268 Days ’til 40: Moving… or Running Away?

29 May

I once had a professor say to me, “Never underestimate the power of running away.”  I thought it was a very interesting comment coming from a professor at a university……  now that I look back, she must have been about my age when she said it (39ish….)  Throughout the years, this is something that has often made me think and her words echoed through my head.

One of the things I have discovered in my life is there are different types of moves.  There are those career-related moves, there are those moves that are beyond your control (i.e.: if you work for the military).  Yet, I have found that a majority of the moves people make tend to fall into one of either two categories:  running away from something or running to something.  Neither one is inherently good or bad – it can be good to run away from a bad relationship and bad to run to a new situation that may not really be healthy for you in the long run.

I have found that I usually move when I am running to something, but at times I have also moved because I was bored and needed a change of pace (in essence, running away from my old life).  I love adventure and there is something for me about the adrenaline rush that accompanies a move (particularly when it is across the country or to another country) that is amazing.  I learn so much when I have the opportunity to experience new things.

As we head from spring into summer, we are in a season where many people will be making physical moves in their lives.  I caution you to really think about your motivation if you are moving.  Are you running away from something or towards something?  Will this move benefit you, or does is have the potential to cause you and your family harm?  Are you dreading it or are you excited?  Are you apprehensive?  (a bit of apprehension can be both normal and healthy – change is hard).

My partner and I talk about moving a lot, but the reality is that we seem to be mostly talk.  We will not move unless we have something to run to – some sort of opportunity that challenges us to learn and grow, or affords us the opportunity to have a new and exciting experience.  We have a great life where we are – with wonderful people around us and our jobs are good – in today’s economy it is critical to look at these things and be thankful and not be too quick to make decisions that could jeopardize a healthy stability for one’s family.

Today, 268 days ’til 40, I remind myself that moves should be steps in the right direction – towards something better (be it a better salary, higher degree, amazing adventure, etc.)  It is okay to run away from an unhealthy situation and it is great to run to a new adventure.  The key is stepping back and analyzing your situation and being honest with yourself about your decision-making.



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49 responses to “268 Days ’til 40: Moving… or Running Away?

  1. silverbells2012

    May 29, 2012 at 00:10

    Last autumn I became depressed and could so easily have given up my job (well, except for the fact that I have a five year old and a mortgage). Instead, I managed to hold onto the good things about my paid employment but give myself the space to move forward to find a new world for me by going part time. So, it is true that change does need to be thought about to get to where you want to go in the best way (like looking at a map before you set off, which I never do, and therefore reducing the chances of getting lost – still in the dark ages with no satnav).

    • 400daystil40

      May 29, 2012 at 10:37

      Yes, very good points you make. Thank you for sharing your story!

  2. buckwheatsrisk

    May 29, 2012 at 00:33

    i would say sometimes moves are risks you have to take in life not fully knowing how it is going to turn out. if you never take a risk, you would never know what could be…often it is good, if it is not, then at least we learn something and don’t have the “what if” regrets. 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      May 29, 2012 at 10:36

      Yes, I understand this very much… I hate having the “what if” regrets and I try to minimize them in my life.

  3. pinkagendist

    May 29, 2012 at 00:35

    “The man who says he has exhausted life generally means that life has exhausted him.”
    Oscar Wilde

    • 400daystil40

      May 29, 2012 at 10:36

      Ah, such a wonderful quote! Thank you for posting it. 🙂

  4. 1smiles

    May 29, 2012 at 00:36

    Very wise thoughts.

  5. Ray Laskowitz

    May 29, 2012 at 00:49

    Where I come from, they call running away — especially from something — a geographical cure. That never works. Whatever you are running from just follows you. Running towards something is very different.

    • 400daystil40

      May 29, 2012 at 10:36

      I LOVE that term (geographical term!) And you are correct, it never works. I love it when people are stupid enough to move thinking that a stressful move across country or to a new country will save their marriage (inevitably, they divorce faster).

  6. Whitney Rains

    May 29, 2012 at 03:25

    Hi! I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Blogger Award! Congrats!! 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      May 29, 2012 at 10:35

      Thank you so much, Whitney, that is so kind of you! 🙂

      • Whitney Rains

        May 29, 2012 at 18:07

        You definitely deserve it! Your blog is great!

  7. Lucianus Mauricius

    May 29, 2012 at 06:15

    Side note to your post; never underestimate the power of denial regarding the reasons you’re running away. I’ve often felt that by moving somewhere else it was going to be for my best interest, while in reality I simply was running away from present and past mashed into one. Wherever I went that extra luggage staid with me, I carried it thousands of miles away and when settled I put it back in a new closet, alas still a closet, and every time you open that door, that luggage is there waiting for you, like the monster we were afraid of when we were kids.

  8. cav12

    May 29, 2012 at 06:38

    That’s so true! Done that with my career.

  9. LiesHurtMySanity

    May 29, 2012 at 07:20

    Reblogged this on Lies Hurt my Sanity and commented:
    Powerful thoughts. I am the type to run away while running toward.

  10. Lady T

    May 29, 2012 at 11:06

    I think everyone should run away on purpose at least once. It will show you your true self and you’ll get to see what you’re made of. Sometimes you have to be far away from a situation to see it more clearly. Constant running away is pointless, though. My mom used to say, “You can’t hide from yourself because everywhere you go, there you are.”

    • 400daystil40

      May 29, 2012 at 14:45

      Your mom’s words are so simple, yet so true and profound!

