Sunday, January 14, 2024

Drowning in Data


GPS Device
The reviews kept popping up. Everything from the music to which I listened, to my favorite day to visit the convenience store, to the posted photo which received the most likes, to the total number of steps measured by my fitness tracker; my 2023 was neatly compiled data Along with the summary was the challenge to do more in 2024.

If it wasn't for all of the devices and associated apps these summaries would be nonexistent in my life. Recording and tracking day-to-day activities isn't high on my list of priorities. The phrase, "If you don't document it, it never happened." hasn't established a foothold in my routine. The desire to be spontaneous, to wander and wonder, to flit around my environment continues to override the recording of daily details. "This is a character deficiency to be corrected." was the advice of a career counselor from decades ago. "You need to control your wanderlust." was added later in the session. I realized the truth in these statements years later as a chaplain in a healthcare system. Documentation was vital, even though my visits were not reimbursable nor did most medical staff read what I scribed. As a way of thumbing my nose at the system, I defended that narrative jottings were stifling my ability to spontaneously interact with patients and staff. My sense of freedom became encased in data keeping. My freedom was regained as I was informed that my services were no longer needed. A character deficiency not corrected cut deep into my sense of worth. The counselor's word, heard but not heeded crushed my core.

There may not be more in 2024 other than continued enjoyment of spontaneity. Wanderlust cultivates 

Icy Beauty
creativity in my spirit. Being randomly sidetracked and captured by a distraction instead of being relentlessly focused on a result is the invitation I am accepting. My creativity cannot be manufactured by rules and algorithms. It organically erupts out of curiosity. The idiom, "Curiosity killed the cat," continues with "but satisfaction brought it back." Maybe there is more to the resurrection concept than the Christian motif of an empty tomb on Easter?

White wonders
The photos and video accompanying these words are from a recent trek at Buffalo River State Park. I wanted to exercise away from the sidewalks and streets around the apartment. I had a goal of steps to accomplish according to an invisibly manufactured number buried within the microscopic world attached to my wrist. The winter setting, instead of being an environment to use for my personal achievement transformed into a studio in which to admire the beauty encompassing me. I was able to subdue not only the goal generated by the gadget, but more significantly my internal impulse to measure personal value by documenting physical activity. 

Windswept Frost

Also in 2024, I plan to use social media sparingly. Instagram and Facebook will become cyber bulletin boards directing people to my blog and YouTube channel. Eventually I will cease using the aforementioned platforms even as directional connectors. Thus you can decide how to access my writings and videos. Sundays will continue to be the day on which I post. 

Thank you for reading!                                      

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