This article was originally published on BetterAfter50.com.
I have a mad, crazy crush on my husband's fitness tracker. It's hard to believe the passionate feelings I have for an athletic-looking band of rubber that these days is worn by everyone from grandchildren to grandmothers. The reason I've fallen hard for my husband's new Fitbit is because last summer that step-counting gadget gave me something special -- it gave me time with my guy.
Allow me to explain. Hubby and I are perpetually busy, much like most people I know. Current articles chronicle society's time-stricken ways and both The Economist and The Huffington Post have published stories about time poverty.
As for my husband and me, here's a snapshot of our time challenges. My guy works, frequently travels for work, and plays on one hockey and two softball teams. I work, run, bike some, write and then write some more. We have two kids, older now, but they still need our time and attention. And then there are the four-legged kids -- a Yorkie and a Lab mix -- who need to be walked, fed, petted, loved and chauffeured to grooming and vet appointments. You get the picture -- marriage in the year 2015.
It seems like we go through long stretches where our conversations focus mainly on the business of our lives.
Did you pick up paper towels?
Did you make that appointment with the termite guy?
Have you replaced that toilet handle?
Who's picking up our son or daughter?
I bet similar questions are batted around a lot of homes.
Then in April, Hubby's hunky fitness tracker entered our lives. Now, I married gadget guy, someone who would be happy with a chip embedded in his skin to do everything his smartphone, iPad and laptop can do. For my husband, when that Fitbit Charge HR arrived -- an accessory he claimed tracked everything: steps, distance, stories, heart rate and sleep -- it was love at first contact. He strapped it on his wrist and was off and walking.
I, on the other hand, played a little hard to get.
I asked if it could drive carpool and clean bathrooms. It was a snarky question that deserved and earned an eye roll from my guy.
But it was only a matter of time before I, too, was smitten.
In the first few weeks with his Fitbit, if my husband found himself short on his daily 10,000-step goal, he would head out for a night time walk. If I was home, he'd ask if I wanted to join him. Confession time: sometimes I was tired. I exercise early in the day and so that wasn't motivation for me to tag along.
Still, I joined in on his step-accumulating walks. In just a few weeks, those evening strolls developed into our habit; even if we were both tired and my husband had already reached his step-goal, we laced-up our sneakers. I sometimes work in the evenings, and he'd wait until I got home so that I could walk with him.
And on these outings the conversation wasn't business as usual. Instead, we talked about our days and ourselves. I told him about what I was writing, shared my hopes. He shared sports anecdotes, and his hopes. We traded funny stories and talked about plans for our future some days.
The utter beauty of this time together was that neither of us was in front of a screen or distracted by something else that needed to be done. And. Done. Right. Now.
Instead, we paused to appreciate the moon. If it was full, we called it "Cosmo's moon" and chuckled because it reminded us of a scene from Moonstruck, a favorite movie.
That step counter has turned out to be pretty hot stuff. As I see it now that adorable little band of rubber has done much more than promote a healthier lifestyle. It's promoted a healthier relationship between Hubby and me -- a couple who celebrated our silver wedding anniversary this past August.
The retail price of his fitness tracker was $149.95 and there is no cheaper date than going out for a walk. Add that up and for my guy and me -- those strolls have been nothing less than priceless.