The Happy And Maybe Sad of Independence

Happy Indepence Day to all Americans reading this! And I hope everyone else reading still enjoyed a nice summer Monday today.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Independence lately- what it means and what to do with it. As I get older, and more summers go by, the realization of how independence works gets clearer. As kids, we had to live in a certain place, and eat certain things, and be around certain people. We had to do our homework and study very particular things and choose from a specific assortment of extracurricular activities. Now, in our thirties, we are truly not held back by anything. Our liberation is a strange realization to process at first because we tell ourselves that we have only a few choices when in fact we have many, many more.

Summer is the time I really think about my choices and options because I have more time to process. My job is less structured in the summer and I don’t travel for work again until fall. I could spend my summer solely watching tv, or spend it working on a new project. I could travel in the summer, or spend my time staycationing in NYC. I can say ‘I’m bored’ and do nothing at home or I can learn to sing again from YouTube videos, or sit and paint. There are so many options.

But these are only the simple options. I can also question why I live in New York (I can live anywhere in the country as my work is all travel based). I can also question my job itself- I can choose to apply for other jobs. I can go into a completely different line of work. I can dye my hair purple. I can get a dog. I can get on a plane to India. I can party all night. I can eat Cheetos day and night. I can never exercise again. I can exercise all day long. Some options seem insane, but they’re still options nonetheless.

There are just so many options- and it’s great but it can also be scary. Sometimes when there’s lots of open time ahead, I get scared because I want to use the time well. This fear can lead to sadness- I’ve felt bad in the past when there’s empty time, because time leads to options and options lead to dealing with choices. And it can be scary to realize how much independence I actually have.

However, when the reins are grabbed, and I seize the wonderful power of independence and options, there’s nothing more incredible. When I can enjoy my time, own my choices, and make my days truly mine, my joy is unmatchable. All the ‘busyness’ that’s used as a coverup for being afraid of facing ownership of my life can’t match independence.

So enjoy the summer and any time off. Allow yourself to own your time and don’t hide behind ‘being so busy’ with bs time- stealing tasks. Don’t just sit around being bored. If you have time to relax, own the relaxation. Make your own choices and bask in the joy of them. Celebrate! You are independent!

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Knowing the Difference Between Labor Day, Veterans Day and Memorial Day by Your Thirties

Happy Labor Day! Today’s post is a repost from this past Memorial Day, but I thought it was timely. Hope you had some good barbecue and are enjoying every last bit of the summer!

Last year on Labor Day, a friend of mine was wondering whether or not to thank the military. (Short answer- sure, thank the military- but not because of Labor Day. Labor day has nothing to do with the military- it’s about American workers.)

Last Memorial Day, I overheard someone asking the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. This was not a child asking- it was someone in their fifties

So in case you’re not sure of the differences between the holidays, but are too embarrassed to ask, lets clear up the confusion right now, anonymously 😉

Memorial Day: Memorial Day is for honoring and remembering military personnel who died serving their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of battle wounds. The holiday originated right after the Civil War and is always celebrated the last Monday in May because that’s when flowers are blooming to decorate the graves of the dead. Read more about Memorial Day here.

Veterans Day: Veterans Day is a day to thank EVERYONE who’s served in the military, whether in wartime or peacetime. The day is especially to thank living veterans for their service, and to really show that all those who served, and not just those who died, have done their duty. Veterans Day was created after World War I and is always celebrated on November 11. Read more about Veterans Day here

Labor Day: Labor Day is dedicated to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created in 1887 by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor. It’s always celebrated the first Monday in September. Read more about Labor Day here.

Hope your fantastic Labor Day weekend carries you into the fall and beyond!

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The Un-Official Start to Summer

While the summer doesn’t officially start until June 21st this year, Memorial Day always feels like the start of the summer ‘season’ to me. Maybe that’s because it’s when the beach lifeguards and the ice cream trucks came out at the long island country house my parents had. Year after year, memorial Day would mark the start of summer while Labor Day marked the end.

Since I moved to Los Angeles nearly two years ago, the start of summer hasn’t felt quite as pronounced as it did on the east coast. But for some reason, today it did. That’s probably because we went to Malibu and walked on a secret beach, and beaches remind me of restful rejuvenation when you can ‘reset’ yourself.

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Trying to ‘scare’ Aaron but clearly it’s not working

The summer to me always feels like a time to try something new in a relaxed, exploratory and fun way. Personally, I’m really hoping to finally get serious about exercise and eating better. I just got over a bad cold/cough that left me hacking up a lung every night and losing my voice. I realized that if I had been in better health all along, maybe I wouldn’t have been sick for over a week. I also finally admitted to myself that I probably eat 1-2 serving of fruits/vegetables every day since starting graduate school, and that’s  not good. So this summer, I want to find a way to incorporate eating well/exercise into my life in an enjoyable way.

So, happy start of summer, everyone! Do you have any fun goals for this season?

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