I'm an input junky with a buoyant fix threshold. Tied off and leaning over an array of digismack syringes, I taste the news from whichever blinks most anxiously. Lately, though, I resent my reliance on real-time remote, a good first step on separating habit from need. I mean, those sound like the right words to say.
I've grown ambivalent about More. Outside of a few techy gadgets, MoreStuff faded a while back. MoreCleaning, MoreFixing…MoreBatteries, more space in my head cataloging where I put it all. I have an iPhone app that GPS marks where I park my car in alien garages. I used it the other day to store where I put my powerdrill when I was done fixing that day's dose of MoreStuff because I spent way too much of that same day trying to remember where I left the damn drill in the haze of the last fix.
Yup. I am summoning the lazy pulses of orbiting spy satellites to keep track of where I leave my tools. In my own house. That's my life.
Like its analog analogue, the digismack is a pose. I've known that. But I am only now in full admission that my use had gone beyond weekend recreation. As I write, Facebook is a furry something-or-other skipping its smug, warm-blooded ass right by puzzled Googleraptors and 'Softisaurs chilly and staring at a comet in the night sky. Zuckerberg and Co. have mashed up every one of the world's high school cafs, college bars, coffee houses and office hallways, now cramming them all into Honey-I-Shrunk-the-Kids devices that we check anywhere and anywhen. Practically everyone we have ever known, for better or for worse, is real-time remote (pants and hygiene optional).
Of course, your lap's highest and best use is not shelf for a keyboard. Somewhere there is a child with a book in need of a perch, a lover in need of a nap. A lap may not even be justifiable when a dog needs a good run. Nevertheless, we are a closer world for our digital connections -- that is undeniable. But lately, I am sensing a lack of balance, realizing that my habit fell into need, evolved from feeding a John Nash intellectual curiosity to a Sally Field need for...reassurance. Hell, these innerwebz are cheaper than therapy, arguably more effective, but whatever the approved medicinal uses for MoreInput, pure uncut digismack is toxic in the long run.
So how to solve for MoreX? With six bright eyes trained on my every move, surely there is MoreDad. Entering my PrimeEarningYears with finances still reeling a bit from divorce and recession, surely I must figure out a little MoreJob.
But what seems like a simple bit of GrownUp calculus exposes the essential tension in the demands of being a GrownUp. On the one hand, the simple sum (MoreDad + MoreJob) turns out to be > the number of hours in the known human week. Solving for other variables, however, it appears < the stuff that fills a human soul.
Perhaps showing my work in GrownUp math is just making clear flaws in my time management or my values. I'm confident in my work ethic, but I get a little nervous around the Saint or Soldier who fills their own soul through sacrifice and service, especially when my particular call to service and sacrifice includes a well-heated house, a Volvo and an office with a window. I've got some thoughts on how this all shakes out. Next entry. For those that like to read ahead, I'd suggest taking a listen...here.
For now, however, some socks need a-sorting...