On this 4th of July weekend, I’m having a lot of mixed feelings. I wish that as a society, we could live up to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence, written by imperfect souls, and held up with hope by so many generations since 1776.

My family will tell you that I’ve never seen a problem that didn’t demand that I solve it, and solve it right now! Can anyone relate? Yet, I’ve learned that when I try to respond to every single thing that gets me riled up, I am of no use to anyone. And there’s a lot to get riled up about these days. The key for me is to focus on what I can control.

I’ve spoken with students, recent grads and clients lately who’ve had offers pulled out from under them, and others who were making progress in their job search – until they weren’t. It’s heartbreaking. Most of them have the same question: “What should I do? And, I give them that same advice: Focus on what’s in your control.

You know what’s in your control this holiday weekend? You can choose to enjoy the company of those around you. You can choose to relax for a few days and look inward. Listen to your body. Listen to your spirit. In the words of the Buddhist teacher, Ram Dass, you can Be. Here. Now. Sometimes the only peace I can find is on the inside. That’s where I’m heading this weekend – a bit of meditation, a few glasses of wine, the beauty outside. That’s freedom for me. That’s independence. And I recognize that it is also my privilege; I am keenly aware of that. I trust the world and the work to do will still be here when I come back.