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Extend Your Independence Day!

33 years ago, my husband and I were camping in Julian California with our friends, Barb and James. It was a beautiful and relaxing 4th of July weekend with great friends. During this weekend my husband and I took off for a hike on our own. After hiking for an hour or so, we stopped to rest under a shady tree near a stream. Our little break in the hike turned into a significant discussion about our dreams and our future.

At that time, we were both working in high pressure jobs. I was a Senior VP at a mental health company and my husband was practicing law at a civil litigation firm. He routinely worked until 9 at night and through most weekends. Being off for our camping trip was a rare treat for us.

We each shared the dream of having much more independence in our careers. We both wanted to be able to do more meaningful work and have control over our time. At that early point in our careers having control over our time seemed a long way off. But on that 4th of July 33 years ago, we each declared our independence from our constricting careers! Yep...we literally said those words. “On this day, we declare our independence from our time and soul sucking jobs!”

For Curtis this happened much more quickly than for me. Within a year or two he left that suffocating job and moved into a field he loves, disability law. And, within 3 years he had his own firm which he still loves! Way to go Curtis!

For me it took closer to 10 years (but our other two most important dreams came true during that time…we had 2 fabulous daughters), and my career independence also became a reality.

We often remember this day in Julian as the magical beginning of our life (and love) story. It hasn’t always worked out like a fairy tale. There have been rough patches, angry days, and weeks and even months, deaths of loved ones and setbacks. However, by declaring our independence 33 years ago so many of our dreams have come true!

As this July 4th came and went, we again remembered that day and over dinner I asked my husband if there is something new that he would like to declare his independence over this year. I asked myself the same question. And now I ask this question of you. Do you need and want to declare your independence from some of the invisible ropes that are holding you down? Do you want independence from money worries, or comparing yourself to others, or perfectionism? Or something else?

Knowing what you want to be free of is the first step in making your dreams come true. Making your declaration of independence is a powerful second step. And, then of course, clearing out the roadblocks and taking action is step 3. This step will take as long as it takes (very quickly for my husband and a decade for me) but it helps to know that you are on the right road. On this Independence Day I wish a you future of independence.

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