I have a lot of interests.
I’m not complaining; I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love the variety and I know that it’s all in my life for a reason. But it does make it difficult to decide how to use my time. I’m a whole-hearted person who can’t be whole-hearted about any one thing.
When I’m at Crossfit I wanted to be fully invested in building my strength; when I’m at band I want to be fully invested in music; when I’m writing I want to be fully invested in my blog, or my book, or a poem, or a short story…
When the going’s good I can balance things fairly well – that’s usually when I’m at my happiest, at my most fulfilled. But when migraines hit, or other internal or external dramas, I’ll find myself struggling. There’s also occasionally a twinge of regret when I’m unable to spend any time on my other interests, like art or cooking.
My Mum struggles with the same issue: a huge desire to do well, but with too many things requiring her attention. She summed up the difficulty in her blog post, ‘Spinning Plates’.
It’s not always possible to keep everything going at once – we have to choose what we give our attention at that time. But we can still make progress, even if it occasionally feels like we’re neglecting other aspects.
I have great admiration for people who excel in one thing. I know it takes a great deal of dedication and sacrifice. But it’s not for me. It took me a while to accept this. I’ll listen to an amazing musician and think, ‘I’d love to be them.’ In reality, I only like the idea of being them – my character doesn’t allow it. I’m a hard worker, but progress is slow when that effort is spread over several things!
When something is important to you, you find a way of doing it, one way or another. Every day is a challenge to do the best I can, endeavouring not to dwell on the things I’m not accomplishing, but enjoying whatever I am accomplishing. I need to remind myself how much joy I get from all my work and hobbies, and that I shouldn’t feel guilty when I have to prioritise…although sometimes it’s as hard as trying to choose between food and sleep!