Tracking Beauty

Last weekend my husband and I celebrated Christmas with his sister's family, and one of the belated gifts I received was a fitness tracker.

You may be thinking, what am I, a woman who uses a wheelchair and other assistive devices, going to do with a fitness tracker?

Well, I originally I wanted it just for the heart rate and sleep tracking features, but surprisingly, I have been paying attention to another aspect as well: the step counter.

When digital pedometers became popular about a decade ago, I jumped on the bandwagon and clipped one to my hip, excited to see just how many steps an elementary teacher took from sunrise to sunset. I went about my day looking for ways to add extra steps and constantly craning my neck downwards to check the count. I never quite reached the recommended ten thousand steps, but I came close enough to keep up the monitoring for several months. However, as with most fads, my interest waned as I moved on to other priorities.

As I set up my new wristband, I was saddened a bit because I knew those pedometer days were long gone - I wouldn't be physically able to achieve anywhere near a "normal" goal - but it got me wondering how many steps I was still taking.

Yesterday was my first full day of tracking. Here are the results:

Yep. Just walking around my house with my cane garnered me two thousand steps! I was amazed at this number for a moment, and then perspective and gratitude came rolling in like a beautiful ocean wave.

I can still walk 2,000 steps.

There are many people with my disease or another chronic illness who would be overjoyed to take even twenty steps. And I did one hundred times that!

I have had many difficult lessons in not to taking things for granted, but it seems to be our constant, default state as human beings to ignore common items, and I am not immune to those tendencies. This is part of the reason why I implemented my gratitude practice of DTH, so I can take time to intentionally examine where I may be overlooking a privilege, advantage, or luxury.

What (or who) are you overlooking in your life? 

Where can you take time to acknowledge and be grateful for it?

Now that I know how many steps I can take, it gives me a benchmark for monitoring and conserving my activity and energy. I may not be able to reach that goal every time, but I can take comfort in the beauty that I did it once and be grateful for that day.

Some doorways from this week:

  • I was in a subdued mood one night, but when I put on some favorite music, the tunes lifted my spirit and changed my outlook.

  • Looking at my dogs one afternoon, I felt a rush of motherly-ness as I realized how much they rely on me to take care of them. This feeling wa s pure love!
  • A few weeks ago, I wrote about a practice of lighting a candle for others in need. My sister took up the routine for herself and lit her first night's candle for me. I'm not well-versed in karma, but that's the lovely word that comes to mind!


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