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???
September 1, 2012 at 00:06
i am highly skilled at the art of running away, lol.
September 1, 2012 at 20:04
I am probably not as skilled as I need to be… or maybe too skilled….. I do not know………..
September 1, 2012 at 03:00
This topic really resonates with me 400. There have been many times I’ve wanted to just “disappear into the trees” when things seem overwhelming. As a teen I actually did run away. I got on my 10-speed bike with a huge garbage bag of my belongings and headed out – I was going to my Grandparents house! The bag got heavy so I left it hidden at a park I went to alot and then got on the interstate and just started riding. People beeped at me but nobody stopped me at any point. I got thirsty and hungry and pulled off on a rural road and stopped at a house and asked if I could have some water. The young man in the yard brought me into the house and his mom made me a grilled cheese sandwich and gave me lemonade. I don’t think they bought my story about my parents letting me do this all the time lol! Well I left and was going to head out but got sleepy and pulled over on the side of the road for a nap and a few minutes after I got up….there were my parents driving down the road! They weren’t too happy with me!
September 1, 2012 at 20:03
This runaway story brought back my own memory of trying to run away to my grandmother’s house… only I did not get as far as you did… I think I was half a block away (with a friend of mine, who was stupid enough to tell her sister what we were doing) when her mother came to scream at us. As a teen I did run away once when my parents were fighting and told them I would not come back until they grew up. And, a couple of times as an adult I have run away for a few hours when relationship pressure was just too much for me and I could not take it anymore and needed a day of being away from it all…. the hard thing in those situations is that you have to go home, and that is hard as the issues are still there… you just hope your emotions are calmer….. if you are lucky.
September 1, 2012 at 04:37
i’m with you, where are we going?? 😉
September 1, 2012 at 19:59
Anywhere but here! 🙂
September 1, 2012 at 20:01
ha! sounds good!
September 1, 2012 at 16:24
Sometimes even a day at home, alone, ignoring the phone and laundry and paperwork can be a good run away day too.
September 1, 2012 at 19:59
Yes, very true – am going to try that tomorrow… we will see if I am even disciplined enough to do it……
The Quiet Borderline (back in hospital)
September 1, 2012 at 16:42
Hope you get a vacation soon! Very soon! Sounds like you deserve it. 😉
September 1, 2012 at 19:59
Thanks! Not so likely! Such is life….
September 1, 2012 at 20:40
Hi there…just came across your blog. What a fantastic idea…love it. Now following 🙂 I am currently 46 days until 30, LOL, but I already get this concept. I’m eager to leave my so-called youth behind and begin the journey the next stage of my life.
And I completely agree that I didn’t have it so bad as a kid…in fact, the concept of “stress” actually baffled me until I graduated college, and began my career. I just got married, no kids yet. But I am definitely walking towards more stress, rather than less!
So glad I came across this blog. There’s nothing I love more than life lessons, wisdom, etc. Keep in touch.
September 2, 2012 at 16:13
Thank you so much, Katherine, for your words of encouragement! I am enjoying blogging, but it is a lot of work! After I hit 40 I will slow down a bit! 🙂 😉 🙂
September 2, 2012 at 19:59
Calvin take me away!
September 3, 2012 at 10:22
Wasn’t it Calgon???? 😛
September 4, 2012 at 05:16
LOL you’re right! Darn auto correct!
September 3, 2012 at 01:29
I can relate to this! Do you feel that, even though you live with your other half, you don’t get to spend quality time with her? My man and I spent a week ‘back home’ in the summer. It took ages to convince him to come, then when he did, not only did he enjoy it, he wondered why we didn’t go elsewhere. He was right, away time, alone, together with no obligations (even the fun ones!) is important once in a while. 🙂
September 3, 2012 at 12:46
Yes, definitely! I find this all the time. We are constantly trying to figure out how to steal that time away from the girls and life – not so easy! We do have some wonderful vacations, but always with our little ones (okay, not so little anymore at 8 and 10) in tow… but still, not the same!
September 3, 2012 at 01:40
This is a great reminder to take a break from our responsibilities.
My wonderful husband took me to the beach for the day yesterday because he said I “needed to get out of the house.” is it any wonder I still love this guy after 24 years of marriage?
Unfortunately, it’s back to the bring on Monday. My favorite form of running away is reading a well-written piece of fiction.
September 3, 2012 at 12:36
Wow, what a nice treat! We actually have beach plans for this Friday afternoon – such a nice escape! Yes, reading can be a great way of escaping!
September 3, 2012 at 12:13
Heh… you have no idea how amusing it is for me to read this post… I’m a city-born and mostly big-city fellow, but I’ve never been one for the madness that tends to permeate metro’s. It’s nice, but like the song said:
“I’m city born, but I love the country life”
In fact, a lot of my friends who are not part of the “rat-race” and are more into the arts and freelance work and such are looking to jump ship and move to the country-side or to a beach town or something and while I’m tied with a lot of family obligations and such, I’ve been very seriously considering doing something similar for a while now.
Sure, it would limit a lot of things, but there’s far too much I’m not happy about where I am…
But yes, being able to take even short breaks, vacations or not, go a long way. I have to go to Europe once a year for a convention on behalf of my company and it’s hectic and lots of running around – but I love the break and I love that I get to get out of the country itself. I go to the comic shops that we never have here, to the nice open markets and gardens and quietest spaces where I’m just s random stranger in a strange place where no one knows me or cares, far, far away from all the stuff that eats at my brain the rest of the year – and just for a little while, I feel relaxed. 🙂
Such is life.
September 3, 2012 at 12:40
I agree – and good for you for considering other options that may allow you to slow down and have a more reasonable pace in your life. I am finding that the hardest thing for me at the moment is getting enough rest/ sleep. It is all about balance!
September 8, 2012 at 14:02
Running away never works … because we have to go back to what ever it’s we been running from – if we don’t want to leave for good. Running only makes us exhausted and nothing will have changed when we come back.
September 8, 2012 at 22:42
So very true – it only works for the short moments, but in the long run can often make things worse.