On Focus, Dabbling, and Dreaming

Tonight, Boyfriend asked if I was still interested in becoming a sommelier.

"Sum-uhl-YEAY," I corrected him.

"Sum-uhl-YEAHR," he said. "You're a girl."

Right. His French is years ahead of mine.

I had been investigating a series of classes that one can take in New York, once a week for 15 weeks, to become a sommel— to become a wine expert. For about nine hundred dollars, you get to drink wine every Tuesday or Wednesday before noon with a bunch of other people, and at the end, there's a test and if you pass, a piece of paper declaring you a sommelier.

I had been looking into the classes when I was laid off, while I was working freelance and had more flexibility in my schedule. However, I recently started a new full-time job, so I don't think I can nip off from 9:00 to 12:00 once a week to sip and spit six different kinds of Super Tuscans.

This day job of mine is about technology, as have been several of my day jobs. Technology pays the bills, and often, I find it interesting, but it's never been a personal hobby or interest. Although in the last week or two, I've been thinking a lot about computing, and how much I really do have a mind for programming (many people have told me that I think like an engineer or a programmer).

Last night, I was reflecting on those two things that had come up: 1) me wondering if I ever might take up programming to the extent that it really becomes integral to my job, perhaps as a serious writer of technology (currently, I'm more of an editor and journalist, relying on other experts to be my knowledge source); and 2) me two months ago wondering if I might like to become a sommelier.

What both of those things show about me is a complete lack of focus and dedication to one thing.

It's not a bad thing. I like to dabble. I like trying a million things. I like learning about two dozen subjects. I like baking one day, grilling the next, and growing my own vegetables and herbs the next.

But I have great respect, and sometimes envy, for people who do one thing exceptionally well.

All my dabbling usually circles back around to writing, but even there, many writers do one thing very well while I move around from idea to idea and genre to genre.

My last thought on this is to share another disconnected thing I've been doing, which is writing a series of short pieces for my friend's blog about watching Twin Peaks, the television show from David Lynch and Mark Frost, for the first time almost 20 years after it aired.

Yeah, I do that, too.