Wondering and Not Waiting
Live Like You Can
By Janis McDonald
Nowadays when I have a question or a problem, or I’m just looking for something, I jump right on Mr. Google and my wondering is immediately answered. I “wonder” what I am missing by solving the issues in my life with a few clicks without ever leaving my chair. Somehow I have reduced the time of not knowing to a maximum of a few minutes.
Rewinding my years to remember what I did with my curiosity before technology could answer so quickly, I found myself missing the space between the question and the answer. It feels like I have lost the magical time of not knowing, the time spent in exploring, imagining, and expanding my curiosity by the discovery of one tiny thread that might lead me to the next tiny thread.
My love of libraries began at a very early age as a place of safety that sheltered and renewed me from the storm of being little in a very big wild world. When I remember these gentle spaces, I can almost feel the quietness that respected the space of others. I can hear the whispering and feel the thrill of beginning a quest like being on a scavenger hunt.
I always laugh when I tell someone that if I had not loved my life as a fitness trainer and coach, I would have been a research librarian working in solitude or helping someone follow the winding path of one bit of information that leads to the next. During the journey, we would stumble on information that would cause a curious detour leading us on with energy of its own.
One of my saddest moments in San Miguel de Allende happened at La Biblioteca when the card catalog files were replaced with computers. I loved to stand or sit on the floor searching through those little white cards, badly typed and often misplaced, looking for a specific book, author, or subject. Time seemed to stand still as I flipped each card, feeling like I was on a treasure hunt. I absolutely always found something new that I wasn’t specifically looking for. For me, it was the card catalog of a thousand surprises.
The card catalog had tons of information, and all it took was time to shift through the data. In fact, sometimes my mission for the day was “unaccomplished.” However, I was never disappointed because I always discovered something new to explore.
Two days ago, I dropped into La Biblioteca to find a book and the “new and easier way” was fuera de servicio. All computers had darkened faces and were dead. I had a good laugh because the card file was never unavailable, always waiting, and alive with possibilities. I thought, “New is not always improved!”
I actually have a like/dislike relationship with Mr. Google. Liking that I can help people quickly find their answers, leaving nothing to question, and disliking that my pondering is so quickly ended. I miss my wondering space, which gives a pause to breathe and reflect on what all the possibilities could be. I think, “Is it too much information or it is too much information too fast?”
Janis McDonald, Certified Professional Coach, Functional Aging Trainer, Private Gym-152 0457. Follow the Live Like You Can Blog! Go to: www.livelikeyoucan.com.