Friday, December 31, 2021

Deep Dives Not Taken

"Everything interests me," says the main character at the end of the movie "The Insider". I really like this line. I feel the same way at times. When I read something new, or listen to someone talk about something that interests them, I usually get swayed to find out more.

Mostly it's enough to read a Wikipedia article, watch a YouTube video, or visit a few web pages. However, there are subjects that provide such a draw that I want to go deeper. It's like a compulsion. This is when I go down the rabbit hole. This is what I call "taking a deep dive."

Here's a recent example. In 2017, having already finished the book and the movie "The Big Short", I wanted to learn more about the financial collapse of 2008. I wanted details! I found a government report, but it was more than 600 pages. After reading a little bit, I decided it was enough to just watch the movie again.

On the other hand sometimes I can go down the rabbit hole. I became much more interested in football when I started playing fantasy football. I spent a weekend memorizing the names of all the NFL teams as if there was a quiz the next week. After many seasons, I've become more conversant in football.

I have gone deeper though. My years becoming a baseball fan included not only reading several books, but attending many games. I even developed a ritual of wearing my Red Sox hat only when they had won the previous game. I loved the process of becoming a baseball fan.

I also went down the rabbit hole of video production. I had joined community access cable and produced a cooking show featuring a local chef. "Here's a camera," they told me. "Go shoot it!" I loved editing footage and I bought software to do it at home. I gave serious thought about quitting my job to pursue a television production career.

I look back at these and other deep dives with contentment. I explored and learned a lot. My curiosity was more than satisfied. Eventually these periods of intense pursuit yielded to other interests and the cycle would start again.

All of these deep dives have one key requirement: time. I'm old enough to know that time is something I have less of. I know I can't undertake these deep dives with the same fervor. In the past that thought would have made me morose, but today I'm ready to let it be.

Here are some of those interests that I've always set aside "until there was more time". I'm sure I'm leaving some out!

1. Opera

2. Poetry

3. Sailing


5. Japanese

6. Spanish

It would be nice to study these subjects, and perhaps I'll find a way, but for now these remain deep dives not taken. 

(by Nullify)


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