Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Time To Run Away Again

                                                              
Due to an extremely frustrating day of unreturned phone calls, emails, texts, 1 computer going kaput, housing situation, not having human beings available for customer service, and several other points of contention; time to run this post again.

So, do you ever want to run away?


           Or float away for a bit as clouds do?

     As you know, I am a mom of 2 young girls.  I know I am not alone in the experience of dealing with an unhappy child who threatens to run away.  Heck, sometimes they even pack.  Both times that my oldest has made this decision, she made it as far as our front door.   Once, she even made it two steps out, before reality set in.  Both times, to spite her younger sister being in sobs, I remained unemotional.  I even advised her on what she should pack; to this she actually listened and took my advice!  Curious.   When she got to the door, she told me she loved me, as I reciprocally vocalized; then she requested that I walk with her for a bit- till she got where she thought she would want to go/stay.  To this I informed her that I was certain wherever that place was, they too would have rules, but if she wanted to go, that was her decision, and while I would love for her to stay, since she intended to go, she best get on with it, because I needed to calm her sister, feed her sister, and get her sister to bed at an appropriate hour.  Both times, (Thank God) she turned back, and came to me and her sister in a tearful hug.  It was quite touching.

     Perhaps one of the reasons that I didn't lose it when this happened, is I remember my own attempts at an independent life at a very young age.  I too would pack, (my blue flowered suitcase that Grandma Sadie had given me) then after a nonchalant goodbye to Mom, walk out into the night.  Looking back, this always makes me laugh.  This house that my parents had, came with 3-4 acres of land.  Much was covered with trees, and once you left the lit shelter of our large driveway it was pitch black.  Wonderful to view a galaxy full of stars; or great for fostering a child's haunting imagination.  Needless to say, I needed little more than a chirp of a cricket to send me hightailing back to Mom.

Fast forward many years.  I hear the opening line in Bruce Springsteen's "Hungry Heart":

'Got a wife and kids in Baltimore Jack,
I went out for a drive and I never went back...' 

Makes me realize that children don't hold the monopoly on the urge to run away.

     Right now, I am reading Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck.  It is one of my all time favorite books.  It's a non fiction memoir of traveling across America in 1960 with a French poodle named Charley.  Mr. Steinbeck and Charley's mode of transportation is a custom built camper of sort built on the bed of a pickup truck.  Mr. Steinbeck writes often, about "the look" he encounters when he meets someone along his travels.  A look of wanderlust, of wanting to go; anywhere but here.

     Even if everything has turned out good for the most part, day to day life can wear on you; some days more than others.  As children we wish to be grown up; a time when we control everything.  Only, upon becoming grown up do we learn how much of a facade that childhood dream of control can be.  At one time or another, we have to care for aging and ailing parents.  Making decisions that we may second guess; or a relative disagrees with.  We may be in jobs that are less than inspirational than we once thought our careers would entail.  Bills have a way of taking precedence over fulfillment.  Keeping up the abode, is an ongoing never-ending task.  Of course, kids, as much as we love them - are in fact other human beings, that we need to raise, and that is a challenge.  Even if you are "happily married" you learn, that at times it is work.  You are sharing your life with another individual, and by definition, that individual is not you.  That means compromises and concessions even for well suited couples.  Ergo: YOU'RE RIGHT/THEY'RE WRONG.  Or the other way.  It happens.  This is when things have turned out good, which I am blessed to say describes my day to day. 
     I've been around enough to know about "less than good" scenarios.  Major illnesses, sometimes for one's kid; troubled relationships; and natural disasters; are just some.  My hat goes off, and my heart goes out to those who deal with these unimaginable yet for some "just another day" situations.  I imagine "running away" may cross their reverie at times.  Even if it is improbable or just not an option.

     There's still only 24 hours in a day.  Sometimes I remind myself, as it has often been suggested,  that great people like Susan B.  Anthony, Mozart, Einstein, and Ben Franklin had the same amount of time; and think what they accomplished with their 24 hours.  After acknowledging the obvious, that these folks were in different times with different means- I know that we all make our choices.  Sometimes though, choices are not what brings about our realities, and we come to that age old saying, "life is not fair." 
      And that, may I say rather ineloquently, stinks.
We can look back in each of our lives and say, I wish, or I should have done such and such.  There's really no two ways about it though if you think about it; change one part, and today would not be the same; even the best parts would be different.  

     I think as human beings, for a large part, there is something innate that makes us want justice.  More than that we want things to make sense.  We root for the underdog.  Even though when you think about it, the term "underdog" implies that one began with a less than fair deal.  So, we root for them to win; so in the end, it's all good.  Justice.

     Let me know if you find it.  Till then, I will do as I feel others have done before, and more will continue to do.  That is:  Try to keep the faith with a little vice from time to time.  Even if that vice is just a little imagination. 
And again, let me just say in the words of that wonderful philosopher James William Buffett,
"I just wanna live happily ever after, every now and then."