Problem: I’m Not a One Trick Pony

I’ve never been a one-trick pony.

I’ve met plenty of others who are.

Do you know who I am speaking of? Someone who seems almost flatly one dimensional, even two-dimensional – in their interests, in their chosen professions, in the way they spend their daily lives.

If you cannot relate to them in the specific manner in which they operate, if you cannot key into their interests, then you quickly find you have nothing to say. I’ve got an uncle like that. He’s brilliant, don’t get me wrong. He knows his shit when it comes to cars, property management (and rehab and investment) and making money in the stock market.

Talk to him about anything but these three subjects and he simply closes down. He is out of his depth and refuses to enter this world that you speak of – not even to learn of it or query into how it works.

Maybe that makes him a three-trick pony (cars, real estate, investment).

I guess I consider being a one-trick pony (or two or three tricks) to be extremely limiting. How does one communicate and form friendships, alliances, with others?

Do you just stop one day and decide to learn nothing more?

But I digress.

At the moment, I’m standing on the other side of the one-trick world and seeing the downside of having so many interests and “things that I like to do.”

A one-trick pony, let’s just call them OTPs for simplicity sake, doesn’t allow for their focus to be interrupted or hijacked by other interests. Or perhaps they do, but it is less of any interruption for say, my uncle, to have his love of cars interrupt his money-making on the stock market for a day in order to attend a race.

As for me, well, I find myself challenged by a plethora of interests on any one day. Currently those stand at:

  • Obsessing about the house we are buying and moving into in less than three months
  • Taking up cross-stitch again after a nearly six year hiatus
  • Putting together all of the documentation and resources I will need to be an effective landlord.
  • Getting back into the swing of writing again, after having neglected it dreadfully for over a month now.
  • Getting back into focus with Emily and homeschool (which I’ve also horribly neglected)
  • Adding and incorporating my new/returned cleaning clients into a reasonable and balanced schedule.
  • Keeping house and home organized and expenditures at a minimum as we prep to move.
  • Finishing a quilt I started nearly three years ago for Emily.
  • Planning a garden, deciding what our plantings will look like in the new house. Deciding what to dig up in the backyard and whether or not to return it to full grass.

Now these aren’t interests so much as priorities that are pulling on my attention RIGHT THIS MINUTE.

My tricks are many and varied. I dabble in politics (mainly ranting about them), marijuana reform, crafts, gardening, self-sufficiency, cooking, history, Victorian architecture, homeschool, parenting, and of course, writing. I’m sure I’d come up with a lot more given the opportunity to think.

Unfortunately, these varied interests and priorities create a situation where I look very much like a dog chasing its tail. How did I get here? How do I get out of it?

How do I pursue all of my interests without losing the ability to do any of them?

In the last few weeks I have felt an undercurrent of distraction, like an itch under my skin. I become aware of it when I sit at my computer surfing news stories or Pinterest or reviewing our proposed budget for the 1,000th time. A restlessness, a longing for something more, something different.

I’ve felt it before. It rises like a wave inside of me, the pressure builds, and I wonder if I will break open like a wall of sandbags does, first leaking, then finally capsizing in a torrent of words.

That’s how it feels when I need to write.

How does it feel for you?