Rule of Three

I’m mulling over this new idea that I’m calling the Rule of Three. What it boils down to is that it’s almost impossible for me to focus on any more than three things at a time.

The way I look at it, that’s work, writing, and whatever sidebar I might have going on at any given time. Sometimes that’s Spanish. Sometimes it’s cinematography. I also like learning about Japanese gardens, so that gets in there too.

I enjoy other things, of course, but the point is that some of my interests kind of rotate in and out in terms of receiving my attention. I used to think of this as a fault. Why can’t I focus more? Why aren’t I more dedicated?

But the lack of attention may not be a problem. I have an obligation and responsibility in the form of my job. I also have a passion and a vocation that is writing, and I have a little bit of room left over to explore other interests.

The best I can hope to do is to get as structured as I can with writing and some of these other interests. That’s certainly an idea, and I’ve tried it. I studied Spanish routinely every day for a while (on top of everything else), and it was exhausting.

There may be room for a type of curriculum of things that interest me outside of writing. In other words, a third thing. But this third thing may have to be pursued sporadically rather than placed on a calendar. I could refer myself to this other endeavor whenever the mood struck.

As it is, even if I limit myself to three pursuits, I’m far from convinced I can get structured with stuff sitting far down on the totem pole.

Note to Self: The Rule of Three is an interesting theory, but it may have to become the Rule of Four. I didn’t mention family. I hesitate to include this type of obligation because I feel family shouldn’t have to compete with the others. But for many, it does.

photo: Zbysiu Rodak