Vacation musings from a tired traveller

Grover in eaves of small model of St. Stephen's church in ViennaThe great thing about vacations is that I learn so many new things. Here are but a few of my recent insights for you to consider:

1) Daylight savings time occurs in Europe just like it does in North America, but not necessarily on the same day. Hence the unanticipated time for writing this morning.

2) Although Vienna is gorgeous and overwhelming, I am more of a Prague person than a Vienna person. Maybe it’s that I don’t like the “Wiener” moniker.

3) I do not like Sacher torte, which confirms my ancestry is not Austrian.

4) There is a haunting absence of Jews, but not Jewish history, in these parts.

Grover looks into window at chocolate shop in AustriaThere comes a time in every vacation when I realize that: a) I’m not going to accomplish many of the experiences I had planned for; and, b) I’m not going to eat many of the traditional foods I had on my list.

Turns out a vacation is a microcosm of life. We try to cram so many things in to the time we have, friendships and families and vacations and a career and maybe even the odd hobby or passion, but at some point we realize we have dreams that we’re not going to be able to realize. I, for example, will never become a master baker despite years of research and trial and even more error.

There are so many ways someone can arrive at this place. Consider injury or the simple fact of aging. As joints get creaky, another triathlon may be out, for example. As kids come on the scene, a Himalayan trek may become significantly more challenging.

Grover in Austrian National LibraryAnd then, to bring it all back to me, as I am prone to doing, I’ve come to realize that, among other things, fatigue would stop me from realizing many of the goals I had set for myself both professionally and personally. My health would impede my seeing plays or going to concerts, it would kibosh my energy for socializing, and it would sometimes make getting through the day a challenge.

But this change in life course hasn’t been all bad. Sometimes I’ve been pleasantly surprised, not simply because I’m still alive, but because I’ve accomplished some unexpected things since I’ve been sick. I’ve started writing for fun rather than work and discovered a new passion.

I’ve made new friends, enriching my life, which amazes me. What kind of odd, i.e., crazy, person out there would want to befriend someone who may die? There are a few willing to take that risk, to my surprise and delight.

This last one’s been more challenging, but I’m finally learning to fill my newfound time since there’s a lot of that, while still seeing clients if the opportunity arises. Every smidgen of work brings me joy these days.

And there’s even something exciting on the horizon: Jelly and I will soon be visiting a setting where she’ll provide comfort to people in need. Thankfully, she’s usually better behaved in a new setting than a familiar one. By the time she has learned the visiting routine, her pulling me down the hall howling with excitement at the nursing home, or hospital, or wherever we’re placed, will hopefully be welcomed and appreciated.

 

Me and my little monster. Or am I the little monster?

Grover poking his head into a picture of the Schonbrunn Castle fake Roman ruinsIn my previous post, I neglected to mention that I celebrated my 53rd birthday earlier this week. Usually on my birthday I write an attention-seeking post where I say something like: “Look at me! I’m still alive!” I decided to scratch that this year. Too repetitive.

But I have to mention that today’s post is my 400th. Along with a blogging milestone, I normally thank you for indulging my drivel for so long, blah blah blah, but I scratched that too. You know how I feel about you.

Since this is my 400th post, I want it to be a good one, one you’ll remember, one that will make you think and maybe even provoke heated discussion over dinner tonight.

Oh, that’s much too much pressure. Forget it.

Instead, I’ll tell you why J. and I are such great travel partners. We have always had a great time together on vacations. You’d think it was because we like many of the same things, and that’s part of it. We both enjoy wandering the streets, appreciating the architecture, and getting away from the tourists when we can. We want to learn about the local culture and indulge in the local cuisine, although J. tries a little too hard to fit in. It’s no wonder people respond to her in English when she tries to speak their language.

Baker in process of throwing up dough to stretch it to make strudelThere are other ways that we are fundamentally different travellers. You won’t be surprised to learn that she is the adult and I am the child. I don’t mind yet another boring museum filled with paintings by the masters as long as I get to stop in the café for a snack at some point. Today we visited a castle, and while J. enjoyed the auditory tour of the royal home, I couldn’t wait to get to the apple-strudel-making demo complete with, you guessed it, a piece of freshly baked apple strudel. Then I, of course, directed us to the outdoor maze. (Without J., I’d be sleeping among the bushes.)