  11. Spider42

    May 29, 2012 at 11:57

    You know, first thought I had (unbidden) as I reached the end of the post was “Run Forrest! RUUUN!!” with the scenes of Tom Hanks on the run. 😀

    But in all seriousness, this is a great post and you are very right (in my mind) about what you are saying here. Stop, smell roses, take in the view, enjoy… but to really keep growing and evolving and changing, well you gotta keep moving.

  12. ddivna

    May 29, 2012 at 12:20

    I just move out to another country in June!

  13. The Quiet Borderline

    May 29, 2012 at 13:03

    Thank you for the post.

    I am also someone that has left many things behind and tried out new things because I wasn’t happy with life. Problem was, I still haven’t found happiness in anything that I’ve really done. I went to university, did a diploma in Art for a year. Got in to one of the best university’s for a Fine Art degree program. Dropped out after a year. Moved to another country at the age of 21. Moved from one city, to the next, to the next… And then wound up in 14 months of hospitalization with Major Depression. Now I am in the rehabilitation program and am once again starting my life from scratch. Let’s hope it goes well this time around because I haven’t really got the patience, it’s wearing thin!

    • 400daystil40

      May 29, 2012 at 14:01

      It sounds like you have been through a lot – but you make some excellent points. You have proven that when you are depressed or sad/ not content/ etc. – these things will indeed follow you no matter where you go – the difference for you now is that it sounds like you have taken some pretty important steps in order to turn things around.

      • The Quiet Borderline

        May 29, 2012 at 14:15

        Thanks. Yep, I hope so. This feels like the last drop off point in my life and the last chance to change things.

  14. jenyjenny

    May 29, 2012 at 13:35

    Ha, ha, my husband, an engineering professor, often repeats “No problem is so great that you can’t run away from it.” Every time he says that, I want to say, “What? Is this what you teach people to do?” and he just gives me a smile and then repeats it. It doesn’t seem to jibe with his record of being hyper-responsible in every conceivable way. Some day this will be known as his “favorite saying” or koan or something.

  15. viveka

    May 29, 2012 at 13:40

    I don’t think we move because we are bored – we move because there is something there that we want to reach – something that can be more exciting when what we have – but I don’t think boredom is any major reason. Running away from something – means that we put the head in the sand and believe that it will disappear by itself … strangely it does most of the time – things solve themselves – mostly because it’s not that big issue after all. When it’s about moving home – done it so many times, been so much in storage .. lived in other peoples furnished home … hate it every time I moved, but it’s also a challenge to recreate something new – to build up a new existence – it doesn’t have to mean that we are moving on or running away. Love your posts .. a challenge every day.

    • 400daystil40

      May 29, 2012 at 14:03

      Thank you for your compliment and for the great comment you made. I agree, sometimes moving is putting our heads in the sand, and yet moving itself causes a great amount of stress and challenges in our lives. It is not easy!

      • viveka

        May 29, 2012 at 14:09

        When I moved back to Sweden from Belfast … I had 137 numbered items and a home already in storage since 12 years back in Gothenburg, but I must say it wasn’t that bad … because the move was done by professionals and I have used a layout plan from a software I could try for a week for free over internet. Measured all walls and when played around on my computer – brilliant and when the removal came everything had a place. Can’t for for life remember the name of the software. It was a lot of fun involved too.

        • 400daystil40

          May 29, 2012 at 14:10

          Wow, I want that program the next time I move!!!!!!! 🙂

          • viveka

            May 29, 2012 at 14:13

            Will try to find it … it was brilliant very expensive – but you can use it for free .. for 7 days and save your layouts.

          • viveka

            May 29, 2012 at 14:17

            Will try to find it … it was brilliant very expensive – but you can use it for free .. for 7 days and save your layouts. Here it’s –

          • 400daystil40

            May 29, 2012 at 14:40

            Thanks!!! 🙂

  16. New Hampshire Gardener

    May 29, 2012 at 16:38

    An anonymous person once said “There is no better than here, and when your there becomes a here–you just believe there is another there that is better than here.”
    I was lucky enough to find that out early on by running away, and I was never so glad to see home as I was when I finally made it back.

  17. becca3416

    May 29, 2012 at 16:49

    Great post. I am definitely running to something when I move next year. I think you are absolutely correct, a move should be about progression rather than a hiding mechanism. My brother once moved across the country to run away from something. He is now back at home. It just did not work. I can’t wait to move – definite excitement!

    • 400daystil40

      May 29, 2012 at 22:06

      Wow, I wish you the best with your move!!!

      • becca3416

        May 30, 2012 at 00:04

        Thank you!

  18. writerwannabe763

    May 29, 2012 at 17:04

    Maybe as you say …caution is the word and ‘walking is better than running….Diane

  19. naznia

    May 29, 2012 at 17:19

    A very thought provoking post. I never thought of moving as “running to” something. I always associated it with running away or moving on. Hmm..time to change how I view things, thank you for giving me a new perspective.

  20. Michael Vuke

    June 4, 2012 at 17:11

    Great post; I needed to read this. I’ve gotten a bit burned out with school, but it will help in the long run (hopefully), whereas if I stopped school, I have nothing better than that to run to.

    • 400daystil40

      June 4, 2012 at 23:04

      Thanks for the compliment! I think you are right…. if you give in to the school burnout now in the end you will be in a rougher spot and will not have something better to run too – great insight!


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