Ill Gotten Gains

We walked from the Long Beach Peninsula to Trader Joe’s this morning, approximately 2 miles each way. Our quest was to get some kitchen supplies and to accumulate some steps on our Fitbits. My measure of self-worth and human value has devolved from my checkbook to my daily walking steps. My daily goal is now 14,000 steps and I have about 20 people on my Fitbit account that appears on my smart phone. We can see how each other is doing This is a nice way of saying we compete with each other.

It is very important to me that I am one of leaders in this daily measure. Most days I actually walk or jog, some days I walk in place as I lift weights, once I cheated, wrapped the Fitbit in a sock and put it in the dryer for 30 minutes. This is good for about 100 steps per minute. While “honor” and “honesty” are definitely part of my core values, winning and looking good do take senior position sometimes. Oh, the pretense of “ill gotten gains”. Maybe I should have gone into politics. “Fudging a little” seems like fun anyway. It’s only a little white lie.

Go figure.

As I sit at the kitchen table, sipping coffee and relaxing in the morning lockdown I log into our Fitbit account to see how our walking competition standings are. Just a slight cringe of my forehead becomes the “tell” as I notice I am once again in the lead with my steps. That part of my brain that likes to complain tends to get louder as I justify the dryer activity.   The humor and joy of life gets overshadowed, a bit, by my transgressions.

The justifications begin; one option is to blame someone else for having to resort to the dryer. “If she hadn’t had all those things for me to do I could have walked just fine”.

Or, “It’s all in fun anyway, who cares?”

Except I am still thinking about it. And those thoughts seem to come in between me and anyone I may be close to.

“They know I am a cheat”

Or

“If they only knew I cheat”

Too bad I don’t drink to excess anymore.  Those kinds of intoxicants always make lying a bit easier…for a time at least.

“ I don’t need to burden them with my insignificant confessions. I’ll just hold onto it.”

Oh, Human is as good as any of us get. So compassion must step in. First for myself and then for all those others that cheat and manipulate.

It takes a lot of energy to cheat, lie, manipulate, justify, feel guilty….ah shucks.

I may as well go for a walk.

I may win but there is sure no joy in “Ill Gotten Gains”.

See, I could have gone into politics.

 

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