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Make your own change

Madison, WI's public transit system is undergoing a multi-year redesign that will have a dramatic effect on access for those who use the system. Being a heavy public transit user myself, I have been deeply interested in the conversation over the past few years and have tried to engage in the conversation to make sure that I was advocating for myself and those I thought most needed these updates. Other people who have not been as involved in the conversation have notably felt as though their needs were not taken into account, to which I say, "Duh!" You were not there to advocate for the change you wanted to see.

This is only the most recent situation where I have noted that people live their lives based on other people's plans and priorities. With a fair amount of frequency of late, I have felt the need to disengage from the common approach to the day-to-day because I am tired of the expectations set upon me by society. The American life of rushing around is exhausting and leading to early graves for some. I don't want to live that life because I can make my own change. I can walk when I am told to run; I can breathe when I am told to hyperventilate; I can skip things that are considered mandatory; I can quit.

On the flip-side, however, I can stand when I am told to sit; I can take pause when I am told to jump to a conclusion; I can engage when I am told to leave well enough alone. These are my choices and every small shift can lead to big differences in my personal well-being. I can make my own change.

In thinking about my daily life and the habits I have gotten stuck in, I can change things. I still have responsibilities and to-do lists, I have a family and others I am beholden to, but where I have flexibility, I can be who I want to be, not who others tell me I have to be. Here are a few examples of things I am trying out to make my own change:

  • Purposefully schedule time during the day where I can explore something different, refresh myself through curiosity, reconnect with lost loves, read instead of watch.
  • Disengage from the streak culture and focus on the intended outcomes, e.g. refocus on actively being healthier instead of just closing rings or stop playing the daily game if it has lost its luster.
  • Diversify where my focus is, redefine old goals or start something new, review stale behaviors or to-do items that aren't leading to anything.