Half-life is a term commonly used in the world of nuclear physics and pharmaceuticals; the time required for a quantity to reduce to half its initial value. And from there, it’s all downhill at an exponential rate.
But what about that doughnut. Yesterday it was fresh, last night it was edible, but today its dried wood. Other perishables like thoughts, emotions, and leftovers have a half-life as well. I was going to use milk as an example, but that just seems to die the day after the expiration date. It’s good, good, good, then bloody horrific. No half-life on milk.
Passion has a half-life. It’s an intense and barely controllable emotion. It burns like a new star; a sun engulfing our thoughts, responsibilities, and our lives with heat and light. Nothing escapes uncompromised.
Some advice from Ben Franklin; “If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.” Just sayin’.
But then … the fuel begins to run out, the core contracts, and things begin to cool. Now what? What do we do about this? Can we do anything? Should we do anything? Passionately speaking.
There are so many articles, books, and blogs on how to stay passionate, but they use words like dedication, work, perseverance, and goal-setting. What?! Logical advice to fix and emotional problem? That’s like flipping the light switch on the wall to get water from the faucet.
Other advice from these same sources, address dwindling passion in terms of you as if you are the problem. No shit! Of course we’re the problem and its natural. Even skydiving can get mundane and routine after the one-thousandth jump. Nothing has changed with the activity. Everything is exactly the same as day one, except us.
But our passion didn’t die, it just changed. And this isn’t such a bad thing, because now we’re able to think a bit clearer, see the road in front of us, and make better decisions. Oh shit, our neo cortex is communicating with our limbic system! Love and logic, passion and responsibility, excitement and rationality; cats and dogs living together. What is going on!? Well, if we turn on the light switch, we can see the faucet.
So you’re not all over each other like it’s your third date (Hey, I’m old school; shut up). But now, five years into marriage, the passion is still there, but its not searing your eyebrows off. It’s changed for the better. Seriously, have you seen anyone without eyebrows? Eww.
When the adrenaline rush, hormonal overload, and nitrous oxide injection taper off, we’re able to drive better, control the vehicle, and relax into the experience. Hey, are these seats Corinthian leather?
Whatever the passion, a relationship, a car, skydiving, yoga, martial arts, a new job, or playing an instrument; they all start out pretty hot, but when things begin to cool, we think we lost our passion. No, the passion didn’t die, it’s just reshaping itself. For some of us, we recognize the goodness in that.
And yes … stars burn out. It happens. That milk aint’ coming back.
Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash.