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I didn’t get to the gym today but I did feel like running away…running away from my life.  Growing up in blissful, suburban Manalapan, NJ, there was a family everyone knew in our tightly knit community as they had 6 kids.  One day their mom walked out.  She walked away from everything leaving the oldes two siblings to raise the younger ones.  I never could comprehend how a mother would do that.  Can you imagine 6 kids today?  I probably would have run, not walked out, a long time ago.  Now I get it.  Who knows what the catalyst was driving her to leave and abandon her family (there were rumors but I never felt like I got the full scoop) but I am sure she felt stuck in some way.  That is how I felt today – like I wanted to run away from the house I love (to an apartment so no spring cleanup for my kids to complain about), from the kids I love (the same ones I felt like strangling earlier) and from the life I used to love.  I did leave for a while but only to run an errand with my middle son, the least of the complainers today.  When I returned home, I did what I normally do when I feel out of control – I cleaned.  If I feel in disarray, I need to know something is neat and tidy, if not my life then the toilet.  I didn’t realize until today the mementoes of my dearest college friends that brighten my small bathroom.  This year for Christmas, we bought small presents, packaged them up and every few weeks we received a box back with surprises to chose from along with a short, usally hysterical, note and the wrapping paper of some shirtless stud didn’t hurt either.  The lovely candle and uniquely wrapped soap reminded me of the amusing diversion it gifted us during the holidays, the crazy fun stuff we did in college (and since!) and how much I value their friendship.

Doing something new and meaningful is priceless; it seems even the holidays become all about getting things done and less about finding something truly symbolic (and maybe a little naughty) for the treasured amigas in your life.  None of the items were expensive but each trinket gave us a smile and something to look forward to.  I can’t wait to do it again this year.

My house is now calm – my daughter is back at college and the boys are having a catch in the yard.  My husband is at his softball game feeling pretty good about his 49 years against some of the less nimble 50-60 year olds.  He needs something to feel good about as there doesn’t seem much to feel good about lately.

I hope tomorrow I am running towards something rather than wanting to run away from everything.

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