There's a right time and place for rebellion; and here's a list of 11 of them:
1. You're living someone else's dream
You have everything you could want. But it really isn't what you want. You crave adventure, and you want to give your family great experiences. It may be time to rebel against the American dream, sell everything and hit the road. You might be called a rebel, but you'll be much happier following your dream.
Our culture tells you that the only way to be happy is to accumulate as much stuff as possible, even if it means putting you several thousand dollars into debt.
If you have debt, you're closer to disaster than you think. Rebel against a culture that values having stuff over meeting the needs of your family.
3. You're not comfortable with the education system
Whether you're not happy about the emphasis on standardized testing, or the lack of truly individualized education, pulling your kids out of school and educating them yourself is a perfectly valid reason to "rebel." No one knows your child better than you do.
4. You hate your body
If you are constantly worried that what you eat will make you "fat," it's time to rebel against a culture that values your looks more than they value your contributions. Learn to love your body.
This doesn't mean you should stop exercising and eating healthily - but don't deny yourself the occasional treat just to fit in to society's unrealistic expectations of the "perfect" body.
5. You don't have time to exercise
You are so busy with work and housekeeping, you have no time for exercise.
If your work and life won't allow you time to take care of yourself, soon enough you won't be able to take care of others in your charge.
Rebel against a culture that values money-making over health. Ask for more time off. Or work toward a career that will support the time off you need to be healthy.
6. You've given up your favorite hobbies
You are so busy with work that you have no time for things you love.
Rebel against a culture that tells you the things you enjoy aren't important. Demand the ability to decide what to do with your own time.
7. You're spending more time at the office than with your family
Exchanging time for money doesn't work well for families. A job that allows you flexibility of time and location is ideal.
If your work refuses to give you the flexibility that you need to spend more time with your family, it's time to remember what Socrates said: "Beware the barrenness of a busy life."
Rebel! Start working toward goals that will allow you to be truly present with those most important to you. Whether that means working to change policies in your workplace, starting your own business or another career change, start today.
8. You haven't taken a vacation in several years (or have only had very short vacations)
You're too busy to take time off.
Time off is a psychological necessity.
Rebel against a culture that tells you material goods are more important than experiences. Yes, money is a necessity, but learn the difference between needs and wants. Spend the money on the needs, and then prioritize your wants. If too much work gets in the way of the meaningful wants, you've got an excellent excuse to rebel.
Prioritize time off. If you don't get it, see #7.
9. You're just "floating"
Your life has no true purpose. You go to work, come home, have dinner and watch TV — every single night. You can't remember the last time you did something that really helped someone else, or that truly made a difference. And everyone thinks that's just fine. If you don't, start now to get involved in meaningful activities. Take a class, start a new sport or become a volunteer, for example.
10. You're not making a difference
You have everything our culture tells us you should have - but no one's life is changed for the better because of yours.
Rebel against a culture that tells us having things is more important than loving people. If having less helps someone live a more fulfilling life, then rebelling against a culture of wants is not only acceptable; it's necessary.
11. You're doing something good, but you're not getting support
You're making changes for the better. You've taken a lower paying job that helps more people, or you've started an online business where you hope to have a positive impact on the world. And you've encountered a lot of naysayers and unsupportive people. There is no better time to rebel than now. Prove them wrong. Keep doing good.
Ignore the naysayers, and let them call you a rebel. Better to be a rebel living a life of purpose, than a conformist living an empty life.
Mariana Abeid-McDougall is a dreamer, a wife, and a mother to three young kiddos. Her family doesn't fit into any neat boxes, and if yours doesn't either, come embrace your dreams with us at www.marianamcdougall.com.