in Blog, Reads

Renaissance Spoonie

I have a LOT of interests, and at various times I have kept up with not only the interest itself, but also the community surrounding the interest. I have too many interests to be an expert in anything. Several years ago I discovered the book The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstine. If, like me, you have trouble designing your life around your plethora of interests, it’s definitely worth checking out.

One of Lobenstine’s key suggestions is to limit yourself to pursuing 4 interests at a time. One can be a career interest and the other three can be personal interests, or you can mix it up differently, but career + hobbies should fall into 4 categories, unless you can work more hobbies into your career. You can rotate different things into your sampler of interests whenever you like.

I find, though, that thanks to my chronic illness and the extreme fatigue that comes with it, as well as the higher priority self-care must have in my life, that I can’t just pursue 4 things like work, improv, singing, and crochet. (Which leaves out so many ways I like to spend my time, including gaming, gardening, reading…)

Because of my illness, my sampler needs to look more like this:

1. Work or school

2. Self-care: food prep, exercise, hygiene

3. Home care: laundry, picking up, grocery shopping

4. ONE PERSONAL INTEREST.

This means I can only be intensely focused on one thing at a time, and it bums me right out. So I’m looking for ways to deal with it. One way is to rotate that one thing VERY rapidly – like “Today is an improv day. Tomorrow will be a video game day. The next day will be a crafting day.” And that’s sort of where I’m at right now.

The other is to combine things. For example, reading on my bus commute; crocheting while loading screens are coming up on video games.

I think I need to consciously utilize these two techniques to keep from feeling like I can’t have hobbies/interests.