Grover hiding behind cheese at stall at NaschtmarktAnd then there is Grover. I’ve taken him with us on vacation for years, to London and Italy, to New York City and Salt Spring Island, and now to Vienna and Prague. While J. spends the day immersing herself in her surroundings, I am constantly thinking of the perfect photo opportunity for my little blue monster. I am truly like a small child, begging her parent relentlessly for something she wants. “Please, J., can’t we take a picture of Grover here? How about here?”

Just like the parent of a small child, J. has learned that if she relents every so often and takes a picture of Grover, I will put him back in my pocket for a while and we can get on with whatever we’re doing. She knows he’ll come out again at some point, but at least she’ll have a short reprieve. She may be trying to spare me the odd looks I receive when people see me trying to position my muppet into the photo. Or at least I hope that’s why they’re looking at me oddly. Alternatively, it’s because I have something between my teeth, or my fly is undone, again.

Grover on the stairway in front of the Schonbrunn castle

 

 

How to succeed in self-restraint without really trying

 

Picture of Prague with Super Grover in foreground
As we leave for Vienna, I thought I’d summarize some of Prague’s highlights. You know, the must dos for anyone visiting for the first time. I do this as much for myself as for you, since I immediately forget all the wonderful experiences I have on vacation after they’re over. J., on the other hand, can provide a running account of what we did every moment several years later.

First, there’s the architecture, much of it dating back several centuries, which we took in by meandering through the cobblestone streets. Everywhere we looked, we saw intricately adorned building and churches. So look up–no, higher–and you’ll wonder how the building architects and artisans created such beauty so many years ago. Then, to to take in this beauty from another perspective, climb up a tower or two for a view from above. These beautiful old streets go on for miles.

Prague's Jerusalem synagogueThen there’s the Jewish quarter, Josefov, where the absence of Jews is especially haunting given the vibrant community before the war. One of the old synagogues has been transformed into a memorial inscribed with wall after wall of names of Jews who died in the Holocaust. Jews were not truly welcomed back to the city until the end of Communist reign in 1989. No wonder there are so few of our kind living here today.

Classical music abounds in grand performance halls. Don’t forget Prague Castle, which is lit up at night thanks to the generosity of the Rolling Stones, or Strahov Monastery, replete with floor-to-ceiling shelves of ancient books in its stunning libraries. It would be peaceful there if not for the hoards of tourists like us, including those seeking a taste of the craft beer. Imagine monks making beer. Turns out this country is known for its beer, and its beer consumption.

Grover at classical music concert

Finally, not speaking of whipping cream, take in the rich, delicious food, but don’t tell the servers at the beef bar (yes, they exist here) that you’re vegetarian. Even better, try the desserts–the multi-layered honey cake, the blintz-equivalent palacinky, the danish-like kolache (try poppy seed and cheese), and the fruit-filled dumplings. Those Czechs may be overly fond of marzipan, but that is another matter for another day.

Grover eating chocolate cakeI did not realize until I arrived what a vibrant café culture this city has. Take-out cups are the rarity; people sit for hours in cafés, drinking coffee topped with whipped cream, of course, and feasting on that heavy traditional Czech fare or, perhaps, a slice of dessert. Wanting to live this experience firsthand, we visited a well-reputed spot for a hot cider, seating ourselves as is the custom, and reviewing the menus.

Then I realized, to my horror, that there were ashtrays everywhere, and we were in a cloud of smoke. Clearly the research on the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke has not made it this far east. The Czechs are staunch holdouts on smoking in restaurants.

Upon realizing the danger to ourselves, J. and I simultaneously lost our appetites and left without ordering. Call me uptight but I don’t want anyone’s ashes falling in my whipped cream. Why did I care? By then, I’d consumed enough cream to clog all my arteries anyway.

Visiting the Land of Pork and Cream

 

Bowl of sauerkraut soup with cream and pesto

Last post, I acknowledged I write my blog to soothe my own soul, with the hope that your soul may come along for the ride. Miraculously, despite my self-acknowledged selfishness, I did not lose any followers but gained one, and five kind readers liked my post. That may be a personal best. For a fleeting moment, I felt like the popular girl on prom night.

