I am an epistemophiliac, which means I love learning stuff. Love it. Love it love it love it. The older I get, the MORE I love it, because I have found that in the areas where I have been weak or afraid or both, learning has helped me not be so weak or afraid, and that helps me be happier, so it’s all good. Plus, the more you know about lots of things, the easier it is to have discussions with people.
There is a down side, however. Well, a few. But the biggest downside is that there just isn’t enough TIME. I want to write perfect novels and knit all the perfect things and see all the places and try all the foods (okay maybe not ALL the foods. Squirmy things, insects, and internal organs simply do not appeal to me) and bind lovely books and make all the webpages and databases and have perfect calligraphy and support all the tech and learn all the languages & make paper and cross stitch the heck out of everything. And maybe read all the books and half the internet (not the smutty half), too. And serve all the people, which means you have to get to know them.
See? IT DOESN’T STOP. There is just too much. So while that list is full of good things, I have to cut some of them back, or out completely. It doesn’t mean I don’t care about them. It doesn’t mean they aren’t important. It means that I recognize that everyone has the same 24 hours in the day, and no one can do everything, so I have to choose. Sometimes I’m not good at choosing, and sometimes I throw something dumb in instead when I’m being lazy, and sometimes I’m still sad with some of the consequences of my choices (like, I’m sad that I haven’t bound books for a very long time), even though I know I cannot be good enough in my chosen items without dedicating more time to them and I chose them on purpose. But knowing that the choice is mine, and having made it very deliberately makes the sadness less intense and shorter. The thing I look forward to the most in heaven is being able to have limitless time and resources to learn everything.
In the meantime, it’s important for me not to abdicate my power and responsibility when it comes to my life and time. So many times, we let life just sort of happen, or we put off or minimize the important things, and then we find ourselves where we don’t want to be. And that’s frustrating and sad.
Personally, I have to divide things into 3 categories. First is Core. Core are things that are part of how I define myself–vitally important activities and traits. Like, I want to be a great writer, I want to be more spiritual and closer to God, I want to be healthy, I want to be a better friend and family member, etc. That means I devote more time and energy to those things, in skill building and relationship building. It’s still a balancing act, but reminding myself of how important these things are to me helps me be able to say no at certain times, especially with other things.
Second is Important. Kind of self-explanatory. These are lower priority and I must use less time on them than on Core things, but more than anything else. Last is Unnecessary. Of course, you can have as many levels as you want (I can imagine Important being divided up a LOT), but these are my basic 3. Unnecessary doesn’t mean bad or useless, it just means that I generally don’t have time for those things, because the top 2 categories need lots more time according to my chosen priorities.
Fairly simple, don’t you think? Yet it’s so easy to get distracted! There are things that will crop up that will distract, sometimes things will come up that will be more important and you have to re-prioritize, and sometimes things out of our control will get in the way. But if you keep refocusing, re-evaluating, and reminding yourself that this is how to get what you want, you will find yourself making a shocking amount of progress.