. Turtles have been known since ancient times to win their share of races.

At first, Sisyphus was reported to carry a certain Passion to his work each morning, but over time, the day-to-day drudgery of his career burned up all that homily-fueled fervency. He realized that perhaps his work was sufficiently unlike a footrace to require a less explosive propellent, perhaps a sanguine resignation would better sustain him over the eternities stretching out before him. The desk clerk, gratefully, does not greet each passing file clerk with the bubbling enthusiasm of a recent Scientology convert, and shouldn't. By the fiftieth wainscoting board, I'm starting to not give my painting quite the shit I gave it for the first few. Something else fuels me on toward completion. A recognition, perhaps, that this goal will never actually be quite the exception I fantasized it might become when first filling up the old tank with Passion to fuel my pursuit. Gravity's far behind. Maybe levity's taking over now.

I've achieved the age where I find bubbling enthusiasm to be more a sign of inexperience than any marker for future success. The giddy intern simply annoys me. Perhaps I've become just another wounded optimist, but I believe that I'm becoming an optimist of a different color. No longer blue sky bright, but more muted colors now. I can still produce a halfway decent sunrise and my sunsets draw their share of wows, but I wear a hat and long sleeves against the brightest mid-day sunshine. You might find me hanging in the shadows, wondering what in the heck all the frenzy in the courtyard's about. Maybe I'm just further along in the game, but Passion fuels little of my wry observing or thoughtful engaging. I seek my jollies elsewhere now.

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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