Run for the Hills

“Sometimes it is the wonderful life, the life of abundant friends and extended family and true love, that makes you want to run screaming for the hills.” (Ann Patchet, “Do Not Disturb,” This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage)

Aw, the holidays. There is nothing like endless Christmas parties, infinite gifts that need to be purchased with a finite bank account, seasonal travel and trying to cram two months into one (because, really, that is what December feels like) to convince yourself that you’re going to denounce it all and shack up in a remote cabin in the woods for…forever.

But, I’d be lying to you if I let you believe that this happens to me only once a year, or even just once a month. In all likelihood, I get the urge to throw my hands up at my very full modern life every few weeks.

And it’s not that I don’t love my friends and family, because I do, very much. Spending time with them is and all-to-rare occasion. It’s just that I need some stillness, some quiet, some “me” time in order to fully appreciate and cherish the energy, and sometimes chaos, of being together.

Another way to say that, perhaps more scientifically, is that I’m an introvert. I come from a long family line of introverts. So, no matter how much I love you and enjoy spending time with you, I need some “me” time to balance all of the “we” time. If I’m already exhausted from life and work, social engagements will drain me even more, no matter how much I enjoy them. It’s just the way I am. It has nothing to do with you. Does it sound like we’re breaking up? We’re not.

So, wanting to run screaming for the hills isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s a human thing. It does’t mean you don’t love your life, it’s a sign that you need a break, some time to recharge and reflect on how full of love and wonderful your life is. Because, there are times that you just need to step away for a minute, a day, a month, maybe even a year, to recognize and appreciate what you have. And for some people, like me, taking a break is something you need to do more often than you’d like to admit.

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