It is Saturday afternoon, the fire crackles in the hearth and the heavy snow falling muffles the world outside my window. My boys have just gone down for an afternoon nap. I want to write about love and passion – about how it can change and grow, push and pull, about how our children seem to carry this love that we have further out into the world, grounding it in who they are and who they become.
I don’t write about love as much as I used to when I was first married and just discovering its intricacies. I’ve grown beyond the dazzled state of wonder and awe it used to put me in. Instead I’m aware of my dependence on the love that I have for my husband. Like the air that I breathe, it is a vital part of who I am.
Love continually pushes me to succeed. It makes me want to take the hard road, tackle the most difficult task. It drives me to be more than I could ever be on my own. That’s the thing about love, it pushes and sucks one out into the glaring world, like a child at birth. Without love, it is so easy to cave in and turn away from the dazzle of life.
A woman writes that she enjoys reading this newspaper but she can’t find the words to explain why. I want to tell her that it is because the pages are bathed in love. That sometimes I think the love I have in my life overflows and touches everything that I do. But that sounds completely corny and a bit smug. Is it? My husband just has to smile a certain way and I’m filled with this belief that I can do anything. It’s as if I’m charged up, engines roaring and ready to take off, ready to soar. And then I do.
Last week a business colleague asked me if this media company we’re building is simply a hobby I’m doing for fun. He couldn’t understand why I was doing it, because I never speak about how I’m going to “cash out.”
I thought about all the long hours I have put into this business, about the enjoyment I get out of it, about how much it has taught me and how much more I have to learn. I thought about the number of people who write in thanking us for the words and columns we publish. I thought about the 40 or 50 people who rely on us for a paycheque every month; about how my husband has grown to become a vital part of the company, building an effective strategy and carrying it through in our business plan. I thought about the offers we have had to sell the business to some of our larger competitors. I thought about how we have helped build a client base for so many of our advertisers, and about how many friends I have made along the way. I realise now how important this media company we’re building is to the person I am and the person I will become.
How do I explain that we don’t want, or need, to “cash out”? Although my job isn’t easy, it isn’t like work to me either. It all comes back to this thing called passion and the love that allows it to flourish. I’m driven to grow, to learn, to think so that I can offer my husband more of life than he would ever know on his own.
I know so many who are driven to succeed, and so focused on becoming wealthy that they actually end up limiting their personal growth. There is something that connects learning and growing to one’s ability to love deeply, feel more, and appreciate beauty more vividly.
Love has a way of making me feel like I have a huge debt to pay back to the world. I want to help more people now than is possible. I want to be good and do good things; perhaps I’m just superstitious, but I feel like the good I do will somehow keep this love I have safe from harm.
Love is like a cloak that protects me from insults or cutting remarks: Although I am told they are said about me, I never seem to notice them anymore. Love has given me the courage to act on my impulses, to trust myself, and to inspire others.
My youngest son is awake and my husband brings him down from his crib. They cuddle in the chair across from me. My husband brushes his chin over our son’s soft blond head, our eyes meet and once again I see that smile that makes me feel like I’m on top of the world.
Sarah Thomson can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.