Thursday, December 28, 2006

Love and hobbies

If I can be said to have a single aim in life, it is that I desire to be great at Some One Thing. This is not to say that I desire to be recognized by others as being great at Some One Thing, though I'd probably not be opposed to that. I want to look on something that I have done and continue to do and be proud of myself. I want to know that I have put in an extraordinary amount of time and effort into Some One Thing, all by myself, and feel good about it.

But, for me, at this point in time, this seems like the most unobtainable goal. Outside of my love for my wife and my God, which are by far the most important things to me, I haven't much to hold on to. I am overwhelmed with hobbies. And this because I have little attention span. If something is no longer fun I give it up. During middle school and high school I would skateboard every day, in the Florida heat, for an average of four to six hours a day. I was becoming a quite talented skateboarder. But one day I realized that it was too hot and I was too tired. So I stopped, just like that, after eight years of skateboarding.

I did this with baseball. I was a very good baseball player. But one day I found that baseball had become too serious. I walked off the pitcher's mound in the middle of the game and never played another inning, much to my father's dismay (he brought up how great a ball player I was during his speech at my wedding reception).

This characterizes my reading as well. I go through phases where I'll read very intensely into some topic for a time, be it a few months or a few years, get bored and move on.

I hate this about myself. But I wonder, does anyone have it different? Does anyone adhere to that advice of parents and teachers to "pick one thing and stick with it"?

I keep thinking about my great grandfather, Clinton. He had three loves in life: his wife, the Philadelphia Phillies, and Phillies Blunt cigars. As long as he had these three things nearby he was a happy man. When his wife dies he lost his shit completely, forgetting that he smoked cigars and driving across the state of Pennsylvania in search of his doctor. He died soon after his wife, his mind in shambles.

I want to love like that.

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