If you are a regular reader of this column, you may know that my family is fortunate enough to have a cabin in the woods. It has been our cherished haven for about 20 years now, and it is here that I have sequestered myself for a few weeks, in the company of my extraordinarily patient and capable husband.
We packed up the car with a few boxes of food, a bottle of wine (there was more where we were going), computers and power cords, notebooks and books (I’m analog), a sixpack of toilet paper, and an ample supply of chocolate. I have been known to run out of toilet paper, but I have never run out of chocolate.
Anyhow, as I was unpacking my goods, I realized with mounting dismay that I could not find the charger to my Fitbit. This was a disappointment to me because I wear my Fitbit all the time, so much so that, to borrow a line from Henry Higgins, I’ve grown accustomed to its face.
I’ve grown used to the zips and zings it buzzes me with, reminding me to stand up from my laptop and do a few deep-knee bends. I’ve come to enjoy the fireworks it sets off whenever I reach 10,000 steps in a day and the celebratory bursts of color it causes to explode on my phone when I best myself for the week.
I don’t even mind when it springs to life when I roll over in bed and casts a piercing blue glow that wakes me momentarily.
It’s the pet I never had, the pet that is loyal and encouraging and always glad to see me, yet does not need to be fed or watered and is hypo-allergenic.
What, I wonder, will happen to that peppy wrist-bound pet once he runs out of charge and stops wagging his tail? What will happen to me? How will I know if my caloric output exceeds my input? What will motivate me to march while brushing my teeth at night, just so I can log those last 435 steps? How will I ever know how many miles I’ve traveled in a day by merely going back and forth to the laundry room?
For the benefit of those of you who don’t know and haven’t figured out by now what a Fitbit is, I’ll explain that it is a tool disguised as a watch that tracks steps and calories burned, and it links to your smartphone so that you can log exactly what you eat per day and the calories therein.
It can even monitor sleep and sleep quality, and the fancy models can track blood pressure and heart rate. I got a base model, compliments of my son, who got it by surprise when the Fitbit people erroneously sent it to him and a score of other students at his university. To his credit, my boy tried to return it to the sender, but the company was gracious enough to let the kids keep it. My son, though, is a well-toned rock-climber and is not an obsessive-compulsive weight-watcher like his mom, so I snatched it with glee and have been trying to figure it out ever since.
I’ll continue fooling with it and its happy-little-dancing-person icon until it finally peters out, and then I’ll probably start gaining weight again. But I will try to continue healthy habits and hope and pray that we all get through this, wherever we are.
So, do what you can for yourself and your family; drink your immune-boosting quarantinis, wash your hands, keep your distance, and whether charged or not, please, do please, stay safe and well.