“Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

I wrote last about my Epiphany last September. It was a great epiphany. I was elated, excited, exhilarated. I was as free as I’ve ever been. I had plans or I was going to make BIG plans for myself. Well…… over the last seven months I’ve learned a few things about freedom. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “With freedom comes responsibility.” And a mortgage and a motorcycle. I didn’t get to quit my job, buy a motorcycle and start touring the U.S., taking odd jobs in diners to pay my way on the journey.
However, I did make some decisions and choices about my life and my future and am still in the process of trying more new things and making new choices. I’ve learned that I need to be responsible about how I use my new found freedom and how it effects not only my life, but others as well. I need to be accountable…..albeit, with some wild and crazy moments thrown into the mix.
No matter how much freedom I have, I’m still accountable for my actions. I’m still a Mother and a Grammy. I’m still part of a much greater whole than just myself. No matter how free I am, I need to continue to contribute to that greater whole, my family, my community, etc.
It’s not and never will be “All About Me.”
At Christmas I had the opportunity to visit with my nieces and nephews because they were all in town for the holidays. Two nieces, four nephews and their families.
I have two older brothers. One brother and his wife live out of state and he has four children and a number of grandchildren. My oldest brother died nine years ago and left behind six children. His first wife, and mother of these children, died in 1989. The nieces and nephews I’m referring to in this story are their six children.
Back to the story
During my visit with my nieces and nephews I was able to surprise them with a check to each of them from the sale of my mother’s house. It was so amazing to see and feel how much they loved and appreciated my mother. (There’s a story behind that as well.)
More important than being able to surprise them with money was the promise I was able to make to them. I promised them I would build a house big enough that we would be able to gather as an entire family, like we used to do at Grandma’s, for the holidays. We haven’t really been able to do that the last couple of years. So, silly me, I made that promise to them. Family traditions are important to me and it seems I’m now the one to keep them going. And I will, happily.
I tell this story because there are a lot of things I could be doing with my new found freedom and free time. I am trying and doing new and fun things for myself, but not at the expense of the people and things I am responsible and accountable for.
At the end of the day, what is most important to me are the people I love and the people who make my life better on a daily basis. And at the end of the day I need to be able to look in the mirror and ask myself, “Did I do the right thing today? Did I make a difference? Did I make someone’s burden a little lighter in some small way?” and be able to answer, yes, yes and yes.
That’s my freedom.
The house is in progress and should be finished end of June-ish. The mortgage that I didn’t have in September is now looming.
The motorcycle. I’ve always wanted a motorcycle. Not one to ride around town – one to take out and cruise on the open road. I was ready to buy one, money in hand. Well…..before I even went out to look at one, my daughter beat me to it and bought one. A shiny red one. I guess I’ll just borrow hers when I want to go for a ride.
Yes, I’m as free as I’ve ever been, but with freedom comes responsibility. At this point in my life I am free to choose where and when and to whom I give my time, attention and service. I have the freedom to choose my NEW responsibilities.

Talk Soon
~ dottie grace ~

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