Monday, July 5, 2010

Declaration of Independence

Happy FIFTH of July, everyone!

Thought we could preserve a bit of the holiday spirit here at NilsenLife by joining the fabulous Girl with Moxie in her annual Declaration of Independence - declaring her own personal independence from something that's keeping her down. 

In her words, "Like our Founding Fathers, we need to have a tangible reminder of what we are saying we will no longer tolerate, whether it’s in our leaders or ourselves." So, with apologies to those Founding Fathers, I give you the First Annual NilsenLife Declaration of Independence.

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one person (your friendly blogger) to dissolve the fruitless trains of thought which have distracted her too often, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the peace of mind to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitles her, a decent respect to the opinions of humankind requires that she should declare the causes which impel her to the dissolution.

Which is to say that in 2010, I hereby declare my independence from What If.

One of my favorite posts from last year considered the conundrum of What Is.  Some of you may remember it - the one where we talked about celebrating What Is, and the peace that comes with accepting that your situation just IS.  At the end of the post, I asked "Where is the path of peace, between What Is, and What Might Be?"

I spent the last five days crafting a post that explored the world of What Might Have Been.  It was a funny, thoughtful little piece all about how instructive it can be to mentally travel those roads not taken.

Something didn't sit right though - regardless of how often I wrote & re-wrote it, I couldn't escape the idea that no matter how entertaining, the world of What If was crazy making.  Allowing yourself to revisit your past - to question your decisions, to spend your energies wondering what might have been if only you'd chosen 'X' over 'Y' - becomes paralyzing.  If the path of peace lies between What Is and What Might Be, the path of worry and unrest lies with What Might've Been.

I, therefore, the representative of NilsenLife in the world, assembled (along with my mental faculties), appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of my intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of the Interwebs, solemnly publish and declare, that my mind is, and of right ought to be a free and independent place; that I am absolved from all allegiance to the question of What If, and that all connection between myself and the State of Wondering, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as a free and independent individual, I have full power to levy war (against a rumpled state of mind), conclude peace, contract alliances (with other future-oriented individuals), establish connections, and to do all other acts and things which independent thinkers may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, I mutually pledge to my readers my thoughts, my vast blogging fortunes and my sacred honor. 

That is all.

Finally, if you haven't read the original Declaration recently, I would highly encourage you to do so sometime today.  It is a beautifully constructed piece of writing, and the words stir me every time I come across them.


Wendy said...

Thanks Kirsten, that was so timely. I'm afraid I've been wallowing in "What If" a great deal lately and needed a quick slap upside the head - my "What Is" is pretty damn good.

Moxie said...

Thanks for the shout out, my dear! Yes, those "what ifs" can really ruin a moment - THE moment, to be exact.

Cheryl said...

I'm sorry, I was distracted by that festive drink and the fact you're wearing a sleeveless shirt, while here? It's overcast and maybe 60. In July. In SoCal.

But yes, wondering about what ifs? So less productive than what IS.

Varda said...

Oh, Kirsten, I do have to work hard to keep the dreaded "what ifs" at bay. When you have a kid w/ special needs, you have to be so vigilant about this because that path never leads to anywhere good, and always comes with a huge dose of pain and sadness. I think I actually talk about one in an early blog post - oh here it is - can I grab your spotlight for a moment? - this is from my post "A blast from my past" about my twins at 3:

"I had one of those awful moments when I let myself think what if. “What if they were both typically developing?” And I knew that this would be such a FUN time in my and their lives. Because my typical kid, while also a lot of work and an occasional total pain in the ass (like all little kids) is a HELL of a lot of fun at this stage, talking and commenting on everything with a great sense of humor, interested in the whole world, and trying to figure out how he fits in it. And how much effort with so little reward EVERYTHING with my PDD kid is, just comes crashing down on me at those moments. And the truly awful thing is that, for an instant, hating Autism spills into hating my son. There, I've said it."

Keda said...

I myself posted a few times about the dangers of What Ifs, past What If's and Not's. The biggest one to my mind: It makes me sound like I regret my life, who I am or that I am ungrateful for who I was able to become. For future What If's and Not's the biggest dangers is simply missing what is here now. Missing the opportunity to say thank you, now.

Related Posts with Thumbnails