How to Declare Your Independence

Today’s prompt at The One-Minute Writer is about holidays: Which is your favorite holiday, and what do you love about it?

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My favorite holiday has got to be the 4th of July. It’s not about eating, it’s not about giving gifts, and it’s not tied to any religious symbolism or ritual. It’s a holiday where we celebrate independence – from tyranny, from oppression, from whatever happens to be holding us down. I mean, I know that it’s about American independence, and the end of the Revolutionary War, but this can get highly personal. Why shouldn’t it? After all, they sell us this holiday as all this and that, and after doing hot dogs and fireworks for decades, doesn’t it seem a little tired?

Our next Independence Day is right around the corner, and if we have a mind we might just want to take it back. This doesn’t mean getting together with your buddies to plot an elaborate and controversial tea party in Boston Harbor; in fact, you might want to ditch the buddies or set your sights on doing it yourself, if you have to (not the tea party – probably illegal, forget I mentioned that.) This 4th of July falls on a Thursday and some of us will get that off paid, and Friday off (Mother Nature willing,) PTO optional. That’s a five-day weekend, and I can not stress enough that time can be found in this stretch – in between all the roofing and sawing and tending and mowing, stuffing your face with hot dogs and watching ridiculous displays of fireworks – to declare your independence, to do something for yourself and to own it one hundred percent. When someone gives you some noise about you can’t do this-and-that (and please don’t get me in trouble by legitimizing immoral or illegal activities by citing this post) you stand up strong, declare your independence, your freedom to be who and what you were created to be and you enjoy the crap out of it!

Me, I’m going to go running. This past weekend I ran fifteen miles, which is more than a half marathon; I could set a goal right now and say I’ll do the full marathon distance that weekend, but I won’t say that. I won’t set a goal because that’s not the point. The point is that I will be out there running free, and for me that is victory. It hones raw instinct, it sharpens the senses, it declares freedom from television and couches, soda and chips; that is how I live the dream.

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