I love this picture for so many reasons.
In life there are so many responsibilities. We have to provide for ourselves and our families. Go to work, extracurricular activities, volunteer, keep up the house, grow the garden, make supper, eat healthy, worry about money, friends, funerals, weddings, familial obligations. But when I look at the picture above, that is what I want my life to be and what I aspire to achieve. Total freedom. Now, I'm not saying that I don't want all the above responsibilities. In fact, I thrive on most of them (funerals being the exception, especially if its mine) But I want those things that I'm responsible for to be in the right balance, so that I may feel in life the way that picture makes me feel.
Working in long term care day after day I am witness to where the journey ends for people. The life they have lived is mostly just a memory, and their reality now is not ideal. It is a constant reminder of why it is so important to make every second count which is hard to do when we have obligations and jobs to do. In life we are constantly tasked with things that if given the choice, we wouldn't do. That's just life. But I truly believe we have control over what brings us joy and happiness.
For me, my big hurdle in life is stress and the inability to say no. When I agree to do something that I don't want to do but feel obligated to do it, I am racked with stress and resentment. So much so that it can consume me at times. But if I say no to something, then I am overwhelmed with guilt and feelings that I'm being selfish for saying no. Can you see the problem here? It's a damned if I do, damned if I don't scenario. So what I'm really working on these days is trying to recognize that it isn't selfish to say no. There shouldn't be any guilt attached to myself not wanting to do something just because someone wants me to. The same goes for expectations. Why should I allow someone else's expectations of me become more important than the expectations I have for myself? When I think of it in these terms it becomes clear to me that there is no reason to ever commit or do something that you don't feel is the right thing for yourself.
Writing this blog has been a great thing for me. It's allowed me to get my artist juices flowing in a way that I never imagined. I know its not the best writing, but it's me. It has given me the courage to have a good hard look at my life and what I want it to be and most of all have recognized who is in this life along side me to be the best that we can all be and who isn't.
Creating personal freedom is not about turning my back on my responsibilities, but it is about making my journey in life mine. No one is going to live my life but me so I shouldn't allow any one else to do so. I love my husband and my children and they are my joy and my freedom. So even though I go to work sometimes wishing I was anywhere but there (as we all do sometimes) the result of that work day is the ability to provide for what brings me joy and that gives me pleasure. But worrying about what any one thinks of me and my idea of life and the way I live it or want to approach it shouldn't be my concern. And for too long I've allowed it to be this way.
So here's to personal freedom and satisfaction. I am leaping off my rock in to the wild blue yonder. Let's see where it takes me.