Holidays are easy for us to forget or ignore. After all, weather and necessary farm work make artibitrary celebrations, well, arbitrary. However, Independence Day is such an American holiday that I want to make a few observations from our perspective.

I obviously like to complain about and criticize regulations and bureaucracy in the US. However, whenever I research or read about similar rules and situations in other countries, I’m reminded of just how much freedom we do have here. America isn’t perfect, but I don’t know where else we’d be able to pursue our dreams this way with equivalent security and legal protection. We take for granted just how possible it’s been for us to make this choice, and how free we really are. I’m glad we were born American.

Missouri has its faults, but so many other states have worse governments and tighter rules. We’re exceedingly grateful to be out of Virginia, for example. Here, the state government is reasonably functional and financially responsible, and the laws are online in an easily searchable and readable format. If I want to know something about Missouri law, I can find it. It’s a beautiful state with a lot of opportunities for people like us. I’m glad we’ve chosen to be Missourians.

Farming has its downsides, and we’ll see how we feel about its financial viability in the long term. But the independence we’ve gained is truly meaningful for us. We work for ourselves, can choose how we spend our time (within reason), are not tied to commutes, cannot be fired, eat better and tastier food than could be possible in a different life, and in general are able to pursue the American dream of building the life we want.

It may seem strange given how tied we are to the farm (little to no vacations, no evenings off, year-round work, etc.), but in some ways I feel more free than I ever have. And for that independence, we’re grateful for our country and our opportunities, and for all the people who made it possible.

Happy Independence Day.

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