Sorry for my long absence, friends. First there was a trip to England, then Toni and I were locked out of the site, and then I had a retreat at Lake Tahoe with a bunch of long-time writer friends.
I’d like to introduce you to my new pal:
This is a FitBit Zip, an excellent pedometer that clips to my bra and tracks my steps. It is the symbol of my new mantra of simplifying to make my life feel less stressful. Like most of us here, I want to do ALL THE THINGS–walk and workout and dance and swim and garden and keep the house super clean and write 50,ooo words a month and stay in touch with all my friends and hang out with my sisters and mom and beloved and blog tons and—
No one can do all that. While we were in England, I did nothing. We walked every day and looked at gardens sometimes. I read seven (big!) books in ten days. I slept nine or ten hours a night. You know, rest.
Which gave my exhausted inner self a chance to check out and sleep and then come back to me and say: really, you want to stay healthy, something has to go. A lot of things have to go. Get your priorities together and focus.
So that’s what I’ve been doing. What I want to focus on is writing. I’m in a very productive period, loving the work I’m doing on many fronts, and filled with an excitement I haven’t had in quite a long time. (Look for an announcement from me about a new name and new direction in the coming weeks. Not giving up the work I’m doing now, just adding to it. See the issue?) To support that, what can I do in the rest of my life?
I’m overcommitted in terms of blogging, but some of that is being resolved by matters beyond me. This one, every other week on stuff I really believe in and think about a lot, and Writer Unboxed, a community of writers I adore, bring me more than I give out, so I’ll keep them. I’m spending too much time worrying about how often I’m getting to the gym and feeling exhausted by the workouts sometimes, so I’ve cut way way back on that, too. Monday afternoons, I work out with my trainer, because I won’t do strength training on my own. I’ll go to Zumba when I feel like it.
The rest of the day, all the days of the week, I will walk. I love walking. It makes me feel good. I can walk for many miles right out my front door, and it doesn’t make me feel exhausted, only refreshed. I know I need to walk more than the couple of miles I do first thing in the morning with my dog, which is why I bought the pedometer. It allows me to see, at a glance, how much I’ve moved or not moved in a day. If I run errands, I can easily hit 14,000 steps in a day. If I sit at the computer and don’t take a walk, I am lucky to break 2500, even in a house with stairs I have to climb and descend to do anything.
The FitBit connects to an app on my phone, and I just realized that it also connects to My Net Diary. It also allows me to connect to others. (Waving at you, You Know Who You Are). It keeps me honest, and it spurs me on. If I know others can see how many steps I’m getting in, I’m a lot more likely to get out and take that last 15 minute spin around the block (1000 steps, more or less).
My goal is 10,ooo steps a day. I’ve learned I can pretty reliably get to 8-9000. It takes some effort to get the next 1000, and some days I do it. Some days I don’t. But I keep trying.
I would very much like to invite you to join me and buy a FitBit of your own. If you’d rather not spend $60 (or more) on a little piece of equipment, then buy a cheap pedometer and join in anyway. If you like, when you get it, you can friend me and we can get more active together. What do you say? Who’s in?
Do you use a pedometer already? Tell us about your goals and experiences.