In late June, the American Woman Magazine staff sat on the patio sipping lemonade and began to ponder what would we write about in July. Of course, the topic started on Independence Day and the plans we had to BBQ and meet with friends. I wondered…..what exactly does independence mean? I was a bit surprised to realize I had never given it much thought.
Growing up as a child, I had always been labeled “independent”, but that is more of a characteristic than a state of mind. Giving it some more thought I came to a conclusion. I guess, for me, independence started when I went off to college; it initially started with freedom, but that is not the real answer. I wondered if “independence” is simply the benefit of having total freedom to do what you want, when you want, and without the worries of responsibility. Or, is it rooted in confidence and the ability to not rely on others? I am lucky, as an adult I feel I have had all the freedom I’ve always dreamed about. A largest part of this independence is financial independence, but I am certainly not wealthy. Over the years, I have had to manage my financial woes myself but have always tried to embrace moderation as the key to happiness. It can be a tough journey, am I right?
The moment we gain independence as an adult, it is also the moment we have to carry all the financial burdens ourselves. The main aspect of independence is actually the responsibility which comes with having the ability to make any decisions, even bad ones. It all comes down to your own judgment. With the coming of age, such independence is expected to be taken in maturely. Who’s there to stop you from going crazy and wild?
Well, thankfully this burden is eased with an ability to be happy with what really matters; health NOT money! At the risk of sounding cliché, it is with freedom and great power that comes with an even greater responsibility. I have seen many of my close friends succumb to the power of credit cards and have truly lost their independence to debt. Forget about having the newest mobile device! Who cares if your neighbor has a new sports sedan!
If you have your health and you are free from unrealistic financial burdens, you have one of the greatest gifts in the world; true independence. This July, celebrate the simple things in life. Celebrate your friends, your family, and your health!