The secret to happiness is freedom. And the secret to freedom is courage. - Thucydides
Mel Robbins’s Mindset Reset asked this week what is your word? It took me a while to figure this one out. There are so many words in the world how can I pick just one? I have so many words to describe me such as mom, daughter, sister, aunt, great aunt, friend, manager, marathoner, runner, ex-wife and so on. While the most important word is mom, it’s only part of me. What describes me for 2019? Then it hit me, freedom. For the first time in 42 almost 43 years, I have complete freedom. This should not be mixed up with responsibilities. I have many, many responsibilities. I have more freedom that I have ever had in my life. The only people that have a say in my time are my children. I do not have to answer to anyone else. Obviously, my day job I have a person to answer to, but the rest of the time it is just me.
For so many years, I allowed my life to be dictated by my mother then my husband. The word dictate should not be used as a negative. I freely gave my time and energy to both. What I didn’t realize was that I actually had a say in my own time. I just did not know how to say no or I do not want to do that. Again, so many words in the world and I couldn’t use any. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings. After all, I didn’t want my feelings hurt or want to feel disappointment. I have learned that my words do matter. I have the freedom to use my words to anyone. Sometimes those words aren’t always nice. Thank goodness my dad doesn’t know the majority of the words I use on a daily basis. He would not be proud. My WWII Navy grandfather probably more so.
Now that I am the master of my own time and schedule, I feel nothing but absolute freedom. For instance, it is a Wednesday night. My children spend Wednesdays with their dad. I didn’t want to be at home in a quiet house so I went to a movie. Movies! Oh gosh how I love them! Growing up they were such an escape from every day life. You could see the world in a movie. The first time I saw NYC and Times Square was in a movie. To finally stand in the middle of Times Square at 41 years old was everything I thought it would be and more. Escaping to a movie isn’t to forget my life because I do have a wonderful life, it’s to see what other lives are like. My every day life is filled with my children laughing or telling me stories about the excitement of the day or any of my friends telling me a crazy or stressful thing that happened in their life. Today, I just wanted to sit and enjoy a cocktail while watching something that made me feel good. The Upside was exactly what I needed. I laughed and cried and left feeling happy. This is the freedom to just decide I want to see a movie on a school night.
As I continue to move through my life, I think each year will add a new word to my list. Who knows what my word for 2020 will be? I know for sure it will be 3rd time marathoner. Chicago marathon will happen this year! The future is unknown and scary, but I’ve learned that the unknown and scary are the best places to grow.