The values list

Last week I decided to follow a writing prompt that my supervisor encouraged our team to check out. I was to make a list of 5 — 10 values and then write about them.

Here’s the list:

  • Freedom
  • Creativity
  • Curiosity
  • New experiences
  • Relationships

Sure, there are other things I value, like loyalty, love, peace, but these five are the TOP FIVE, at least right now.

And because freedom comes in at the top, I guess I need to reflect on that idea a bit.

To me, freedom is an all-encompassing thing. Freedom to travel, freedom to acquire the things I need/want, freedom to spend my time the way I want. Freedom to spend time with the people I want to spend it with. Freedom to say what I want.

Of course, that word also represents the blessing of living free from tyranny or oppression, living in a free country and not being incarcerated.

Now, I suppose it’s at the top of my list because I don’t really have the freedom to travel right now. Not with my job, which offers beans in terms of time off.

But it’s not just that, really—my significant other can’t travel much right now either, and being apart from him on a fun trip doesn’t sound like much fun.

loki_car

Loki, my fur baby, all settled in for a ride in the car.

But it’s also at the top of the list because as much freedom as I lack in the ability to travel, I do have the freedom to live mostly the way I want. That job that keeps me stuck at my desk? Well, it also keeps me in good cheese, out-of-season produce, gifts for friends and myself…and daycare for my dog once a week.

So yeah. I recognize that there is a balance. And in my mid-thirties I’ve found the grace and grit to stick with a job that sticks me at a desk because it also opens up much of the world to me.

Having that choice—the ability to stay, or to think of myself as stuck or not stuck… perhaps that is the greatest freedom, or perhaps that’s what freedom really is: personal choice. And the ability to recognize that… well, this is something I really value.

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