"Why, I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread." -- Bilbo Baggins, The Fellowship of the Ring
If there's a quote that's been in my mind of late, it's that one. How deep in my heart do I feel that same stretched quality that Bilbo spoke of after too many decades of comfort in the Shire — and of his need to "see mountains, again, Gandalf, mountains . . . ." To an extent, all humans likely feel this way at certain times and in certain moods; and this has indeed been one of my prevailing moods for the past few months. I feel involved in nearly everything from work to coaching to relationships to personal projects, and, due to the nature of my own mind, my involvement must always be meaningful. I fear a life not well-lived, not fully-experienced, not fully-understood, and a life in which I do not live deeply. In fact, this is likely my greatest fear. So when I commit to something, I like to truly engage with it. Inexorably, then, I'm stretched very thin in terms of mental resources. As we say in English, I've got my fingers in too many pies. Part of this stems from my generalist's temperament and lifestyle: I'm interested in so very many things, and want to try my hand, at least while "young", at most of them. Of course, this is a young person's folly, but it leads, ultimately, to Bilbo's plight. It's a very simple equation, really: more activity, fewer resources; fewer resources, lower drive. So, if I know this, why do I persist? Well, first, it's not easy to part a fool from his folly. Secondly, I like to tell myself that, once I've tried these things, I'll eventually focus on those few that outlast all others. And this is to some extent true: I've jettisoned a lot from my life, heeding Lin Yutang's advice.  But, sometimes I also pick up activities in the process, like poetry or meditation. And some things that I know I would love I've already written off: calligraphy, music composition, and the Japanese tea ceremony among others. Unless I suddenly inherit great wealth, time, and energy, these things are likely phenomena I'll always simply have to admire from afar, yet knowing that I could have easily fallen head-over-heels for any of them. That, then, is my dilemma: with such varied interests and skills to be developed, how does one live? I'm afraid I don't know; or, rather, I'm afraid that I do.
New years should be born in intention, or at least a vague hope towards change or its continuation. And while I've no particular resolution, per se, I do hope to stay the course I've already laid out for myself. I hope you're all equally resolved towards something positive.
Happy New Year, everyone.
 "Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials." — The Importance of Living