What Do You Need to Stay Connected to Something or Someone?

Written by: Jorinde Berben
Image credit: Jorinde Berben

I’ve been writing one blogpost a week for the last couple of months now. I write it on weekends, and often find myself finishing it last minute on Sunday (as I am today). The reason I dropped the Wednesday/Thursday post was to give me more time to work, such as to write the blog for our Dutch website (www.showyourself.be), which is still the case. Yet, I’m also noticing something that warants my attention, and it is this:

Where I used to feel quite connected to this blog, and knew something to write about almost on a daily basis, I feel like I’m now losing my connection to this space. During the week, the next blog deadline is so far off, that I can easily put it out of my mind. When situations arise I’d want to talk about, I think I can ‘park’ them until the weekend. But when the weekend rolls around, I’ve either forgotten about them or I’m in a different mind space altogether.

I recognize this from other areas in my life as well. I need to have a certain amount of contact with someone to stay connected, that’s not so strange. What is interesting, is that the amount of contact differs per person. With some people, I can keep feeling connected even if I haven’t spoken to them for months. For others, it’s a matter of weeks or maybe even days.

If I want to stay connected to my body and my health, I have to exercise on a regular basis. If I haven’t exercised for a few days, I find myself disconnecting from this body I inhabit. The same goes for my connection to my home, my creativity, the food I eat and even our cat. They all require a certain minimal amount of attention and engagement for my brain to not cut off the bond between us.

The question also brings to focus whether I actually want to stay connected to certain people, places and things, and if I’m willing to put the attention into it that is required to keep the connection strong. In certain situations, that question is easily answered. Of course I want to stay connected to my partner, children, close family and friends. But what about that hobby I haven’t done in a few months? Or a book I put down and can’t quite grasp the storyline of anymore? Or the city I live in but haven’t visited in weeks (the picture above I took this week from my favorite spot in Bruges, my hometown, which I visit very rarely these days.)

If staying connected to one thing requires a certain amount of time and attention, then it follows that we can only maintain our connection to a limited amount of things. If we need to actively foster our connections, we need to know for sure that these are connections we want to foster at the cost of others we won’t have time for.

It also puts the reason I’m currently not teaching into a different light. I was not able to put in the time and attention I needed to feel fully engaged with it because the schedule just didn’t work with my role as a mother. I couldn’t be deeply connected to my children AND to my job. And not being able to do my job in the way that I wanted to, brought up anxiety and frustration. That’s not to say I will never go back to teaching when the situation changes again. I’ve left some amazing people behind, and worthwhile work. But right now, my job at Show Yourself is the perfect fit for the life I want to live.

With this blog, I figured I could just drop in on a weekly basis and it would be the same as doing it bi-weekly. It appears not to be so. Perhaps, blogging in Dutch on a more regular basis (which I haven’t started yet), will make up the gap. Though the topics there will vary slightly from this blog, since this one is purely personal.

Or perhaps I will just choose to blog twice a week again, and see if I can’t perhaps find the time, somewhere, in my schedule. We’ll see 🙂

Do you notice this tendency to lose connection with things when you reduce the amount of attention you put in? And the difference between certain people and certain things? Are there things you consciously put effort into to keep the connection strong? Or connections that take effort but you’d prefer to let go of?

2 thoughts on “What Do You Need to Stay Connected to Something or Someone?

  1. I can’t speak to everyone’s experience, but I find that when I give up the “shoulds” — as in I should post two time a week on this day or I should feel this way about my blog — and gone with what I’m feeling in my heart, I’ve felt better about the blog and the writing has come easier. I’ve thought about quitting a few times, but I’ve taken a break or slowed down and have always come back stronger. I hope the same for you. Good luck! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good to read a different perspective. For me, the ‘shoulds’ helped to keep my momentum going, and to put myself first. Otherwise I’m inclined to sacrifice my blogging time for the sake of meeting other people’s needs.

      Liked by 1 person

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