Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Enthusiasm


Sometimes I drive people around me nuts with my enthusiasm.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a rah-rah, jumping up and down kind of person. I am, however, someone who gets interested in things easily (some may say I'm easily distracted). I find the world around me infinitely fascinating. I'm curious. I Google things; I go to the library; I pick up obscure magazines at the bookstore; I even read old encyclopedias. When I learn something new, I have a compulsion to share it with others.

I like to delve into things. And when I'm doing the delving, I'm sure to unearth something else even more interesting. That would be the end of it for most people - just the thought, 'hmmm, very interesting' then moving on. Not me. I MUST find out more. If I'm being very efficient, I'll make a note and come back to it later. If not, I'll get sidetracked looking up all kinds of minutiae and following every trail where it leads me.

Wikipedia is my worst enemy. Now, I love Wikipedia. But for someone like me, it can be the biggest time-gobbling, procrastinator-enabling, blackhole of lost time ever loosed upon unsuspecting internet users.

You know what the problem is? It has too many active links. It's way too easy for me to click on an interesting word or topic, go onto another page, find another interesting word, click on that one, find myself on another page with more interesting links, and . . . , well you get the idea. Pretty soon, it's an hour later and I'm at least half a dozen pages away from what I was looking up in the first place.

You may recall, a few blogs back, that when I looked up "memes", I wandered, but managed to find myself back on track. Today, I looked up "enthusiasm".

Here's where I went:
Enthusiasm - Greek meaning inspiration or possession. Enthusiast which led to possessed and divine possession; to Apollo; to Trojan War; to The Odyssey; to Odysseus; to Penelope where I stopped and read the entire article because I'm reading the Penelopiad. (But I've made a note to go back and read the article on The Odyssey more thoroughly.) None of which, except for the Greek derivation, has anything to do with enthusiasm.

You see my problem? Even as I write this, I go off in different directions.

Now where was I? Right! I'm an enthusiastic person. I can't help myself. I get interested in things, then, not only do I have to pursue the interests, I have a need to share my interest with those around me. My poor family is accustomed to me running up to them with arcane bits of information and declaring breathlessly, "Did you know that ... blah, blah, blah . . . did . . . blah, blah, blah!?" Their response being a barely concealed roll of eyes and a condescending, "Okay, mom". I'm pretty sure they only remember it as "blah, blah, blah" because if the topic ever comes up again, they never remember the details.

But I don't mind. My enthusiasm and curiosity has its uses. Guess who gets picked first for teams in Trivial Pursuit?


11 comments:

Diana said...

I think that you and I are a lot alike...

I'm so glad you wrote this. It reminded me that I will be up again. Something will spark my interest and I'll be off and running.

A very good friend whom I recently stopped talking to (a long story, and frankly, one which is a large part of my current state of ennui)(and interestingly - or not - enough, this former friend hails from your city) used to say to me, when I'd go on and on about how down I was and then ask, "Well? Aren't you concerned about this?", that no, he wasn't too terribly concerned because he knew for a fact that some shiny thing would catch my eye and off I'd go, looking into it, researching it, Googling it, and driving him and everyone else crazy with it.

And he was right. I'm starting to really get into this prompt thing...

(Oh, and my 9 yo and I recently watched Troy together and I was fired up in explaining The Odyssey and I cried when Achilles dragged Hector's body and we talked about the concept of everyone having an "Achilles heel" - so I think I've got another one of us in the making!

Hay said...

I'm the opposite. I can't finish anything, don't care about much except for the things I can think for my self and things that can help me reach new thoughts.

I try reading things on WIki, but a few lines down my mind wanders and before long I'm lost in thought. I have to be forced to learn.

I've always been facinated by people who do what you do, simply because I don't understand it. I don't like playing trivial pursuit because I find the questions stupid.. Why should I care who build this or that bridge?

jane said...

see this post had me cracking up because earlier when i made my "oh so witty remark" at skinned teen about satire, i said to myself be sure of what you are saying, he will call you on it if you are wrong and so i wiki'd satire and surfaced an HOUR LATER!!! it should have a warning.

skinnedteen said...

VACUOUS.

lotiononitsskin said...

hahaha... owned.

ell said...

Sheesh, it's only a writing excercise, guys.

TIMECUBE said...

ALL WRITING IS A LIE.

Simply Coll said...

Often enthusiasm is contagious. It is definitely a good quality.

Cate said...

I love this post because I can relate. I am, however, that peppy, annoying type. Efforts to curb this have been fruitless--I'm learning to accept.

Shout out for Wikipedia. And I happen to think that you put your time to the absolute BEST use!

kathryn said...

Love this post. I can relate very well! If I were your kid I'd love it. :)

Wenda said...

Sounds like we wander on common ground. I like your curiosity ... almost as much as I like my own.