Three hundred and forty-five days. That was the length of my Apple watch "move streak" which started in June of 2020 and ended yesterday, courtesy of my sinus infection. My goal was to meet the goal every day for a year, and I thought I would be sad to fall twenty days short, but in the end I didn't really care. Exhaustion and a craving for rest took precedence over a meaningless number, and I took the watch off at bedtime with nary a regret.
Though my goal of 365 days offered motivation for daily workouts and a thread of continuity in the long, empty days of the pandemic, it's no longer useful. As I lay in bed, trying to breathe, trying to stop my head from pounding, I thought about what the 345 days really meant - how lucky I was to be healthy for so long and to have space to exercise during the pandemic. Absurdly lucky, incredibly fortunate.
Numbers don't adequately express our lives, our feelings, our personhood. William is my second child and my first son and those descriptors don't do anything to explain how proud I am of his high school achievements, how sad I am that he will move out in August. The second departure doesn't promise to be any easier than the first, the second round of graduation events, prom, and parties no less exciting and tearful.
In this culture of numbers-obsession, where likes and followers are tracked relentlessly, I need to remember that quantity does not mean quality. Streaks are distractions, sight-views are missing the point. What was it Dr. Seuss said? "To the world you might be one person, but to one person, you may be the world." I want to treat every interaction, every workout, every day like it's one-of-a-kind, not focus on stringing things together or accumulating numbers but on appreciating each unique circumstance. As the days fly by, even in these waning days of the pandemic. each moment is a treasure.