Recently, a friend of mine sent me a picture of a horse and rider with a quotation underneath that read, "It's not just a passion, it's a lifestyle." I smiled when I saw it, instantly recognizing the truth, and wisdom, in the words. To have a horse in your life, to ride it, care for it, learn and grow with it, and bond with it, it much more than just a passion. People who have horses in their lives, regardless of their type of riding or their discipline, have a way of life that includes, love, pain, hope, continual education (horses have a wealth of things to teach their humans and are glad to do so-sometimes more than we wish they would)! In addition, most of your discretionary income suddenly finds itself disappearing mysteriously into the black hole known as your horse. Everything from the coffee mugs in your house, to the vehicle you drive, to the catalogs that come to your house will shift to include (if not completely be made up of) things that have to do with horses. It truly becomes more than a passion, but a lifestyle, which my parents, and those who know me will tell you, is completely and wonderfully enveloping.
Writing, I find, is much the same way, although granted in my life it shares this space begrudgingly with horses. My writing is much more than a passion, and unspeakably more than my profession. It is my thoughts continually, plots for the new novel, sketches for the children's books I am writing, my characters, their thoughts and actions, are just the tip of the iceberg of the ideas that are writing related and swirl continually, alongside the every day thoughts that roll through my mind. Not to mention, every book I read, or movie I see, the story line, the characters, hold an almost enthralling fascination for me and I think of the writer, or writers, their crafts, their intentions, their journeys. When I am cooking dinner or in the shower, I think of what I have written, what needs yet to be written and everything in between.
Perhaps it's me, that the passions in my life become more than that, they become an integral part of my life and who I am. They mold my lifestyle to accommodate themselves, and in so doing shape not just my life, but who I am.