I have decided not to buy a Fitbit. I know everyone was on the edge of their seats, waiting to see if I would.
I am nothing if not a trendsetter for personal health habits (I say this completely tongue-in-cheek, my favorite sport is croquet after all.) But no, I have decided.
No Fitbit for me. No counting steps, no running circles around my kitchen island before bed, no tracking calories and heart rates and rest.
I am done with numbers. Done. Done. Done.
If there was a way to turn off the numbers of Likes and Follows and Friends on every social media account I have, I would do it in a heartbeat. I am so over numbers (my apologies to all the statisticians out there.)
I blame my speedometer.
You see, a few months ago, it broke. Flat out broke. And since my car is a very mom-of-teenagers-paid-for-tank-utility sort of vehicle I didn’t bother taking it in to get it fixed. Instead I installed a speedometer app on my phone (yep, that’s a thing,) and adjusted.
Only, I don’t use the app as much as I thought I would. For one, my phone keeps falling off my dash. And for two, well, I discovered that I am a lot less anxious without it.
We live out in the country, ten miles outside a nice little college town, and between home and town I rarely have the opportunity to go faster than 60 mph. In fact I would guess that on average I spend most of my time driving in the 45-50 mph range. But I couldn’t tell you for sure, because, I don’t look.
These days I just drive. I speed up and I slow down when I need to. I don’t ride anyone’s bumpers, I yield and stop and go as signs and lights direct me, I try to neither impede nor endanger others on the road.
I just drive.
And you know what? It is amazing. It is relaxing. It is freedom.
I no longer rush when I drive. I gave it up when I realized that I could no longer do that frantic eye dance between my speedometer and the clock, pushing my car just a little bit faster as I try to beat the clock to my next appointment.
Which used to be the only way I drove. Fast, harried, anxious, racing – always racing. It was me and the speedometer against the clock and the traffic cop – always trying to squeeze in more miles than I had time for.
But once I no longer had my speedometer front and center, my desire to drive at warp speed began to dissipate.
The frenetic pace I had kept for so long began to lose its appeal, and soon I noticed that I was just driving, not zooming or speeding or racing. And I liked it. I liked not having a number to beat.
Now, I give myself a wide berth of travel time. I pad my leaving and arriving times to account for slow drivers, trucks filled with hay bales, unexpected downtown traffic jams (think Stars Hollow size downtown.)
Occasionally I go into the city an hour away, and when I get on the interstate I open the app and set my cruise control and away I go.
I drive faster, yes, but I still can’t seem to work myself into a hurry anymore. I’ve lost my edge. And I love it.
Which is why I am not getting a Fitbit or any sort of step counting device.
I don’t want to go backwards.
I don’t want to find another way to race against myself, or time, or you.
I don’t want to be anxious or competitive or stressed about the simplest human action that I am privileged to be able to do still – walking on this earth on my own two legs.
I do not want – or need – the temptation to quantify a beautiful walk on the beach, a day of antiquing with friends, a walk down our country road, the many laps I walk around our church each Sunday as I love and hug and serve.
I don’t want to get to the end of a great rainy Saturday, one I spent laughing with my kids, eating homemade chicken-n-dumplings, and reading a delish book, and regret that I didn’t take enough steps.
I don’t want the pace of my life to be set by an external force, but instead I want to be guided by a internal voice.
One that says be still and know.
Life is too short to measure my days, my moments, and my memories by the amount of likes an Instagram picture got, how many Twitter followers I have, books I’ve sold, or steps I’ve taken.
So, technically yes, I need a new speedometer for my car. But I think I am going to pass on installing one on my life.
I think instead, I will just live.