Lately, I’ve been thinking about running away.
Fantasizing about it actually. Leaving the daily routine behind for a few days of quiet. I would drink coffee and later wine. I’d read books and meditate and breathe in the space and get to know myself again.
Nobody would interrupt me. Toilet paper would be abundant and there would never be an empty tube left on the holder. I wouldn’t plan a single meal I’d just eat when I wanted. There would be no complications.
And this weekend I did go away – with my family in tow. All the way out of town I imagined checking into my own room. Having a shower without someone talking to me through the door.
Within minutes of check-in my daughter’s stuffies were scattered throughout the room and she was using the remote to check out cable cartoons, while putting on her swimsuit. Life just felt noisy.
But I took a deep breath. Put down my gear. And walked with her down to the pool. She skipped ahead. And then she danced. And then she sung through the hallways. She was thrilled we had to take an elevator to get to the lower level. She asked questions about the permit and the emergency phone and when the doors opened she sprinted for the pool.
I watched her toss her sweatshirt into the chair and jump into the water without testing the temperature and when her head bobbed to the surface, with water drops rolling down her hair and skin, her face was one big grin.
I got it then.
Focus on What is Working
This is hard sometimes. The routine. The daily responsibilities that don’t always jive with my personal desires in-the-moment. It gets old figuring out what to cook for dinner and digging the soccer uniform out of the laundry to wash it yet again and juggling work deadlines and bill schedules and a marriage to a man who is spending hours training for a marathon.
The routine can eat us up and raise our stress levels until we daydream about another, more peaceful world.
But, what I remembered, while watching my daughter transform into a mermaid named Bubbles, is, that this is the life I want.
When days seem a little less rosie, when we are tired or feeling trapped, it’s easy to begin thinking about what isn’t working, instead of what is.
It would be a lot less complicated to be alone in a motel room – and I’m certainly not opposed to the idea. One of these days I might escape for the day.
But I’m coming back. Because, to have few complications is to have few experiences.
I would miss watching my daughter skip down the hall. I would miss taking pictures of my husband’s finish. Sure, I wouldn’t have to juggle childcare and schedules, but I would so miss the dinners with my girlfriends when we solve the problems of the world.
This stuff is also part of the routine and for now, it’s what I’ll put my attention on because skipping through life is a whole lot more fun than skipping out.