My freshman year of college an education professor asked, “If this were your last day on the planet, how would you want to spend it?” She then went around the room calling on us one by one to answer aloud. I remember no one else’s response, but I remember mine; it came to me immediately. When it was my turn, I announced, “I’d go down to the farm to spend the day with my Grandma Alice.” She was my happiest place on earth.
I was 19 years old at the time. Many times since then, when I’ve wanted to run away from life for a bit, that is where I’d like to go. To the farm. To Grandma.
I’m now 33, and still, when I feel like life has me in a vice grip, I want to go to my Grandma Alice’s. (And, I still have my Grandma Alice’s to go to – one, because she’s still alive thank you God, and two, because she still lives in the same house that my mother was raised in how cool is that?!) It’s rare, of course, that I actually drop what I’m doing to honor that feeling, but today is different.
I feel like I’ve been in a vice grip since the beginning of March. Looking ahead, I still see commitment after commitment, deadline after deadline of stuff I feel like I have to get through before I can be myself again.
No. No I will not put my inside feelings on hold anymore waiting for the outside stuff to finish. How about I honor myself now as life carries on? Yes. Yes, that sounds good.
So yesterday afternoon, I took a stand against my so-called problems (for lack of better word to explain the vice grip feeling). I went to the farm. To Grandma Alice’s.
I used to think that escaping to Grandma’s was me running away from my problems. While driving down yesterday, I realized that I wasn’t running away. I was actually running (technically driving) toward my happy. There’s a big difference there.
Grandma and I did some Sunday driving on a lovely Friday evening. I stopped to let a pair of pheasants cross the dirt road. We passed by one of my cousins in the country and rolled down our windows to chat for a few minutes. We ate dinner at Dairy Queen, and we watched the sunset back at the farm.
I’d been running so much lately that I found myself hovering above “E”. After last night? I’m filled again. Ready to get back to my commitments and face my deadlines.
If you feel like you’ve been running a lot lately, remember that running away from your problems is immensely different than running toward what you love. Whether it be a bakery, a concert hall, a library, a fishing hole, or a family farm in rural Illinois. Run. Run hard, run fast, and get there. Otherwise your problems might run away with you.