We thought we were running away from the grownups, and now we are the grownups. ~ Margaret Atwood
There were many times in my youth when I fantasized about running away…. I even was emancipated when I was 17, though I remained at home after. As a child running away signified a new start, freedom, a break from all of the things in life that seemed to bind you (at least in your mind) from doing or being what you wanted to be.
As we get older, we find that we want to run away from that adult responsibilities and “freedom” we yearned for as children. We realize that perhaps, just perhaps, the days of our youth, however traumatic, may still be less stressful than the realities of being an adult. I think it is critical to take breaks – from work, from family, from everything – and if those breaks are not scheduled in at appropriate times, one can become really unhealthy really quickly. We live far from our family. My partner flew out to see her family twice in the past year, allowing her to have a much-needed break from the monotony of life and the kids….. I, however, cannot recall the last time I spent a night away from my kids…. I think it was over three years ago – it is long overdue. I love them very much, but yes, at times I want, at times I NEED to run away – and that is healthy.
I wish my organization had the budget to send representatives to conferences (as I would be the one to go) – those opportunities go a long way in restoring sanity. When we were young we wanted to run away from our families to the freedom of adult responsibilities – yet, as adults, we benefit from running away from it all and taking a break.
There are adults who take it too far – they truly run away from it all. They leave their families, some create new identities – they make their way “off the grid.” While we know that this is not considered the socially appropriate norm, I am sure many of us have had fantasies that would include disappearing for a while.
Today, 173 days ‘tl 40, I am reminded of the healing power of running away from it all – for a short time. When is my next vacation due???