Pastoral care message
I recently bought a Fitbit. I wondered if it was going to change my life; I just wasn’t sure for the better or worse. This summer, I had two analog watches cease and desist their timely function and found myself at a choice. For years, I only wore my watch while working as a way to separate my work life and non-work life. This can be a vague demarcation in the life of a minister, with our 24-hour on call emergency existence, but at least removing my watch let me slip into a timeless zone, free of meetings and commitments.
I observed several trusted family and friends purchase Apple Watches, Fitbits, and other fancy time machines that monitor heart rates, measure the distance of exercise, tell them about sleep habits and the weather. I noted some of them receiving texts and phone calls, and I suspect they were finding out who would win the World Series weeks in advance (just kidding). Their wrists had become a focal point of their existence; their lives appeared to improve as they kicked up their heels and walked a few steps around the room every hour (although some only waved their arm around to fool their supervisor).
I pondered if my life needed such monitoring and measuring, in addition to knowing the time? My main concern was, and still is, will I feel restricted by all these numbers coming at me? Will I feel real in a digitalized existence or just another digit that needs to walk more? On the Myers-Briggs personality test, I’m a “P” which means I like to go with the flow; I’m not really a planner (J types). Our beloved western United States is a “J” culture; everything is planned, scheduled, monitored, and measured. I learned – don’t we all – to function as a “J.” I can plan and schedule with the best, but my happy place is wandering free of schedule and clueless about what’s for dinner.
I went with the Fitbit after considerable research because I don’t want to be interrupted while on my bike rides, and I don’t need to talk to my wrist when I have a perfectly good phone in my pocket. I’m not taking it off when I’m not working, so that is a significant change. Yet, I’m not feeling constricted by numbers or losing awareness of when I’m not working. So far, my life hasn’t really changed, for the better or worse. I just have a lot more numbers to compare and contrast.
What I have discovered is, I want to please the darn thing. I want those rewards it merits out via vibrations and emails. I want to walk more, sleep better, earn more “Zone Mins,” and manage my stress better, all so that my wrist feels that little vibration, and I receive life affirming emails from an automated system.
I think I’ve learned I make a good lab rat.
How’s your life going? Are you taking measure of it?
Cheers, Rev. Kate
For our October 31 worship service, we will be welcoming Miguel Sague to lead our worship titled: “Our Ancestors: Food for the Soul.” During the worship, we will be naming and honoring members who have died over the past year. If you would like to have a close family or friend named as part of the service, please send me: the name, date of death, and relationship. Please send by October 27