This is a slap in the face in the best possible way. I am a polymath and I love learning, but too much of my time learning is also escapism. I don’t face challenges when there’s so many other things I can learn to run away from whatever problem I’m trying to avoid.
So I run away from financial problems by digging into the structure of block chains and cryptography. I avoid professional issues by researching rhetoric and practicing art skills. I cope with personal issues by reading anything and everything that is not going to remind me of real life.
I need to avoid less, and engage more. I need to learn, actively, mindfully, and intently: to manage my finances better, and start planning seriously for my future; to learn to be a better teacher, who makes the most of my many and varied skills in the classroom, and to impart those skills to my students; to be a better husband and father by learning to manage my time and attention; how to accomplish the things I want to accomplish; and how to let go of the things I cannot or choose not to accomplish now, so they can stop distracting me and draining my resources.
I’m not giving up escapism entirely: I do love and value good books and other entertainment. I enjoy video games. I love learning random and (mostly) useless things. But I will make a deliberate choice about how much of my time is used in these pursuits. I will ensure the media I consume are genuinely giving me something of value, rather than allowing these things to absorb all of my excess energy and time, like a black hole hovering over my shoulder sucking up every second that is not clearly and intentionally used.