I probably ought to be more afraid of Big Brother, but the truth is that my life is a little too boring for me to get all worked up about who is looking at the details. I go to work, I go home, I go to networking events, and I occasionally go out to dinner with my friends who have equally as exciting and law-abiding lives. If someone is surveiling me, they have to drink a lot of coffee to stay awake.
And that was before the pandemic, when my oh-so-exotic life outside my home came to a screeching halt.
Google, that great and benevolent overlord, keeps track of where I go. It asks me all the time if I want to review the nowhere that I go because (flattery is everything) my “reviews are popular!” Once a month I get an email with a summary of my wanderings. That summary used to be a fun little nostalgia trip that reminded me how many miles I drove and how many places I’d been in the course of thirty days.
Now, it just makes me sad. The last email I got didn’t even have a tank’s worth of gas of miles driven, and, apparently, the only two places I’d been outside of home and office were the grocery store and the liquor store. I sleep and I work. I eat and I drink. That is all. Thanks for the reminder. There was a nice picture of the liquor store in the email, and a query asking me if I wanted to review it, since, after all, my reviews are very popular. No thanks. There just seemed something sad about noting that the selection of flavored vodka in my local liquor store was extensive. The aisles are clean and well-lit. It doesn’t feel seedy like some liquor stores do. They also sell good mixers and have a lot of fun little airplane-sized sample bottles for a dollar near the cash register. Which, for the record, is why I went there. It was a friend’s birthday and I wanted to make a gift basket.
Gaah. I guess I reviewed it after all. Anyway, y’all shop at our liquor store for all your liquor needs. Support local business. Don’t drink and drive.
The point is this: the number of miles on my car or what Big Brother and/or my great and benevolent overlord thinks I’m doing is in no way a reflection of the fullness of my actual life. The truth is that I have enjoyed this chance to slow down a minute and get some stuff done. I’ve read a lot of books. I even wrote most of one. (Stay tuned.) I crocheted a blanket for my son in his college colors. I spent time with my family and talked to a lot of people over Zoom I might not have otherwise spent time with. I reconnected with my own brain. I’m writing this in the past tense, but it’s all present tense, and it isn’t tense at all.
And I, for one, will drink to that.
 Or at least that’s all I’m willing to say out loud where Google, that great and benevolent overlord can hear me
If you enjoyed this and want to read more like it, visit Lori at her website, www.loriduffwrites.com, on Twitter, or on Facebook. Her newest book, a Foreword INDIES Gold Medal award winner, “If You Did What I Asked In The First Place” is currently available by clicking here or on the link below.