Variety of Czeck meats, including pork sausage and hamWe are having a lovely trip in the land of pork and cream, which I have chosen to call this beautiful place. It would not be easy to be vegetarian, or to diet, in these parts. I can attest to this because on our food tour yesterday, there was cream not just accompanying a dessert course but in the savoury courses as well. (The sauerkraut soup was surprisingly tasty, but it was probably because of the cream.) The soup had cream, the strudel had both cream and custard on the side (of course), and one dish sported cream in the gravy, and whipped cream atop the meat.

You’d think the people here would be kind of porky given how they eat, but, surprisingly, they are not, compared to Canadians at least. I have left the land where 62% of adults are overweight or obese according to their Body Mass Indexes (the most recent research I could find is already 5 years old, so this number has likely inched higher) to arrive in what is considered the fattest European country. My limited research revealed these Czech chubbies have nothing on us; Canadians are still fatter.

Baker decorating gingerbread batsHow do they do it? Or, more importantly to me, how can I get through a week in this country without busting out of my pants? Vacations are my perfect opportunity to remember what it’s like to eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full. It sounds easy but it’s not for someone who is a habitual plate cleaner. Vacations force me to think carefully about whether I’m actually hungry before I eat (there’s no fridge within reach all day), and to stop eating when I’m full. Needless to say, my low-sodium diet at home stays home when we travel.

Three types of open faced sandwiches and lemonade drinksHaving said this, yesterday was indeed a challenge. That four-hour food tour happened to be a fantastic way to learn about the customs and culture and history of this city while sampling, and sampling, and sampling some more local cuisine. We traipsed through city streets in search of traditional Czech food, which, it turns out, is gingerbread and apple strudel interspersed with a whole lot of pork.

Then J. and I skipped dinner, and today we ate like birds because we went back to determining our own meals. I don’t think my appetite is fully back yet. I know, I too am questioning whether I’ve been taken over by aliens.

On the plus size side, whipping cream is tremendously sustaining, and would be an excellent product to hoard if ever a food shortage is threatened. I highly recommend it. But if you understand the hunger-satiety continuum better than I do, you can leave a little uneaten grub on your plate. You’ll be my hero.

Apple strudel with custard and whipped cream from Cafe Louvre in Prague

“The therapeutic effects of blogging” by I.M. Needy

Black diary with lock and key

Part of the fun of living my simple life is knowing I’ll get to share it with you, my faithful readers. I send out a post hoping my words will garner a chuckle here, a thoughtful pause there, a heated (or calm) discussion over dinner, an insight I hadn’t considered, perhaps even a bit of comfort for a troubled soul. I don’t allow myself to consider that I might bore you or annoy you or incense you, even though all are distinct possibilities.

Often I have no idea what reactions I’ve garnered from a post since I may not receive any comments or emails or texts. Initially I found that silence hard but I can now honestly say that, even when there’s silence, I hold out hope that my post has made someone somewhere think.

The reason I’m okay with no feedback now is that I know my main goal is for my writing to comfort myself. Your generously taking the time to read is all I need to feel the healing effects. That’s why writing a private diary never worked for me; no one was listening. I write because, along with yoga and other active pursuits, time with my family, and baking an excellent batch of cookies on the first attempt, writing is my therapy. If a post manages to touch you in some way, that’s a bonus.

And so I must confess that I haven’t given any of us enough warning that yesterday I left on a vacation for two weeks. Frankly, with all that’s been going on in my life, I hadn’t had much time to prepare for this trip, let alone to prepare you. I was still packing as my suitcase was carried out the door. I may not manage my usual three sessions posts per week while I’m away because I have better ways to spend my time. This absence will be much harder on me than on you, I’m sure.

We psychologists are taught to give our clients advance warning of a vacation so they have time to process how they will survive in our absence. Kind of pompous of us, don’t you think, to believe we’ll be missed or our clients can’t survive without us? They were surviving just fine for many years before we got involved.

This is all a moot point for me since, sadly, I haven’t had any clients to tell I’d be away. Not even one call since September, despite a fairly steady workload through spring and summer. Then all those clients started thriving–maybe they too started a blog–so I was turfed. I miss having clients to inform of my vacation plans.

So while I’m away, maybe you could ask those friends who are making excessive emotional demands of you, who are relying on you to be their therapist, who are draining you, who need to seek professional help before you need to, to call me. I’ll be back in a few weeks, and, despite all this volunteering, I can still make time for the odd session. Do it for me, and for yourself too.

