One of the things that amuses and amazes me about The Muppets — aside from how long they’ve been around — is how unique each character is. Each of The Muppets in the major cast has something that they’re either very good at or very enthusiastic about. Kermit runs everything. Miss Piggy is a drama queen. Rolf the Dog plays the piano. Sam the Eagle strives for propriety in everything. Even Animal plays the drums with some personal gusto.
One of my childhood favorites — well, as far back as I can remember anyway — was the Swedish Chef.
Wow, what a nut. Enthusiastic, but a nut all the same. Then while I was teaching, I went searching for safe and amusing videos to show my class on those inevitable days when we were stuck inside for bad weather. I stumbled upon new videos with The Muppets. The Swedish Chef, Beaker, and Animal feature in these pretty often. Here’s one with just Swedish Chef.
Although I wouldn’t want him anywhere near my kitchen, the Swedish Chef has some real passion for his work. There’s something to that.
Everyone is good at some skill. Even many animals seem to have a particular talent. My bird, for example, can disassemble quicklinks and take bolts apart. Not bad for a critter that weighs in at about a pound, but that does make keeping her in her cage while I’m at work a little more challenging. Fortunately, padlocks are currently beyond her skill set.
My passion has little to do with quicklinks or cooking. I enjoy writing. It’s a hobby I look forward to, and sometimes I become resentful of people or things that take me away from it for very long, but there was a long spurt of time when I stopped writing. It went to the wayside in part because I was being pulled by too many other interests.
I was teaching elementary then, and the commitment for that left little time. I was involved in a local theater group as a sound, light, and prop nerd; and I had an interest in learning sleight of hand. My hands quiver, which made that an interesting challenge, but I was determined.
These were all things I was sincerely interested in, but they took time away from what I really wanted to be doing. I had books that I had written and needed to find a publisher for and other books that had stalled until I could scare up the time to get back to them and yet others that were waiting to be written. More than anything I wanted to make progress on my writing.
Although I didn’t officially set any goals, I took a careful look at everything I was doing and prioritized what I wanted most. I returned to writing with some enthusiasm. Perhaps when I finish my Master’s in Adult Ed and return to teaching — my second passion — I’ll have some time to get back into sleight of hand, local theater groups, Renaissance fencing, and other fun interests, but for now, I’m happy being able to write in my spare time.
What are you good at? Do you approach it with passion, or has it faded under too many other cares?