Yes! Today I’m thankful. I’m thankful that I didn’t have to plan a trip to celebrate the end of the summer season over this overly congested weekend when everyone has an extra day off and wants to make the most of it. So, they all gather and run to the beaches, lakes and various other resorts and tourist sites to have that last summer fling. I’m thankful I didn’t have to spend the money for gas this weekend. I’m thankful I didn’t have to deal with millions of people packing the highways to get to and then back from wherever they spent the weekend. I’m thankful I didn’t have to pay the over-inflated prices for lodging, admissions and food this weekend. I’m thankful I didn’t have to scramble to find an open patch of beach to spread my blankets and towels and tolerate wall-to-wall people.
Yes! For me, this is one of the great advantages of Living Free. At one point in time I felt a bit too smug about it. I actually thought other people were underprivileged and deserved putting up with all this because they didn’t see the light I did. But, as I’ve been maturing in this lifestyle over the past few years, I realize that I was becoming more judgmental about other people’s choices. That’s not my place. By putting them in “boxes,” I was actually putting myself into a box. Living Free isn’t about being in a box.
I choose to live the life I live. I have chosen to give up a lot of things that I came to realize were superfluous to my true desires and objectives for personal freedom and happiness. But, these are MY choices and work for me. I was part of that rat race at one time. Although I was in business for myself and, sort of, the “Captain of my own destiny,” I still conformed in many ways to the more traditional, mainstream lifestyle.
The bottom line is simply that everyone makes his or her choices in life. I don’t condemn nor ridicule anyone for the choices they make. They made them for their own reasons and have to live with them, just as I do. I’m thankful that so many people choose the more mainstream lifestyle because that allows me and others like me to enjoy those beaches, lakes, resorts and other places on our own schedule. A schedule that is not regimented or in any way dictated by a list of national holidays and dates on a calendar.
I recall going to Daytona Beach one time after the Labor Day weekend and having my choice of beachside rooms at rates that were almost like I was being paid to occupy the room. Yet, only a couple weeks before those rooms were going for between $150 and $200 per night. I’ve rented large beach houses with the same kinds of reduced rates. The beaches are empty. There is no traffic going to or returning from the beaches. The restaurants are nearly empty and they are thrilled to have our business.
So, indeed, I am thankful that the vast majority choose the mainstream, traditional lifestyle alternative. That opens so many opportunities for those of us who choose to live free. However, I am also willing to assist and coach anyone who is looking for more personal freedom and happiness to define what that means for themselves and to take the necessary steps to attain it.
Whichever lifestyle you currently lead, I’m thankful for your choice. I truly hope you’re experiencing the happiness and joy from life that you desire. As for me, I’m happy and thankful for my decisions. There is no price I can put on my personal freedom, now approaching four years.