In the meantime, I wish you all well, and I’ll selfishly write when I can. I trust you too will thrive without me. If not, consider a blog.

 

 

Ways to make a grown woman, and the occasional man, cry

Picture of Annie's Anemic Leukemics team in costume with lanterns and bannerLast night was the special Light the Night Walk. Annie’s Anemic Leukemics were 20 strong, with many other virtual supporters there in spirit. I only cried 4 times, excluding the many times I choked up seeing a little tyke with leukemia.

Participants sported three different coloured lanterns: gold for those walking in memory of someone; red for those walking in support of a survivor; and white for survivors. (I’d say the white complemented my anemic complexion.) As a white lanterned gal, I feel like a guest of honour at this event, standing amidst so many others who are fighting a similar fight. (Despite my steadfast anonymity, I’ve now given you a 50/50 chance of determining who I am in the picture above.)

The tears started before we even got out of the gate as my amazing team assembled for a picture, all adorned in the ridiculous clown attire J. had selected to distinguish us. At that moment, I was overwhelmed by the incredible community of support I had around me.

We white lanterners were called on stage at one point during the pre-walk inspirational speeches. People moved aside, like the parting of the Red Sea, to allow us to approach the stage. Being surrounded by fellow survivors looking out onto a crowd of supporters was incredible. Of course I had to cry then, a reaction which may have seemed incongruent with my clown attire.

But, ever the clown (child?) I am, as we were leaving, I faced the men around me and said: “Why do you guys always leave it to the women to do the crying?” A kind fellow nearby smiled and responded: “Oh, I was crying a minute ago too.” Then he gave me a side hug (which, by the way, is nothing like a Trump hug), and we went our separate ways. Thank you, Mr. Cancerous, for that moment of connection.

Then we walked on that beautiful night, with a steady stream of multicoloured lanterns ahead and behind us. The darker it got, the more spectacular the sight. Three kilometres later, we approached our starting point.

As a white lanterner, each year I have received a white rose as I’ve neared the finish, usually by a kind volunteer. This year they upped their game: a bevy of firefighters were there to distribute those roses. I squealed with delight at the sight of all those handsome men in uniform (no women, sadly), like any 5-year-old child would, and accepted my rose with gratitude and awe. A few tears snuck out when the one who gave me my rose said: “Keep up the good fight.” You would have cried too, trust me.

Oh, maybe I had a fifth occasion for tears, but it was earlier today at Jelly’s PALS behavioural assessment. I may be mistaken, but I believe Jelly passed all of the challenging stations, including the one that involved treats strewn on the ground. (Thank goodness there weren’t any counters.) Jelly was a star and, at the end, she received her official PALS bandana. I couldn’t be prouder of my little girl. Watch for us soon at a hospital or retirement home near you.

Jelly in the back of the car in her blue PALS bandana

 

The moment when the student becomes the teacher

Dogs and owners at off-leash dog parkI write my blog for many reasons, but most importantly to stay connected with people close to me. Sometimes I surprise myself with my soul-sharing missives. “Who is this person?” I ask myself after I share something especially heartfelt. I felt that way after posting on Monday, and then realized that no one received it due to a software malfunction. I was not thankful for that.

If you want to read about my innermost feelings, check out Monday’s post here, since I’m skipping the raw emotion today. Don’t expect any deep insights or life lessons either; today I hope to make you laugh. This story is simply about being at the right place at the right time.

You know I’ve been seeking volunteer opportunities of late, with 50% success so far. I learned yesterday that Jelly’s PALS behavioural assessment will unexpectedly be on Sunday. I envision complete humiliation. But if we fail, I have no plans to become an off-leash ambassador.

Off-leash ambassadors are completely unqualified park goers sporting spiffy volunteer vests (I could get another vest) who are granted the informal authority to remind dog owners of the park rules. The ambassadors alert owners to serious infractions, such as not picking up after their dogs. Our park’s Mr. Power Hungry has fostered poor relationships with pet owners thus far because of his propensity for patronizing.

Mr. P.H. and I hadn’t had any run ins, but I figured it was only a matter of time. I anticipated scorn if Jelly didn’t come immediately when called (that’s 90% of the time, except when she forgets she’s a bad dog), or was caught eating sticks rather than leaving them for the other dogs to play with, or went a little boy crazy over an unneutered male (dog, that is).

