Feed and Water


I read this post a few months ago, and it has stayed with me almost every day since. It is so hard in today’s society to do something you are passionate about that doesn’t produce a dollar return, to make time for something just for the sheer joy it gives you. To give that something some of your best hours, not the ones you have to cobble together around work or family or other responsibilities. Like sleep.

I interviewed a group of women recently who have taken up hockey. Hockey requires logging lots of hours just to be good enough to stand on the ice, to move around without the puck. These are women in their forties, women with children and jobs and carpools and houses to run and dinners to make. And yet they are cheerfully going off and spending hours and hours each week learning to play hockey. I asked one of them what she planned to DO with these skills (because don’t we always have to DO something with our skills? Make something out of them? Turn a profit?) and she looked at me as if I was slow, and said “I’m going to keep skating, I’m going to get as good as I can for as long as I can. Because I love to skate.”


It’s hard to put our passions first. It makes us seem selfish, or immature, or oblivious to the needs of those around us. Lazy, even. But sometimes our passions aren’t just what we want to do, they are who we are. And when we neglect them, we starve our souls.

Don’t forget to feed and water yours today.

Liz Michalski


  1. Vaughn Roycroft on September 24, 2013 at 10:50 am

    This post has successfully made me feel like both the luckiest guy in the world (for being supported as I’m selfish and lazy), and the most ungrateful one, at the same time. How could I have been thinking this revision is such laborious slog? How can I be so fearful of submitting it again? Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Jan O'Hara (Tartitude) on September 24, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Kapow! Did you read the last line in that post? Ouch. But thank you so much for bringing it to my attention. I’ll be forwarding it to a few people.

    I’ve been thinking about zero-sum scheduling of late–starting with nothing on deck, then adding in only those things which are necessary or life-promoting. Would be an illuminating exercise, don’t you think, rather than how we/I routinely add in tasks?

    • liz on September 24, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      I know — it is a killer. I think that’s why it has been rattling around in my brain for so long.

      I LOVE the idea of zero-sum scheduling. Unfortunately, I’m not there yet. I think you need to lead by example. : )

  3. liz on September 24, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    I can’t imagine you being any of those things, Vaughn! (Except for lucky.) But it does get to be a slog sometimes no matter how much support we have.

  4. Nina Badzin on September 26, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    I absolutely love that image of feeding and watering our passions. It IS important.

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