Running Away

I ran away from home today. (I do this now and again. I always return.) I am retired, but lately it seems that other people have been scheduling my time for me. This appointment, that social function… It seems to never end. It’s been weeks since I’ve had an entire day with which to do as I please. I was ready to take advantage of the time.

As I got ready to leave the house, I kept finding things that needed to be done. I didn’t want to forget, but I also didn’t want to take the time to write them down, so I started doing each task as I thought of it. I finally told myself, “Gee. If I don’t run away, I’ll never get there.” I shrugged off the guilt trip about the little tasks that I was leaving undone. It was time to leave.

I gathered up my writing tools and headed for my favorite coffee shop. After buying my usual mocha I looked for an empty table. What luck! I scored a seat by the sunny window; a rare find.

My personal rule is that I may and must write until the coffee’s gone. Writing helps me think through things. As I sat in the sun and wrote, I realized the sources of my recent stress: worries about this and that, daily busyness, the current news cycle, Donald Trump. The words flowed from pen to paper. I articulated prayers. The stress began to melt.

I’ve come to think of my running away days as a type of mini-retreat. Going to a neutral quiet spot, away from everyday life, allows me to sort out my thoughts and refresh my mind. (Yes, I know a coffee shop isn’t the quietest place; but there’s a certain anonymity that lets me be quiet within.)

I should run away more often.

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