13 Ways I'm Celebrating Independence Day

Ever since I was young, The 4th of July has been my favorite holiday. It started because it was the only holiday I didn't have to wear a dress and I could hang out with my friends all day. Some of my favorite memories are going to see the fireworks with my friends who lived on the block. 

As I grew older, my interest in history brought a new perspective on this holiday and I began to love it even more.

The Declaration of Independence is the greatest breakup letter of all time. 

So this year, I've decided to celebrate Independence Day with a day of self-care and self-improvement because that what you do after a breakup, right? In honor of the 13 colonies that took part in the original Brexit, here are 13 ways I'm celebrating today.

NOTE: I will be working on this list throughout the day, so some of the things listed here will update automatically as I complete them. To see more, follow my Instagram Stories.

1. Reading The Declaration of Independence

"When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

What an opening line! This isn't a new way for me to celebrate today, but I find that reading it always reminds me of how this one piece of paper set off a domino effect of events that get us to today. I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of our political environment and have genuine concerns about the direction this nation is moving. However, reading The Declaration of Independence always renews my faith in the idea that people can change the world. 

2. Working on My Life Plan

At the start of 2017, I sat down and thought about what I wanted to accomplish this year. This plan was centered around things that I value. Since we are half way through the year, The 4th is a great day to revisit. Stay tuned for a formal update on this soon.

3. Unfollowing All of the Things

This morning, with the help of unroll.me, I unsubscribed from a bunch email subscriptions. I've had my email account since 2000 and had never done this before. I was able to also trim my Twitter "following" list by 100. Next up are Facebook and Instagram. I already feel lighter.

NOTE: It's been brought to my attention that unroll.me is not a customer friendly service. If you did what I did, please read this post for alternatives. I'm so sorry I was unaware of this before posting. I will research about what I link to in the future. 

4. Purging Stuff

I have too much stuff. Specifically books I don't read or have read and don't need anymore. Today - I purge! 

5. Evaluating My Relationships

They say that the 5 people you spend most of your time around have the largest influence in your life. Today I'm going to make a list of those 5 people and see if there are any boundaries I need to draw or if I need to mix in some new faces. This will not be easy for me, but it is needed to make sure I'm available to build my best life.

6. Breaking One Bad Habit

This one is kind of a two for one. It is easier for me to break bad habits if I replace them with good ones. The fact I spend so much time on my phone bothers me. I don't feel good when I spend too much time on it. Today, I'm going to replace 30 minutes of phone time with reading.

7. Creating a Spotify Playlist of Empowering Songs

I love Spotify. I use it all of the time. I rarely make my own playlists. Today I will create a playlist that is full of songs that pump me up and motivate me to take on the world.

8. Drinking Coffee

Only because the Brits love tea. :)

9. Thanking Soldiers

When I practice gratitude, my life improves. Today, I will share my gratitude for the men and women who fight for our country by participating in Operation Gratitude's letter writing project.

10. Educating Voters

My love of history and education has been nurtured through my work with the League of Women Voters Oak Park River Forest (LWVOPRF). I currently serve as a Vice-President for this organization and I have some work to do for them today. What I love most about being involved with LWVOPRF is that we really are all about giving people opportunities to be educated voters. In today's policial climate, I can't think of a better way to help "the cause". 

11. Committing to Something

When I think about the Declaration of Independence, I always wonder what was going through the minds of the men who signed their names to that document. Once they signed it they were committing treason. What sticks with me though, is that they remained committed to the cause of independence. This was their starting point.

This website has been under 5 different domain names. Today I am committing to this site for a year and we will see what comes out of it. Creating things feeds me. 

12. Looking to the Sky with Wonder

Growing up we used to shout out the shapes of the fireworks as they exploded in the sky. "Heart! Smiley Face! Mickey Mouse!" I remember being filled with wonder. How did they create the shapes? How did they create the colors? How did they time them to the music? The answer then was magic. Today, I will find magic in the sky again.

13. Writing My Own Declaration of Independence

I've wanted to do this for some time. I don't know what it will end up being, but you can find it here.

And with that, I wish you and yours a Happy Independence Day!