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Keeping a List of Almost 1,100 Personal Interests: Recent Thoughts

Friday October 21, 2022

As I’ve blogged about in the past, I keep a super-long list of personal interests. It’s been a big deal to this guy, who long ago suffered from chronic, severe depression. Being interested in all sorts of things is great and supports an enjoyable life.

Recently the list is nearing 1,100 items as we get into something like its sixth year. And it’s been a huge undertaking—not only in energy spent, but also in energy gained.

It has been so worth it to spend time maintaining this thing. Maybe it’s like my personal bonsai tree, of sorts.

I use my list as a source of random, specific interests, which are dumped into my daily journal, in shuffled sets of about fifteen interests at a time. I do this a few times a day. Then I skim the list and note any items that stand out as fun, or intriguing, or just anything. I’m feeling things out.

I didn’t realize this when I started the list, but doing this is not just about fun stuff. It’s also about where my head is at right now and that’s pretty important to know.

Right now I seem to add 1-2 new specific interests every week, on average. But sometimes I have bursts and discover huge sets of new interests. Or existing interests, which I had forgotten about.

This got me thinking about the various phases I’ve been through.

“It might be helpful to others to read something like that,” I thought. “The phases they should expect. Because if you don’t know about these, you might give up along the way.”

So, here they are.

Key Phases In Making A Huge List of Personal Interests

  1. There’s a point at the very beginning where you have added some stuff, but your list is still too vague and brief. You skim the list and feel like it’s cool in some ways, but you may still feel dissatisfied, burnt out, or bored.
  2. There’s a point where you have stuff written down, but it’s too repetitive to browse the list. You need a different list-browsing method maybe. Bottom-up?
  3. There’s probably a point where you may or may not know it, but the main problem is that you keep reading the list in some order as a habit, and so you keep seeing the same old interests in the same old order. This is why I turned to a shuffling method and randomization.
  4. There’s a point where your list-shuffling-software randomly spits out some interests, and you feel like there’s a “should,” like “I should do that” even if you don’t want to. Eventually you realize that’s a waste of energy and quickly delete items you don’t like, that were randomly picked from the main list.
  5. There’s a point where you have lots of stuff in the main list, but you don’t like ALL of it, so you decide what changes to make and where, and whether to delete things that may become interests once again in the future. Part of the problem is a fear that you won’t ever be able to think up or keep around a really nice long list of interests, if you wantonly delete things!
  6. There’s a point where there’s just way too much of it AND it’s helpful. You’ll be sitting here all day doing fun stuff, so you need to get organized and stop doing your interests. So—how do you get interested in the boring stuff you need to do? A separate issue perhaps, but maybe also linked in some ways…
  7. At the same time, there’s a point where you realize that your list is insufferable and annoying sometimes. You start to learn that this perception tells you about what you should do, right now—take a break to chill, step away from the computer and lay down, or something else. The list becomes a helpful tool for measuring and noting your current condition. Well, that’s new!
  8. There’s a point where you feel DUMB because there’s an entire category you forgot to add. Like, how did I miss favorite topic X, for 2 years since I started this list of interests…?
  9. There’s a point where the interests just gradually trickle in over time, and they’re kinda new, but kinda really old interests in a way. They’re a fresh mix, and discovering them is like you’re deep sea fishing or something. It feels like a game of its own, and so…
  10. There’s a point where you consider adding maintaining a list of your interests to the list of your interests.

What a journey it’s been.

Conclusion

That’s probably a good place to leave it for now.

But why not offer some random interests of mine to check out? Here’s a random list of ten I have pulled just for you.

  1. My ’90s TV (Pick a year at the bottom) https://www.my90stv.com
  2. Film trivia from a favorite film, on e.g. IMDB, IMCarsDB etc.
  3. Minecraft and minetest (worlds, mods, skins, etc.)
  4. Virtual travel to wherever sounds interesting (you can build your own method for virtual travel, or use someone else’s)
  5. Researching helpful supplements / stackadvice on Reddit
  6. Yamakawa Shuuhou, historic Japanese printmaker
  7. Stargate Universe and similar prospective sci-fi
  8. Creating icons (for your own website, software, or just for fun)
  9. Thinking up code names for new projects and things
  10. Planning, sizing up, estimating, and testing new computer hardware

Filed in: Interests /108/ | Energy /118/

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