Feasts and Famines (a recap from my old web log)

I made a post in my previous web log over 15 years ago, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. The post took even longer than usual to settle on the point. So, I’ve decided to copy just the relevant part into this post.

I’ve thought a lot lately about what seems to be kind of an artifact of my personality. It’s really hard for me to partially concentrate on things. A better way to put it is that I have a hard time dividing my attention. It shows up most prominently in my hobbies and (unfortunately) with friends. As a matter of fact, it’s probably pretty likely that there are friends out there reading this that are nodding their heads right about now.

I don’t mean to be neglectful. When I look back, the logical part of my brain says that all I really need to do is just drop a line and say “Hi” every once in a while. The problem is that kind of thing doesn’t occur to me. I get wrapped up in… whatever it happens to be at any particular time, and I just don’t think about it. Then something will happen (maybe a visit, maybe a crisis that demands attention), and suddenly one of my long-neglected friends will get more attention than he/she ever wanted.

I often wonder if it comes off as insincere. I hope it doesn’t, because it’s not. I have to imagine that it looks like I’m just pretending to pay attention after so long away. It’s not that way, though. Like so many things in my life, I feel fake somehow if I don’t devote complete attention to whoever I’m focused on at the moment. It’s completely sincere, but it has to feel a bit strange when that attention moves on.


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