I’ve been giving a lot of thought, lately, to my “pet projects” list. This is a list of things that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but it looks like they’re not going to happen. I’m either short on time, or I’m realizing just how much work each of them takes/will take, and I will probably never, ever have the time to take them on to the extent they deserve. I’m getting a lot more realistic about my time and energy constraints — and not just in light of my neurological limitations. This is in light of my human constraints. I would be having this change of heart, probably, even if I’d never gotten hit on the head.
All of us have things we long to do, someday, but that someday often never comes. And at the end of it all, we are left with this feeling of something left un-done. Something missing. It’s not because we are less-than. It’s because there is literally not enough time in the day/week/month/year/course of our lives, to do everything we long to do, to the best of our ability and to the breadth, depth, and full extent it needs, to be done well. It’s a double-bind, if we persist in thinking these things can and will get done. Not only are we locked into thinking/planning about things that take up our time and attention and drain our resources from the things that are right in front of us, but we are also doomed to not do those extra things very well. Because in order to do them as well as they need to be, they have to have our full focus. And when we spread ourselves too thin over a large number of projects, that just can’t happen.
So, we set ourselves up for failure on two accounts. And we go through life thinking we’re not enough, we haven’t done enough, we haven’t managed to live fully, mainly because we’re trying to do more than we should.
My question is, why live my life with an artificially created sense of inferiority? Makes no sense to me. I’ve been having a discussion with a friend of mine about this very topic. They are keen on me stepping away from all the pet projects I’ve had in the back of my mind, lo these many years. Some of them are genuinely good ideas, and they are timely as well. They could — I firmly believe — help a lot people, and with the right connections and the right focus, they could transform people’s lives for the better.
But if they are left to me alone, they will never get done. They just won’t. They are beyond my scope, in terms of time and energy and interest. I would very likely lose interest after the first six months and mounting challenges. I would also not do them justice, as I am not nearly well-connected enough to get them in front of the right people at the right time. It’s a shame, because these are things I have really wanted to do. But I know my limits. In most ways, I’m more interested in the concept of these things, the high-level vision stuff. Not the nitty-gritty — that is, the stuff that is critical to making things happen.
So, there we have it. It’s time for me to give up some of the pet projects I’ve been intent on making a reality for what’s been years, now. It’s not going to happen. It’s just not. And I need to offload some of this old focus that’s sucking up my time and attention for no good reason. I need to get on with the life I CAN live, and let the rest of it go. It feels like a loss, and in a way it is, but unless I do it, I’ll never have the full focus I need to do the best I can with what I can.