All the good things, enjoyable things; the more worthwhile they become over time, the less enjoyable and spontaneous they become. I’m not sure what other people feel on this thing, but slow decline in spontaneity has been a consistent characteristic of everything I’ve enjoyed since my childhood, be it chess, reading or anything else.
With time and greater amount of proficiency and seriousness in the pursuit, the spontaneity decreases, the stakes become higher, or, the stakes which were not there before start to appear in the picture, as you struggle to attach a meaning to the thing which is so important in your life as to picture somewhere in the whole scenario and the purpose of your life(whatever you’ve pictured that to be). The decline in spontaneity and the unconscious search to find(or contrive) a purpose starts killing the fun and enjoyment part slowly, and a heaviness comes in the pursuit.
I read more books nowadays than ever before. But the pursuit today with filled with a heaviness, coming from a sense of purpose I’ve somehow attached to it, markedly different from the carefree school days. I think a lot before picking up any book, weighing all pros and cons of investing my time in that book, and till the time I start reading it, the interest has gone down significantly. Compared to this, I used to pick up books at random in school days, read them with an omnivorous curiosity, and never once looked at the size of the book. Adam Bede, David Copperfield, Sketches by Boz, other Victorian novels, were read with no concern whatsoever for the size and readability of the book, and their relevance and connection to modern times. I had those books, and I had to read them, and that was it. This heaviness, although attaching a purpose to it, ironically makes the pursuit somewhat meaningless simultaneously.