my life according to Google


According to Google, I have too much time on my hands.

I don’t recall the last time I slept more than six hours in one night.  I scarcely remember the last time my children could see over the laundry pile.  My sister’s birthday present is still in the garage waiting to be taken to the post office — her birthday was in February.  Still my Search History tells another story.

In the last month, despite having no ability to keep up in this world; I logged-on the net and watched hours of my life dissipate into cyberspace.    After reviewing my browsing history, I found myself longing to find any value or enrichment gained.

Consider the search on stinky feet.   Let’s begin by saying my feet don’t stink.  My daughter’s feet, however, emit an odor comparable to that of a decomposing body.  Pretty sure she still resides in the land of the living, I sought out the source of the smell, desperate for any solution.  According to Google, her stinky feet are not out of the ordinary — children’s feet just sweat a lot.   

Google mirrored the prevalence of stinky feet in children with an insane amount of homeopathic, pediatric, and just plain lunatic solutions.  I narrowed my options down to a few.   I could soak my daughter’s feet in black tea which would neutralize the odor while causing only slight discoloration of the skin.   I could rotate her shoes being sure that she changes pairs at least twice a day while never wearing the same shoes two days in a row (a solution sure to please an accessory obsessed seven-year old while sending us into debt with no shock absorption).  I could fill her current shoe collection with foot powder using great caution as most powders contain talc which invades the lungs and lingers for life.  Other solutions included regular pedicures, a massaging foot bath every night, or year-round flip-flops.  All of which required time, money and us moving to Florida.

Despite Goole’s best efforts, I resorted to my solution: a House Rule that  shoes  may be removed only after every available window has been lowered and only en route to the bath tub.  

Problem Solved.

Turn now to the search on Vintage Western Wear.  Again, let’s just establish now that I have no desire to own Western Wear of any kind.  My mom, on the other hand, will be attending the Eagles concert next month which in her mind mandates an outfit that would have been cool in the same Era that the Eagles were cool. Hence a laborious search through pages of plaid shirts with large collars.

Searching Western Wear was like traveling to another planet.  A planet where “nothing says western like crosses and copper” (a direct quote).  I learned that misplaced horseshoes make chest pockets toe the line of obscenity.  I discovered a few bedazzles go a long way, lots of bedazzles a rodeo queen do make.  Western Wear is not bound by plaid, but has gathered influences from the classic Hawaiian shirt somehow combining Palm Trees and Lassos to create a look “perfect for that special night out” (again, direct quote).  In all that I discovered about Western Wear, I never did ascertain how to distinguish between men’s  shirts and women’s, rodeo and evening wear, and I certainly never found the shirt screaming “Eagles Concert” (though they were definitely screaming.)

The end result to all my hours of searching?  My mom bought a leather jacket with tassels.  Enough said.

My browsing history also included a search on fitness ideas for senior citizens.  A search that ended with a website subtitled “Seniors love Relays.”  Perhaps I should let Google know that no one likes relays.

I spent days researching British Artists for a special Spin Class I planned.  My Google Revelation?  The true British Invasion actually happened in the ’80s and the weapon of choice was eye liner.

My longest search in the last month sought out  recipes for Easter dinner.  After finding 800 ways to make a bunny cake, 600 ways to cook lamb, and totally useless information about peeps; I went old school and used a cook book.  I think that is when my search engine ran out of gas.   

The time that Google has withered away from life, is time I let slip through my hands.  The length of these searches could be measured by a longing.  A longing to find that ultimate solution, perfect shirt, new exercise, the search for the David Bowie we forgot, the search for the dinner to remember.  The idea that something better or bigger might still be out there kept me clicking.  The hope that maybe there was more than what I already had kept me scrolling.  It also kept me from sleeping and laundry.

There is a danger in looking for bigger and better and more.  In searching for what we do not have, we forget what we do.  Though advice and wisdom are often needed, solutions are something only we can determine.  While wants can be overwhelming, needs are relative.  True knowledge and understanding comes from living life, not from Googling.

The danger of endless searching is that we can not only lose our time, but also lose ourselves.  God tells us to be content, to not worry about tomorrow.  The only way to live in today, for today, is to stop searching for tomorrow.  The only way to live, is to be content with the life that is before us.

Paul tells us that contentment is learned, and I don’t think it is something we can Google.  True learning comes from true living.   True living comes from focusing on what is in front of us here and now.  True focus comes from true contentment.

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