It wasn’t just written for Aries – it is a powerful message to all of us, I think. And it really made me think.
There are the freedoms to be able to speak out, to cast a vote, to not have to have your head covered, to be able to go out in public alone. Those seem obvious to us (although having just read and discussed Three Cups of Tea with my kids, I am reminded that those conditions do exist in the world more often than I realize).
But what really hit me was all the smaller “liberties” I have that go unappreciated day in and day out. Being able to be a stay-at-home mom for starters. That privilege means I don’t have to report to a job at a certain time every day. Ooh, how I hated that! I hated HAVING to be somewhere at 8:00am every morning. Sure, some jobs provided more flexibility, but for the most part, I was expected to show up at a certain time every day, stay for X amount of hours, and then “allowed” to go home. That arrangement never felt FREE to me. Success, I always told myself, would be creating my own hours, working when I wanted to – not when I was told ordered to do so.
I don’t usually think of it this way, but being a stay-at-home mom means I get to make my schedule. It would never occur to me to sit around all day and watch TV (for example) but I suppose I COULD do that if I really wanted to. Other things wouldn’t get done, but I wouldn’t get FIRED for my actions. Of course I have obligations (kids have to be at this activity or that place, groceries need to be purchased, things need to be done around the house, etc); many days it feels like I am running non-stop all day long, with NO time to (or for) myself at all.
Yet even with days filled up with commitments and a never-ending To Do list, I have freedoms I don’t even consider. I can wear what I want each day. No HAVING to put on a suit, or special work clothes, or even nice clothes for that matter. I can wear sweats all day if I want. Make-up is optional (although I don't want to frighten the children)! How lucky am I??
You don’t really appreciate all these things until or unless you don’t have them. How many other freedoms can you think of that you enjoy? Ones you may not even notice or value as “freedoms?”
You are so accustomed to certain liberties you don’t even know you are free. It is an interesting premise – for ALL of us to think about. Perhaps you’ll find (as this Zen Mama Wannabe did) that there is much more in your life to be thankful for than you had actually noticed.