Sunday, October 21, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Dear Friends,

Happy Independence Day! Let Freedom reign!

Today is a super significant day for our family. It marks the one-year anniversary of our family's freedom.

Exactly one year ago today, October 21, 2011, Ben walked out of corporate life and into our loving, waiting arms.

We realized our family could not be free until every member of our family is free.

Here is a brief family interview:

What does freedom mean to you?

Paige: To me it means playing all day. And something else about freedom, is to watch shows all night until I want to be in a burrito shell.

Logan: What freedom means to me is that all of us are together.

What does freedom look like to you?

Logan: It looks like all of us being together and doing whatever we want.

Paige: Yes, what Logan said.

Carrie: Piles of peanut butter cookies. Playing baseball at the park together. Stacks of markers and fresh paper close by. Kissing Ben anytime of the day. Sharing ordinary events, like snacking on toast and watching Survivorman. Sharing extraordinary events, like Paige mastering a somersault and Logan losing a tooth. Crocheting. Cuddling. Hugging.

What does freedom feel like?

Logan: It feels nice. It's the only thing that feels perfect for me. Being together feels perfect to me.

Paige: It feels like being home all day and staying with the family all day.

Carrie: Relaxing. Grounding. Whole. Complete. Joy. Peace. Secure.

What is different now from one year ago?

Paige: Daddy's not working. [to Ben:] Now we can be with you, and you can still work, and all you have to do is be at home.

Logan: I'm much happier now that Daddy's home.

Carrie: Memories are created together and shared in the moment, rather than reporting them at the end of each day to Ben. The pining is gone. The longing to be together has been fulfilled. I missed Ben so much. I wished with every fiber of my being for him to not get into the car and rush 70 m.p.h. every morning to a cubicle doing work he didn't care about that wasn't going to change the world or fulfill any of his dreams.

What did we do to make it happen?

Carrie: Having faith. Trusting each other. Being open to opportunities the universe provides. Knowing our hearts' desires would be fulfilled. Shedding the dream of the planet, daring to live out our passions. Being in the present moment, together. Nothing compares to that. In our safe home, cozy, connected. Oh, and downsizing.

We've learned to live and love together. Compromises. Negotiations. Meeting everyone's needs. Consensus.

Ben pointed out you can be together in a jail cell, but it's not the same thing as true freedom. So, beyond getting to share time and space, the context matters. A critical part of freedom is to be free from scores of rules, of others' dictating how your time is spent. And with that freedom comes responsibility, to make choices that continue to support our family and our freedom.

I am now able to more freely follow my passions and fulfill my life's purpose: to inspire others to do and be their best. Directing, coaching, performing all fit the criteria: "Would I do this even if I weren't being paid?" YES! I love what I do. And I love that what I do provides value to others, so that in turn, I am able to earn a living doing what I love. Ben being home creates the opportunity for me to say yes to these opportunities.

During our most recent complete trip around the sun, Ben has been working on genealogy practices and software. I've opened my own teaching studio in Dexter. We are together every day. I no longer feel like a single parent for the majority of each day. I have more time to cook, to chill, to crochet, to sing, to play, and sooooo much more time and reason to laugh.

I love Ben. I love our family. I love our freedom. I love connecting and creating and being. I am so grateful for our supportive parents, friends, unschooling family, free-thinkers, and courageous mentors. I hope we inspire you in turn to find ways to let freedom reign in your own life.