By Charlotte Latvala
For some time now, you’ve noticed your friends talking about “following their passion” and quoting Elizabeth Gilbert and Cheryl Strayed.
The unavoidable truth is that every self-respecting middle-aged person needs a passion – even if the only thing you’ve felt passionate about recently was binge-watching old episodes of Lost while eating Domino’s pan pizza.
What do you really love? More importantly, what can you afford to love? (I was about to book a trip to India when I realized it would cost more than the $200 currently in my checking account.)
Big passions are expensive. So why not settle for a smoldering mild interest, instead of an all-consuming flame? Here are some starters.
- Gardening. The classic old person’s passion: There is no such thing as high-pressure gardening! Toss some herbs in a pot and you’re golden. Bonus: No one will question your modern gardening cred if you mutter the word “organic” every now and then.
- Reading. Yes, it’s something you already do. But if you declare that it’s your passion, you’ll get more respect than if it’s just something you do when the Wi-Fi is down.
- Ethnic cuisine. Because “ordering Chinese takeout” and “microwaving burritos” count.
- Wine. If you’re buying cases in bulk, the liquor store clerks know you by name, and you have every happy hour in a 10-mile radius committed to memory, guess what? You have found your passion.
- Becoming an insufferable expert/snob about coffee, craft brewing, or green living. You’ll not only sound impressive, but you’ll gain a new group of friends who are equally insufferable.
- Gambling. Some say addiction; you say passion.
- Posting deliberately provocative statements about your political views on Facebook. This is a time-honored method of changing the hearts and minds of everyone who disagrees with you. It works every single time! Plus, you’ll be a big hit at class reunions.
- Flying back and forth over the Pacific Ocean on your free Oceanic Airlines pass, hoping your plane will crash onto a mysterious island where you can finally figure out what happened to all your friends and achieve peace. Oh wait, I’m getting this list confused with Season 5 of Lost. Which turns out to be my passion after all. See you back on the island.