Numbers of the Heart

Note: Continuing from yesterday’s creativity blog hop,  Hanna Andersson, or iHanna, carries the blog hop to Europe (she’s in Sweden) next Monday.

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The first time I saw a FitBit, I was intrigued with the idea. How nice, a device that kept track of my heart rate, steps, and, if I logged on, how many calories I consumed. Clever. All that technology in a little bitty bracelet.

Spreadsheets are useful, but they lack emotional content.

Spreadsheets are useful, but they lack emotional content.

Then I started seeing people’s numbers showing up on Facebook. Similar to the “why do I need to know this?” software that tells Facebook where you are every time you change locations in your car, I didn’t really need to know that someone I knew has taken 1,000 steps that day.

Numbers are my friends, but too many numbers and I can stop worrying about Big Brother, I can start worrying about me. Or my bracelet. It broadcasts more information that a parolee’s ankle monitor.

Happy as I am to check numbers–diabetics willingly stab themselves several times a day–I’ve also gotten really good at checking in with how I feel to monitor my numbers. We’re losing a lot of feeling to numbers. After monitoring my blood sugar, I realized that often I didn’t feel well if I ate something that had too many carbs. That rarely happens now because I notice my body and verify with my meter.

I know how I feel after a good workout or a five-mile walk. I know (without Fun+and+Fitness+Comprehensive+DVD+and+Jump+Ropechecking my computer) if I got a good night’s sleep. I know which Hogwarts dorm I want to be assigned to, not because I took the Facebook “quiz,” but because I read the books.

I love math, I am rooted in science, but let’s not throw out intuition and poetry because it’s not an infogram.

Quinn McDonald is a geek, but it’s probably  word geekishness that makes her happy.



12 thoughts on “Numbers of the Heart

  1. I listened to my body today and it told me to mind my own business!

    LET us now throw OUT the intuitive poetry! Cast it forth and let it run wild and free throughout the interverse gathering rhymes and metaphors and bringing them home to roost in the comment pantry inspiring us to ever greater leaps of creativity. Thanks Quinn – I needed a flight of fancy today.

  2. Sometimes I think people have simply lost their good sense. There are so many good things to do with one’s time…why would anyone post their numbers?! There really IS life without FB, Twitter, etc. etc. It’s called privacy and I love it.

  3. Anyone who reads this blog even a bit would know Quinn would never, ever throw out poetry and intuition. Life happens. Shit happens. Typos happen. And still our fascinating, busy, complicated life goes on.

    • Hi there Bo, you know I know Quinn and know her well . . . we are sisters from another mother . . . and father. And that’s why I slept soundly last night. Quinn has introduced me to some wonderful poets that I had never read and it’s started me reading poetry again. Somehow, when I do, it changes how I look at the world and all know that beauty, like shit, is world-wide.

      I’m sorry of my humour about Quinn’s very rare typo wasn’t evident.

      • I make the “now”/”not” error so often that I use it as an example of ingrained typo in my proofreading class. And when I post a blog using the iPad, my fat fingers love to dance with my self-correcting mind. I’m in some airport or another, as I was yesterday, and for a while there I really just wanted to land in one piece. I’ll fix the typo when it get back and get some sleep, but meanwhile, I’m loving that you understand what I wanted to mean. Impressive!

  4. Great sentiments, Quinn. We (as a society) have given up so much of ourselves to technology (type…type…type…) that we often don’t know how to feel without checking somewhere. Listening to self, our hearts, minds and bodies is ours alone. It’s one thing nothing else can control, unless, of course we allow it.
    It’s nice to have people like you who take the time to remind us of that responsibility. thanks for some great words today.

  5. Surely you meant let’s NOT throw out intuition and poetry? How will I sleep tonight thinking that you could be plotting their downfall! This cannot be!!!! Nah . . . definitely not . . . I shall sleep well . . . I hope . . . there is still a small doubt in my mind!

    • I’m with you Wendy. Not proofreading can really catch you with some tiny words with amazingly different meanings. I used to be Director of a permit program and staff was not always good about the not vs now wording!. 🙂 Quinn is usually quite careful, but has been really busy lately. I’ve noticed it, too. I’m glad she takes the time to write anyway. I really enjoy this blog.

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