Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Passion or Obsession?

Melissa over at The Marketing Mama blog asked her blogger friends to write about what they are passionate about. (Of course, Melissa asked us to do this last week...oops!)

You'd be a pretty smart cookie if you assumed that someone with ADD would either have lots of things they are passionate about or have very fleeting passions - think "Passion of the Week."

It's the former and the latter for me. I have many areas in my life that I'm passionate about, but I would argue that my "Passion of the Week," is more like an "Obsession of the Moment." And Melissa asked us to write about our passions.

Individuals with ADD love anything new and out of the ordinary because it engages our senses and gives us something to learn. (I swear that I love to learn regardless of what my grade school teachers thought) My two big passions (quilting & social media), do both.

There are my shallow passions such as the importance of having Diet Coke for the judges at all skating competitions (wait, that's an obsession...), having a tan, or having cooler toys than the other kids, but I have two passions that keeps my ADD brain engaged for hours on end.


Quilting - Although I've been dabbling in quilting off and on for the last 20 or so years, it has really been in the last twelve months that I've added it to my list of borderline obsessions. My most relaxing times are spent working on quilts. I took vacation time last week and my prime focus of my staycation was quilting and getting this quilt finished before the end of July.

Ask any quilter about their stash and while they might deny having one, if you search their house, you will find fabric in places you would have never imagined. I got rid of the books in my home office and have now filled the shelves with fabric. Front hall closet? More fabric.

When you have ADD, there is a problem with starting projects and then losing interest in them and not finishing. That rarely happens with my quilts. I love the sense of accomplishment when it's finished. Not only do I have a Facebook photo album just for my quilts, but I also carry around photos of quilts to show off. 

You have your kids, I have my quilts.

Social Media - I love talking about social media and how it is changing our lives and our world. I was naturally attracted to social media because it was new and unknown (i.e. shiny object). In December 2008, I wrote a paper for a graduate class on the use of social media by nonprofits and that paper launched this passion. I've been fortunate enough to stealthily add social media responsibilities into my job description.

The other great thing about social media is that it is constantly changing and in order to keep up with the trends, you have to be constantly learning and searching out new information.

I love tweeting, blogging and friending. But I do get strange looks from friends and family members when I talk about social media. It is still a foreign concept for so many people. They may "get" Facebook, but that "whole Twitter thing" doesn't make sense to them. 

There are many awkward moments when in the course of conversation, you mention that you were just tweeting about that or that you just became Mayor of your neighborhood Starbucks. The unknowing will look at you as if you either have a third eye (not that there's anything wrong with that) or you're a stalker. And even though I know I'm not a stalker, I start to wonder...
ADD'ers get a bad rap for not staying with a project through to completion, but the fact that the two passions mentioned above have been a big part of my life for over 20 years and 2 years respectively, should help prove different. Give me a project that is creative and challenging and I'll see it through to the end.  
What are you passionate about? Is it a passion or an obsession?

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