Half an avocado

Half an avocado

I use food as a reward. After a stressful day or on vacation, I find something tasty to indulge in. It never feels as good as I want it to. It never fills the hole I’m looking it to fill. 

This weekend, my three-year-old Owen and I picked up some Taco Time for dinner. I got him a burrito and tater tots. But really, it was an excuse for me to get my own burrito and tater tots.

What I learned for the umpteenth time is that Owen doesn’t give food the meaning I do. He didn’t care about the burrito. All he wanted was half an avocado. I kept trying to coax him into eating his burrito, but he just wanted the avocado.

As this was happening, it became obvious what I was doing. I was watching myself teach Owen my own bad habits. I was using him to get what I wanted for myself. I was teaching him my addiction, so I didn’t feel alone in it.

I stopped. I put the burrito away. I let the avocado be enough. 

What a relief and revelation to see clearly that, for him, there is no hole that needs to be filled.

Peter Schulte

Peter Schulte is the founder and editor of Kindling. Peter is also Senior Digital Engagement Associate for the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, connecting businesses to sustainable water practices. Peter holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University. He lives in Bellingham, WA, USA with his wife, son, and cat.

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