Imagine my surprise earlier this week when Mr. P.H. was glued to his phone as his dog started pooping, and pooping, and pooping. This dog is ginormous, and we’ve addressed previously the close correlation between dog size and poop size. That stinky deposit was massive. I lack Mr. P.H.’s vested authority to address concerns at the dog park, yet I knew if he failed to pick up after his dog, someone else would have to at some point.

Since Mr. P.H. had not noticed his dog’s washroom break, I called to him: “Your dog!” Those two words are universal dog-park language for “Your dog is pooping and you need to get over there and pick it up before someone steps in it or a dog cleans it up for you.” Mr. P.H. looked up from his phone, realized I was addressing him, and scurried over, tail between his legs, to scoop the poop. And just like that, the balance of power shifted.

I felt a bit bad for shaming Mr. P.H. publicly but someone had to do it. If I’m honest, I took an unseemly pleasure in the task, after which I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I’m no longer worried about Mr. P.H.’s calling Jelly out for her misbehaviour at the park, since I can’t envision him picking any fights with me.

Maybe I should reconsider becoming an ambassador after all. I sure fostered compliance that day. Nah, someone else can alienate all their park friends.

Sign at dog park: The poo fairy doesn't live here. Scoop your poop.

 

The perils of autocorrect

We’ve all had an experience with autocorrect. Our overly zealous word-processing programs have stepped in to change a word we’ve written into something else entirely. This happens a lot to me because I often make up terms like “cancerversary” and “Dr. Radi-o” in my blog.

This leads me to today’s story, which I probably should not be writing on Yom Kippur, the most pious day of the Jewish calendar. While good Jews are at synagogue, repenting for their sins against God, I am at home writing. There you go: the day isn’t even over and I’m already sinning against God.

An important part of this observance is fasting from sundown yesterday until sundown today, after which the self-deniers get together to break the fast. For many years, whether I attended synagogue or not, I abstained from eating on Yom Kippur along with my tribe mates. Except that I don’t fast anymore. I haven’t since I was diagnosed with my blood clot in 2000. Blood thinning medication is affected by many things, including what and how much people eat and drink.

Thank goodness Judaism is a compassionate religion. Since my medical challenges have prohibited fasting, God has granted me a pass. I imagine other religions would show some flexibility in comparable situations.

But there’s one catch now: I haven’t been on blood thinners for some time, and blood thinners were the primary reason I ate on Yom Kippur. So, against my better judgement, I did some internet research to determine whether I was making excuses to avoid the discomfort of not eating, or whether I’d be safe to fast again.

The research I found–funny how I can always find health research to support my biases–suggested that, blood thinners or not, fasting is out. Fasting could endanger my already taxed liver, and it’s contraindicated for immunocompromised people like me. Thank goodness, I’m still off the hook.

My dear friend M., a more pious sort than me, has spent the day in synagogue. Despite her busy day of atoning (although I doubt she has much of anything to atone for–I should have offered up my sins to help her pass the time), M. invited me to her house for what we Jews call a “break fast” at sundown today. I declined, partly because breaking the fast with people who have not eaten only compounds my guilt for not depriving myself like my fellow Jews.

But then I reread M.’s email. Her autocorrect, in the spirit of a controlling relative, changed her invitation from “break fast” to “breakfast”. That darn program just couldn’t help itself. Breakfast sounds like the perfect invitation for me on Yom Kippur. I could fast while I slept, and ate when I woke up like I do every day.

Oh my gosh, did I miss the party? M. is the consummate entertainer, and she always has the best food. Why didn’t I read her invitation more carefully? I could have told her I’d be available. I was not at synagogue this morning and I woke up mighty hungry. What was on the menu, M.? Did I miss bacon? I could have sinned yet again before noon today. Oh well, there’s always next year.

I have so much to be thankful for, except….

Picture of a full table with all elements of Thanksgiving dinner (turkey, potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc.)

Happy Thanksgiving to all. I hope you’ve enjoyed your turkey and stuffing, your cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes, and your pumpkin pie, if you are indeed celebrating this weekend. And I hope you have lots to be thankful for.

I know I do. I’m alive, for one. My country provides, at no cost, everything I could possibly need to stay alive despite my precarious health status. There’s a roof over my head and food on my table. I have a loving family that has supported me through many a health challenge. I have my freedom, and I feel safe walking down the street. I am very, very lucky.

