Purpose, Reason and Meaning

What was I doing?

I’d got about a kilometre into my dog walk when I had a momentary panic; “did I put my Fitbit on?”. Scrabbling around in my cleavage (I know – not a good look, albeit an increasingly common sight!), there it was, as usual, attached to my bra. Phew, my walk was not in vain.

Hang on.

What was I thinking?

Was he mocking me for being so shallow?

Was he mocking me for being so shallow?

There I was in the Autumn sunshine, exercising my dogs and myself in this breathtaking location, literally ten steps away from a koala and my thoughts were that it was pointless because I’d forgotten my Fitbit.

I gave myself a mental slap for that one!

It did lead me to think about purpose and meaning and whether we are doing things for the best reasons.


  • The purpose of my walk is to exercise the dogs;
  • The reason is this commitment I’ve made to their well-being.

 And yet, in my head it looks more like this:

  • If I walk the dogs, that’s one less thing I need to feel guilty about not doing;
  • If I go for a long walk, every day, I won’t put on weight;
  • I’m in my 40s, it’s only a matter of time before things seize up, sag or drop off;
  • Let’s see how many steps I can do so I don’t have to dance around the lounge at 11pm to reach 10, 000;
  • What shall I eat when I get back?
Good job he hasn't got a Fitbit on his bra...

Good job he hasn’t got a Fitbit on his bra…

What does it all mean?

Clearly,  I’m in danger of losing the meaning; the added value which always accompanies this activity. Every walk I do, almost every day, never fails to deliver natural wonders – beautiful scenery, wildlife, a huge sky. At the street level, I see interesting architecture and sometimes bump into people I know (and strangers) and have a friendly chat. From a personal perspective, I discover a lifted mood, feelings of physical well-being and the achievement of a task, which could otherwise seem like a chore.

I never get tired of looking at pretty houses.

I never get tired of looking at pretty houses.

Fitbit: The Edge of Reason

The Fitbit is obviously an excellent motivator if you have a starter/finisher personality type, but I’ve let it take-over my mindfulness. I’ve always enjoyed my walks as a time to reflect, an attempt to clear my head entirely – if I concentrate on the action of walking, it is a little like meditating. It definitely restores some brain rhythm.

Today though, with thoughts going straight to, ‘my walk is a waste if it isn’t recorded’, I was a little ashamed. I know better than that. Luckily, I caught this errant thought as it emerged and, after acknowledging its existence, as all good counsellors should, I gave it a bloody sharp slap, and sent it on its way, resolving that something good should come out of it. Something like a reflective blog post. So here it is. Mission accomplished. I wonder if I’ll get to 10, 000 after netball, or if some dancing is required?


About vanessa hiser

Primary and Secondary Educator; Academic Psychologist; Counsellor; mother; netballer; lifelong learner.
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One Response to Purpose, Reason and Meaning

  1. Julia says:

    Lol this made me smile. I do the same sometimes when I’ve not “mapped my walk”. But then I’m not walking much these days so that’s one way to relieve the stress but then it’s … Oh no! Here comes the spare tyre! Hey! At least I’m still here though and enjoying life xx

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