Yep. I said it. Run away. far, far away where no one can find you and no one can bother you. Seriously. It helps. When Life is Overwhelming— Run Away!
I did it. Last weekend. I ran to a secluded cabin, laptop left at home, cell service spotty. I took books and coffee and sat under the tin roof listening to the rain on the Texas prairie. It took a good few hours before I felt the stress in my shoulders drop. It took overnight for the overwhelming feeling of tears being on the edge of falling to cease. It took the whole weekend for me to remember why I was working so hard to take care of this amazing life I’ve built. By the time I drove home, I had resolved issues that had caused the most stress and walked back into my life a new woman.
We do too much. We really do. All of us. I don’t know if it is the constant presence of a computer in our hand pressing us to pick it up, check in, share our lives, check email. Or if it is the pressure to not be judged as a parent by others, therefore scheduling and planning and micromanaging our children to a fault. Or the pressure to never say no thus others be disappointed. I don’t know.
But I don’t remember my mother, or grandmother for that matter, ever ‘losing it’ and screaming in pure craziness at the insanity of the life she leads. I was getting there, even dropping an F bomb to my kids when I opened one of their drawers and found a half eaten pear crammed in with the new school clothes.
For months now I have told my friends that life feels heavy. Even with amazing opportunities and incredibly kids that make it so easy to be a single mom, and with friends that we all dream of having, it just felt too heavy for my two shoulders. Too insurmountable. Too encompassing.
I was spinning in circles, barely able to remember my days because they were so busy. Even the time my kids spent at my ex’s house for his summer vacation seemed to fly by. I crammed work travel and extra trips in so that I did not have to sit at home missing my kids. I hopped from plane to plane, event to event, hoping that my loneliness could be turned into professional opportunities.
It worked. Business is booming. I am truly blessed to have so many amazing things happening. I am not complaining. But I didn’t take any time for me, which is so necessary in life, and I was crumbling under the pressure.
So I ran away. And after I did, I realized that we all need to sometimes. That total peace of being alone with our thoughts that get so convoluted with everyday life. Married or not. Kids or not. We need to escape. There is no shame in it at all.
I realized while I was gone that I had been so busy trying to keep my head above water that I was drowning. I was not writing about my life, which, for me, is my lifeline. Too worried about rankings and google and perceptions of my readers that I had shied away from what I loved most. Out of fear that no one would read it or even care, I stopped doing what fed my soul.
I realized that I was so stressed about how people perceived my house that the chores fell way behind as I tried to get them done. That I was so worried about my kid’s well being that I was forgetting to give them what they need most. A mom who could hug them without hurrying, sit and watch a show without checking email, a woman who showed by example that taking care of you is important too.
I have a good life. A really, really good life. Sometimes it takes leaving it to realize just how amazing it is.
So while sitting on the prairie, petting the dogs of the owner who would come to check on me, sipping my coffee or wine, having conversations with the grasshopper who never seemed to want to leave the porch, I discovered that running away was exactly what I needed to come home again.