How to chase your passion without running away from those you love!
Women nurture very naturally. Men can do it with added effort, but I’m of the belief that women have an innate sense of how to nurture. With that, most hours in our day are spent taking care of someone or something. As a woman, if you aren’t careful, you’ll find that your days have flown by and you’ve not left any “you time.” Where do these hours go? Although a selfless gesture to give all of your time to others, actually setting aside time to do what you love is not just an important stress reliever, it’s also important for your soul. But, finding your “you time” is not what I’m here to discuss. Today, I’m speaking to my fellow girlfriends who’ve discovered their passions!
It doesn’t matter what that passion is. It could be writing, dancing, speaking, singing, exercising, building a new business, coaching, starting a new book club, beginning a counseling session—volunteering! It could be anything. All you know is that you’ve found it—or perhaps it found you! When you have finally become aware of what you love to do, it’s an amazing discovery. You rush through all of your other daily responsibilities, in order to make it back to that one thing that you love doing most. Time flies and if you had the option, the day could go by and you’d keep doing what you love, right into the night.
In the beginning everyone is just as excited for you. You’ve acquired the love, support and excitement that only your partner can bring. But then one day something happens! All of that extra love and support you once felt from the man you love begins being replaced with a passive/aggressive bitterness and resentment. All of a sudden your partner begins acting very differently toward you. He starts to complain that you are too busy, never available, that you’ve shut him out, and that all of your energy is now given to what you love, instead of who you love.
And you start thinking about how that you’ve finally found something that you love doing in life and that you don’t want to give up, but you also don’t want the person that you love to feel hurt and abandoned.
At this point, what’s a girl to do???
Simple: You don’t have to give up your passion just yet. You’ve simply got to find balance.
If you find yourself in this same situation, my hopes are that the following recommendations will help to provide you the solutions you need for immediate balance in your own life—between what you love and who you love.
Create an administrative day. I call this an administrative day, but depending on what your passion is, it may simply be a “you day.” Stay consistent with this day to ensure that he begins expecting it and that he is not caught off guard. He’ll learn to adjust to your occupied time in the very same manner that he adjusts to your work schedule. This way, neither of you feels any pressure. And if you really want to make him feel special, every blue moon, give up some time within your administrative day just for some quality time with him. He won’t take it for granted.
Create Time. Although this may seem difficult, because "time" is where you are having the trouble, this is actually the easiest idea. It takes no action on your part, except to realize that the opportunity is before you. Make a note of those things that your significant other loves to do, that doesn’t require your participation. These are prime opportunities for you to create time for yourself. Does your partner love football, basketball, baseball—sports? If he does, you already know that when he’s watching sports, he could care less where you are (as long as you are safe, of course). Does he have a favorite TV show that he would not miss for anything? Does he enjoy hanging out with his friends on the weekends? All of those are valuable opportunities for you to use his occupied time for yourself. So next time, instead of fussing with him for being away—try saying yes. You’ll notice that he’ll not only appreciate you for loosening your grip, but you’ll also be able to do what you love with no distractions.
Help find his passion. Help your partner discover what they are also passionate about. Maybe it is something that the both of you can all do it together. Has he always wanted to coach, play sports, go back to school, etc. Do not force him to do anything he doesn’t want to do, but instead, spend time encouraging him to discover what interests him the most. With this route, he’ll begin having a better understanding of why you’ve been so occupied.
Create a ritual. Is there something that both you and your beau enjoy? Is it walking the dogs after work, listening to jazz in the park on Saturdays, having movie nights on Fridays, going to the bar to watch football on Sundays, a favorite TV show on Wednesdays? Whatever it is, keep it going and keep it sacred. Do Not Miss Your “Connection” Time! Let me repeat this; do not miss your “connection” time!
Set a curfew. This is the most important suggestion and ironically the same place that many women with passions go wrong. They do not set curfews for themselves. Whether it’s a business meeting, networking opportunity, dinner with prospective clients, or simply your “administrative day,” be certain to set (and keep) your curfew. When your time limit has been reached, close the computer, pack up your briefcase, close out your restaurant tab, pack up your gym bag…go home! This always allows you to be back to your partner when you’ve said that you would. You keep your promise, you keep your passion.
*Bonus: Make it a lunch date. If your kids, your friends, your family members, or even your significant other are complaining that they don’t see you enough, try making a lunch date with them. It could be a surprise lunch date, such as surprising your kids at school, or it could be planned, such as lunch with a friend. Lunches are a great idea as they are during the day—when you have a greater amount of energy. You are able to give your person your undivided attention and most importantly, lunch typically only lasts for an hour or two because someone always has to go back to work.
Understand that anyone who loves you naturally wants to see you happy. They want to be able to watch you live out your dreams. The only difference is that they still want to be a part of your life too. No one who loves you would want you to give up your passion unless it is detrimental to yourself or others. I hope that these above suggestions allow you to have a better sense of harmony in your own life. And although nurturing others seems to come naturally to you, with a better sense of balance in your life—you will be able to nurture your own self. And everyone knows that the key to giving the best love to others is only by first loving and giving your best to yourself.