Anyway. Margaret Lobenstine calls people with many interests "Renaissance Souls." And this book, which I got from the library, is all about how to make the most of this kind of life. Whewwww, what a useful book! Because when you like a million things, and you want to do a million things, and then you keep discovering more things you could like and/or do...it can be overwhelming.
As Lobenstine says, we're not talking here about people with ADHD who, biochemically, can't stay focused. Renaissance souls get easily distracted not because we have short attention spans, but because there's so much juicy stuff to try, to learn about, to get involved in.
What I like about this book is that it doesn't try to change you. It wants you to thrive on your curiosity, embrace your willingness to try new things, and stop worrying that you're a "jack of all trades, master of none." It offers practical advice about how to prioritize your interests with what she calls "focal points." Basically what this means is, yes, you can DO ALL THE THINGS! But you can't do them all at once. You can do, say, four of them in rotation for a while.
Lobenstine has you do some little exercises and make some lists (scoff all you want, list-haters, but junk like this reallllly helps my jumbled mind function more coherently) to figure out what your focal points should be, and then she gives you some tips on working these into your everyday life, and then she turns you loose. And when you master a focal point, or get bored of one, or whatever, you can add something else into the mix, because-- let's be real--by then you've probably discovered half a dozen more things you want to pursue.
This book isn't about strict schedules (whew) or five-year plans (barf) or any of those usual techniques for figuring out your life. If anything, I think the focal point concept lets you micro-manage your time less and leaves more room for spontaneity, because you're not trying to juggle so many damn things. And I think it will lead to more satisfaction and less frustration because it makes you think about specific activities that will help you with each focal point.
So, one of my focal points is "mandolin." Instead of just having a huge, vague, overwhelming idea about learning to play the instrument, I've zeroed in on some specific things I can do that will help me: memorize some of the tunes I've been working on; practice tremolo at least a few minutes every day; research local places that offer lessons. Similarly, with my "making clothes" focal point, I'm concentrating on finishing three current projects and making a fourth from stash fabric. What I'm trying not to do is spend my time shopping for more random fabric just because I have a 40% coupon, or looking at Ravelry for more pattern ideas (the last thing a Renaissance soul needs is more ideas!).
Do you think you're a Renaissance soul? Or are you more the type to be deeply focused on one life-long interest?