I Voted

Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.” James Clear

My husband’s name recently appeared on the Spring election ballot for school board. It marked a great opportunity for my 10-year-old and I to experience the power of voting together with just the promise of an I voted sticker (and also explain why bribery for votes is not legal, even if it is just dad). As I attempted to explain the power of Democracy and a single vote in the quarter mile drive to my son’s elementary school, I couldn’t help but think of James Clear’s book Atomic Habits.

In it, Clear says “every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become”. If you think about it, it makes sense. Our lives are an accumulation of the countless, seemingly mundane decisions we make all day long. Equally as important is acknowledging that inaction is in fact an action – a decision to do nothing.

Like many middle-aged moms, I’ve been on a health journey for years. I battle a mid-section bulge that Perimenopause and the Pandemic only exasperated. I know my struggles are not unique, yet the solution is extremely personal. It isn’t easy to rewire one’s relationship with food but I’m finding that baby steps matter. Single decisions that inch me towards a goalpost of being physically, mentally and emotionally sound around my health.

The easiest example of this is starting my day with green sludge, AKA drinking greens. I opted for a powder that is also available in to go packets – a successful attempt in removing any barriers or excuses. I question the marketing of these products. The promise of 10 fruits and vegetable servings, along with solving all of your health concerns ranging from gut health to digestion, memory loss, cholesterol and more. But these promises aren’t why I’m drinking this – instead it is about a promise to myself. It is a foundation to each day that plants a seed that I’m the girl that drinks green sludge for breakfast instead of eating donuts. An opportunity to see food as fuel versus endless dopamine induced shots of sugar.

It took a while but I managed to find one that’s less slurry than the others, has ingredients I primarily recognize as positive, and is semi-affordable. After 3-months, I even find myself enjoying it. I share this not because I have some fabulous before and after picture that’ll wow you. In fact, you cannot see any difference at all. I share this because I’ve found, that despite what Instagram influencers tell you, the greatest transformations in life are not viewable online.

I still enjoy too much sugar. But, this habitual daily dose of green is one more vote towards the person I’m aiming to become. One more signal to myself that progress is movement and movement leads to momentum.

Think about that the next time you have a decision to make. Do you scroll mindlessly on your phone or engage in a conversation with your kid. Do you binge watch Netflix or go for a walk outside. Do you show up at the polls or vent on Facebook. Do you fill your mind with an incredible novel or conspiracy theories online. Each decision is a choice. And the great or not so great thing about choices is we make hundreds of them every single day. What choice will you make next?

My son’s learning about choices as well. For those wondering, voters opted to elect my husband to school board. In an attempt to explain what that position means, I failed miserably and unknowingly sent him to school believing he no longer has to follow rules because dad is the boss of the school. While I’m sure staff loved that for the one day it lasted…that interpretation and action landed our kid in a bit of trouble and an understanding that while we may live in a Democracy, Dictatorship is alive and well in the Probst household.

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