What's Your Connection? (Joan)by Miracle Chasers on 01/18/19
I may have been a matchmaker in a former life. As 2018 came to a close and I was thinking about my New Year's Resolutions, one word kept coming to mind: connection. I love connecting with people, like the elderly gentleman at the pre-Christmas Lessons and Carols who made room for us in his already crowded pew. Once the service was over the hug we shared after talking about his far flung family and recently deceased wife was meaningful to me and I hope to him.
We connect with others in many ways like my California workout "tribe" with whom I actually look forward to exercising. When the manager of the health club suggested we were doing far too much talking over spinning, we took matters into our own hands and developed our own SpinChat session three times a week.
Connection is obviously behind the huge international meetings I've attended, whether it is health care like JP Morgan in San Francisco this month, or other professional groups like the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. And it's not just business that brings people together, the prevalence and number of online dating apps suggest I am not alone in both seeking and relishing connection.
Connection is cathartic; an emotional release that is rewarding. It is a gift you give yourself. And like most meaningful gifts, it requires some degree of effort, not only to reach out to others, but also to become vulnerable by sharing a part of yourself. As we have moved around the country, I've found connection to be an important part of fitting in, a way of finding a sense of belonging.
When I reflect on those friends that I've had that somehow have faded away, the gratefulness I feel for having had them in my life is tinged with a sense of loss. And when suddenly there is a message out of the blue and a lost friend returns again to my life as happened this Christmas Eve the joy is real, a sense of wonder in the rekindling of a friendship and a profound relief that they have emerged out of the silence intact.
Connection allows me to make sense out of my past, to recognize where I am in the present, and to provide guidance of how I will cope with whatever the future may have in store. It is a way to acknowledge who I am, how I engage with others and learn about myself - both my strengths and my weaknesses. Connection teaches openness, gratitude and compassion.
I suspect 2019 will be another landmark year of travel to see family and friends, for work and for play, and I look forward to making new connections along the way. For me, it's the only way to fly. (Joan)