Thought of the Week (for the New Year 2022) – Intentionality

Son and Cat Pausing at Christmas – by Me

I haven’t blogged in forever.   I have wanted to, however distractions or requests for my time run abound. I am not reading Seth’s post as much as I had promised myself to remind myself about this pitfall of modern life.  However, as Christmas time is here and the end of the year approaches, I am stopping and reflecting, a little bit – more than I have been blogging. 😉  For sure, I am giving thought to my foundation in my life.  For me that is truly the root of Christmas with the birth of Jesus.  Along with Christmas comes one of my favorites – listening to old Christmas Songs.  Those songs have me thinking about our life here on Earth – as humans and citizens.

For sure, it is possible this is on my mind as, yup, I am getting old.  But, as I listen to these old Christmas songs – I think there is more to it than that.  Plant these lyrics into your mind for a minute:

“I’ll be home for Christmas.  You can count on me.”

And…

“I met a man who lives in Tennessee,
He was headin’ for,
Pennsylvania, and some home made pumpkin pie.”

There is real, direct, intentionality in these songs.  We used to have to intentionally stop, pick up a phone, dial a number, be tethered, and talk to our loved ones.  Today?  “Hey Siri, Facetime mom on speaker,” as we continue with whatever distraction has us captive.  We used to have to intentionally plan time with family.  Now, I can be at work and my eight-year-old can call me on Alexa anytime.  So, the urgency of making sure I go home (or leave the home office) is much less, along with the intentionality of focusing on his need.  Developers used to have to think much more intentionally about coding.  Remember when we edited in Text Editors?  Now the Integrated Development Environment does it all for you.  Frankly, I run into more developers today who say “Oh, huh, yeah, I’ll have to play around with that” more and more because they have thought less and less about and have done less and less coding.  And, finally, at work – when I wanted to flush out an idea in the past, we would get together, whiteboard; post-it notes, hand gestures.  Today, everyone wants to Zoom.  Get on camera and interact?  “Oh, no, no – I don’t want to do that.”  Contribute on the “interactive” “whiteboard” that hardly works?  “Oh, what?  Sorry, yeah, I wasn’t paying attention.” 

And, I suspect you are saying, “but, Jeff, it’s COVID.  You don’t go to the office today.”  I do.  I’m fully vaccinated.  And I do all the right things to remain healthy.  And I’m intentional about work.  I met with a developer in person and in 15 minutes solved an issue that we had discussed twice in two 30-minute Zoom Meetings and countless Stand Up’s.  It was magical – just like this season.

I LOVE technology; don’t get me wrong.  I’ve been in technology literally all my life and would not give it up.  But, I urge you in this holiday season and new year to reflect on the use of such.  Could your family life be better by putting technology down?  How about work?  Your general human existence? Your spirit and foundation in life?  Are there areas of your life you need to think about and be more intentional about?  I bet there are.