Some people say they are grateful for their cancer because it changed their lives for the better. They may be living in the moment more, doing what they want to do rather than what is expected of them (or what they’ve expected of themselves). They say that life has more meaning to them now, and that they are motivated to live each day as if it were their last.

I am not those people. In fact, I think people who make such outrageous claims are off their rockers. I do not relish my cancer or feel it has transformed my life for the better. Cancer has changed the course of my life in ways I will always have trouble accepting. It’s cut my career short and challenged my feelings of health safety and security. It’s made me financially dependent on J. and the government, it’s imposed restrictions I never anticipated, and it’s exhausted me too much to live each day like it’s my last.

Still, having cancer is not all bad. Not working has freed me up to explore other ventures and to relate to people in a different way than I used to. I realize there are ways I can give even though they are different than before. I can review my life both before and after my cancer diagnosis, and feel some pride for my accomplishments. I’m not speaking of anything grand here. Maybe I’ve done good work with the odd client, or rescued an abandoned dog, or made a random stranger laugh. Those little things matter too, don’t they? They do to me.

With cancer comes gratitude, just not gratitude for the cancer itself. I am blessed to be surrounded by love and support. This disease has allowed me to take risks I might not have otherwise taken in my daily life and in my relationships. I feel an urgency to be honest and present brought on by my potential death sentence. I don’t want anything to be left unsaid.

My list may not seem like much–it certainly doesn’t compare to your bucket list–but for me it’s huge.

There’s one final exception to my gratitude, though: I will never be grateful for snow in October, however fleeting it might be. Do you think we Canadians live in igloos? You’re right. I told you I was grateful for the roof over my head; I just never acknowledged the roof was made of snow. Consider it an error of omission.

 

Sorry to hear about the Fitbit fitness failure

Two wrists with several fitness trackers on them

As I look out my window, all I can see is falling, blowing snow. It’s October 7. How do you feel, Calgarians? I feel cold, and I fear that winter is here. The forecast suggests this horror will be short lived, but I’ve never trusted Calgary meteorologists.

Have you been reading the health news this week? I have, of course. I need to keep abreast of critical research on the next superfood, and on losing 10 inches off my waist while eating pumpkin pie. Call it health porn, I just can’t help myself.

I was recently dismayed to learn that people are experiencing no health benefits, such as weight loss or lowered blood pressure, from their expensive electronic fitness trackers. All that money for naught. The people who are tracking are moving more, however. If a band on your wrist gets you off the couch, that’s a good thing, isn’t it, especially since sitting is the new smoking?

I’ve staunchly resisted the Fitbit movement, although you may disagree with my rationale. I have always been an active person–activity is my Prozac–so I didn’t feel I needed any external motivation to move more. In fact, I worried that, with a tracker, I’d push myself too hard on days that I’m not up to it. You know I’m a goal-oriented obsessive type.

I don’t need an electronic device to confirm that I need to be walked, more often, it turns out, than my aging dog. Until recently, I probably exceeded the target 10,000 steps per day during my morning outings with Jelly. I’m not boasting here; if I didn’t exhaust the little beast outdoors, she’d race around like a maniac all day indoors. Have you read Nancy Drew’s latest, The Case of the Missing Sock? I don’t have to read it to know it was Jelly.

When Jelly put a stop to our morning walks, I lost my built-in early-morning exercise, my pride in my accomplishment, and my spent dog. She’ll now let me take her to the park, some days walking farther than others, but she’s hit or miss on leash. Bassets are experts at digging in their heels.

When Jelly stopped walking, I did too, for a while. Then I relearned how to walk without a dog. (They say it’s like riding a bike.) I’m sure I used to do it, but I’ve had beasts for so long, I’d forgotten what it’s like to walk without someone to talk to. (I know, I know, she’s a dog, not a person.) This week, out of desperation, I walked back and forth to the gym twice. Unfortunately, the most direct route is through a very large parking lot. No wonder I don’t do this more often: the scenery is uninspired.

Although these fitness trackers have now been discredited by the research, I may have to invest in one after all. That’s me, always late to the party. If you’ve thrown your tracker aside in disgust after reading the same studies I did, or abandoned it long ago because you found its always wanting to sleep with you a little creepy, perhaps I could take yours off your hands. If I find I don’t need it, I’ll strap it to Jelly. Turns out she may need a little external motivation herself.