Are we free? Free to live our life how we choose. Maybe.
On July 4th we as citizens of the United States celebrate our independence from England. As I watched the exploding, dazzling fireworks, I never gave my rights, responsibilities and opportunities as a us citizen a thought. I take those for granted even as they influence every day of my life. We live with certain expectations – to be physically safe, to have our basic needs such as food, water and shelter met, to own things, to travel, to work for a fair wage, free speech, etc. In our role as a us citizen We are also expected to pay taxes, vote and follow the law.
Every day we live out the different roles we play. I am a us citizen, wife, mother, stepmother, mother in law, ex-wife, sibling, niece, cousin, student, mentor, CPA, employer, co-worker, volunteer, etc. Each role has expectations. Usually the multiple roles don’t pose a problem for me, however at times I feel confused and restrained by those roles.
I recall one specific situation, my boys were young, and I reached a point of extreme frustration. I was struggling with a decision and the role of mom and ex-wife we’re providing opposite answers. As the pressure escalated, I sat on my back porch. It was winter and the cold air calmed me down. It finally dawned on me – what would Mary do? Mary as a person. The answer was easy once I took away the roles.
That was an “ah-ah” moment for me. I make many decisions based on the role that I am playing. However when I struggle with a decision I drop all my roles and ask what would Mary do? I rely on my values, my ethics and my goals to reach decisions.
To me this is freedom – freedom to do as I wish.
Mary Guldan Lindstrom, CPA