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Torpedos and frag grenades, or my todo list.

By March 29, 2011asides, misc.

This photo is unrelated, but I liked it.

Here’s a problem I have, maybe you can relate, maybe not, but I don’t think I’ve ever written it down, and I’m trying to do that more these days, so here goes.

I’ve got too much that I want to do.

Seems like a smaller “problem” when I put it into one sentence, but it boils out to a lot more.

See, I’ve got lots of hobbies.. well, they’re not hobbies as much as interests… and most of those interests take a fair amount of time to explore and get to know before they can even become hobbies.  Other than the interests, I’ve got some things that are hardwired in my head, things that I’m passionate about because I was built that way. Off the top of my head, those would be (not a complete list) music, and making stuff. (I’m intentionally leaving out things like family.. they’re my biggest priority, so for discussions sake, this is all concerning the time I’m NOT spending with them)

I’m a little envious of people who can dedicate their lives fully to something. People who live and breathe science, or art, or shoe making, or farming.  Those people wake up and dedicate themselves to it until they have to sleep.. that’s amazing and very foreign to me.  I also pity them a little.

They may never know what it’s like to wander into an interest that they have no business in.. to try to make write music and fail horribly, or plant vegetables in their backyard, or make a chair that’s barely safe enough to sit in. Ultimately, I’ve very glad that people are different in that way..  that we have torpedos AND frag grenades of productivity.

I’d count myself in the “frag grenade” camp.. someone who is interested (in at least trying) lots and lots of stuff.  I realize that this will kind of make me a poser at all of those things..  jack of several trades, master of none. The problem with  that is that I can’t fit it all in. I’m not sure the best way to fill what little time I have to fill. I also have a hard time fitting exploration of these things into the small pockets of time I have available..  it feels more realistic to me that I could understand robotics, if I had a week of uninterrupted focus on it, instead of 30 minutes here and there.

I may never get to it all, which is fine, and this isn’t even about the specific interests, it’s about priorities and passion. The things that we’re hardwired to love should come first. And the other stuff can fill in the gaps, or give us a distraction when we need it.

For me, that means postponing  writing a book until the idea is fully formed, putting off building Arduino contraptions until I’ve got a good enough idea and focus on making music.  Maybe they’ll actually help each other happen.  Maybe the music will spark some writing ideas, or give me an idea of a new instrument to build, or maybe I can write a book about 6 months of failed music attempts.. we’ll see.

I’ve said it before, but I feel like I was made primarily to do 2 things, and I’m currently only doing one of those. I need to make music.

If you’re like me, with a list too long to actually accomplish, cut down the list to the things that have been there the longest.. those are the strong ideas, the important passions. Do those first, do those often, do those with all of your heart. And when you need a break, grab something else from the list.


PS. Incidentally, writing this post gave me an idea for an iPhone app, so I actually added something to my list today. Oh well, maybe I’ll write a song about it.