by Kathy Ruff
Yesterday I joined with others to celebrate the life of a man, Larry Straubinger, who passed away in January. Larry shared a passion with my father — trapshooting. I was brought back to my pre-teen years with fond memories many of us at the service had of sharing each others’ lives as we tagged along with the elders going to shoots. That sharing included trips to local shoots as well as state shoots in Pennsylvania, Virginia and other locales.
I realized how a shared interest in trapshooting brought together a diverse group of people and created a unique world of camaraderie, extended family and passion. The weekly ties may have declined over the years but the familial bonds that united us all stood the test of time.
The passion and memories shared by so many people — a passion that has extended into the next two generations so far — humbled me.
While I personally don’t share enthusiasm or talent for trapshooting, I recognize how a shared passion can create the foundation for long-term meaningful relationships. Pursuing what you’re passionate about also creates enthusiasm, energy and excitement.
I believe our passions represent our true callings. They are like planted seeds that, in due time and with nurturing, will germinate, sprout, grow and blossom. Passions keep pushing their way into our lives until we eventually recognize them and delightfully pursue them.
Writing was like that for me. I pushed it on the back burner for many years as I pursued other paths, but the desire to write kept bubbling to the surface. At some point, you can’t push the boiling bubbles down any more, so I finally heeded my passion and began to pursue it. Today I share my passion with others who love to write and a sense of fulfillment and contentment fills me.
I thank my parents, Larry and Betty and all the others throughout my life who have taught me the unparalleled value and bliss created when we pursue and live our passions.
What are you passionate about? Are you pursuing your passion?
(Picture above is of Barbara & Frank Ruff at the celebration for the 50th wedding anniversary.)