I got hurt during what some people call the Great Recession of 2008 and it changed my life in multiple ways.
There are people who suffered losses greater than mine and some who never recovered but i am not one of them because I came out the other side.
If I were to recount the full tale here I’d tell you that it didn’t all happen at once and that it took a number of years for the anchor that was tied around my ankles to pull me to the bottom.
I’d add it took multiple years to swim back to the surface and to make it back to the shore but all of that is a simplification of the full story and that is ok.
You don’t need to hear or read all of the details and very few know more than a few pieces of it. I recently told my son about his grandfather’s approach to the past.
“It is the past and there is rarely reason to revisit it. If grandpa didn’t think you needed to know about it he wasn’t going to speak about it.”
I have noticed myself adopting that in more and more ways. It is adapted somewhat because a writer can’t ignore the past, sometimes they have to dip in the water and relive it.
But not always.
Anyhoo, I bought a new car not long ago. It is my first hybrid and over all I like it.
This past week I got some blood work back and didn’t like my results so I bought an Apple watch.
Maybe I am rich now.
I haven’t forgotten how far I fell or how broke I was. Wasn’t ever homeless and always had food and housing for the family but things were tight.
My kids remember how we would go to Costco once a week and splurge on the dollar hot dog deal. That was our night out otherwise it was all meals at home.
That time was a beat down and something that took mental toughness to get through but it took its toll upon me. I came away with some scars that can be seen and some that can’t.
I also walked away with confidence in my ability to find a way through the hard times and the memories of how I vowed to put us back in a financial situation where we wouldn’t get stuck ever again.
That vow to never get stuck again came with the knowledge that unless I win the lottery or inherit significant amounts of money getting stuck again was possible.
Some catastrophic event could upset the apple cart but there were and are things that could be done to reduce that likelihood.
I thought about some of that when I got the car and I thought about some of it again when I got the watch. That’s where the you can’t improve without metrics line comes from.
The purpose of the watch was to provide another tool for measuring exercise more accurately than I have been.It was about establishing some real benchmarks for how much I am really doing or not doing.
Because once I more definitively identify that I can increase my output and ideally reduce the caloric input so that I reorient things in the direction I want them to go.
The Last Watch
I can’t remember the last watch I purchased for myself but I am certain it was before I became a father. It is probably 20 years since I wore one with any regularity.
It stressed me out.
Because I felt like I was constantly on the verge of being late and I didn’t need a steady reminder. Also I was playing pickup basketball 4-5 times a week and was taking it on and off.
Besides my cellphone could tell me what time it was so there seemed to be little purpose in wearing one so the watches stayed in my dresser drawer.
I have had this new watch since Thursday night and am slowly getting used to it. It tracks my sleep, heart rate, blood oxygen level and some other health stuff too.
When it is not reminding me to stand up it is helping motivate me to unsubscribe from more newsletters. Since it is a mirror image of my phone my wrist buzzes often, more than I like.
I didn’t get it for the purpose of having another gadget or another way for people to stay in touch, those are secondary.
The health stuff is primary.
That is the focus.
If I only live as long as my father I only have 20 years left.
My expectation and goal is to be around much longer than that and to be in good shape for those years to come.
Won’t matter if I win the lottery or discover some long lost wealthy relative has given me cash without being healthy enough to appreciate whatever time I have.
I have plans for the future and I am focused on enjoying it, feels like I am on track to do just that.
Maybe I am rich…now.