I and my wife have just completed four months stay in USA and are now on the verge of going back to India. An idea struck to me to quantify the activities that I undertook in the last four months.
A little introduction about self, I am an Indian Defense Veteran now running into my 66th year of life. My wife is nearing 65 and together we make it an interesting pair who keep each other in good humor and circulation most of the time. I have my son and daughter both US citizens, professionally well settled and happily married. We visit these guys every year and spend good times with them.Now on to the subject of as to how we spent our time here, I would take the arithmetical approach of quantifying and list my activities. I feel that this would be a good way to complete my 200th blog post.
How did I get the idea of quantifying my activities you would wonder? Well my son gifted me a Fit Bit watch on my arrival at his place in May 2016 and I have been wearing it since then. It measures my steps, distance traveled, calories burnt, pulse measurement, weight fluctuations and so on. The domain being the physical measurements and a weekly report is available through the email. I then applied the similar quantification to my other activities in social domain to include meetings with relatives, entertainment, meals taken outside the house, adventure activities and travel. Similar quantification concept could be applied to the daily house hold activities, shopping attending to kids and pets etc. Finally in the Self esteem/ realization domain the activities like writing blogs and Face Book posts were included. The entire process looked very interesting and I shall now unfold the findings in the succeeding paragraphs.
As per my Fit Bit watch the statistics are pretty reasonable for a person of my age. During the last four months I had walked a total of 1100000 (1.1 million) steps covering a total distance of 800 Kms (500 miles) at an average of 6.5 Kms (a little above 4 miles) a day. During this period about 900 floors were climbed, and 300000 calories were burnt making it an average of 2500 calories per day. All this exercise , however resulted in no loss of weight which I maintain at of 76 Kgs, What would happen if I stop this moderate exercise is stopped, I wonder.
During this period I made three air travels within USA covering approximately 6500 Kms. These were Seattle to New York, New York to Washington DC and back. I traveled about 500 miles by car mostly local journeys in State of Washington, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut etc. The places we visited include, Seattle, Puyallup, Kent, Spanaway, New Rochelle, Manhattan, Long Island, Jersey City, Washington DC, Vienna and many small places. The visits to Times square were as many as 8 and every time it offered a new settings. We also manged to witness India’s independence day celebrations at Times square in Aug . We made 20 visits to various shopping malls most of it were for window shopping and only a few for actual purchases.
We did boating on the Lake Tapps in Washington area in my son’s boat. I ventured a swim into the lake next to the anchored boat but got a nasty cramp, nearly drowned and was pulled out by my son. It was a gentle reminder that though the spirit is willing the flesh appears to be giving up so to be careful in advancing years. I could play golf only once during my stay at Seattle due to transport issues and as also the high cost of a round.
I watched two movies at Regal PVRs at New Rochelle, one with my wife and the other time with my grandson. It was coincidence that both the times we were the only people watching the movie and there was no one else in the theatre. On the TV, I managed to watch 50 movies during my stay. Some of the other programs that we watched were CNN (mostly Presidential Election news), Naked and Afraid, Sharks tank, Flip or Flop etc.
On the social front I met ten close relatives of mine to include son, daughter, son in law, grand son and our newly acquired daughter in law. There were many others like in laws of my daughter, son, my brother in law, sister in law and other friends. I had opportunity of attending my grandson for about 15 days during his school holidays. At my son’s place we were entertained by his pet dog Bela for about two months, and of course we had to look after the pet’s needs also.
We had 15 lunches/dinners outside the house. Three each Mexican, Italian, American and six as Indians. The household activities that we undertook were vacuum cleaning my son’s house for about 40 times, laundry wash for about 30 times and cooking tasks. We missed India badly as due to cheap labor, you get servant to undertake these tasks. Anyway as always our trip is usually an ego bursting exercise where you understand value of self help.
On the health front, I had to check my wife’s Blood Pressure (BP) almost on daily basis and sometimes even twice. I took 150 such readings for her and 50 readings for self. Besides I had to check the Glucose (Sugar) level of self and wife at least twice a week, a total of 50 readings were taken and we almost ran short of strips and needles. Self and wife have nearly consumed our stock of carried medicines from India and this is the main reason that we have to get back now. Medical insurance and prescription drugs are a major problem in US. So we took our daily dose of Vitamins and other precautionary pills besides undertaking a daily morning walk to keep ourselves fit during our stay here. We explored different walking routes in WA and at New Rochelle almost took a daily walk to the Davenport park located at the sea shore.
Talking about the hobbies, I took about 1000 photographs of various interesting places, persons and objects and shall cherish these as my treasured possession. I posted some of these photos on my blog site. I posted about 400 posts on the Face Book out of which 60 were the original random thoughts and the remaining being shared from other’s posts. During the last four months, I wrote 47 blog posts, this being the 200th and may be the last one from this wonderful land for the time being. I thank my daughter, son, son in law, daughter in law and all others for making our stay so enjoyable and eventful.
In nutshell we kept myself fairly occupied, had to as I am a retired person with nothing much to do. Quantification of life is not a practical thing though one might undertake the exercise for a limited stretch of time. As long as one lives a meaningful life and is a good human being, nothing else matters.