I grew up in a household where nothing much happened on a Saturday until your chores were done.
Meaning if I needed to cheer a game, had a tap class or just wanted to go out with my boyfriend, tables needed to be dusted, floors must be mopped and the laundry should be folded before I left the house.
I know I could have hated and whined my way through it (and if you ask my mom I probably did) but it gave me a solid example of taking care of the important stuff before I engaged in the fun stuff. I carried those lessons with me through my college stays and my years of living in my own apartment. I took great pride in stripping beds once a week and dusting the tabletops, even if I was the only one who would see them.
Yet, the past few years there has been a shift in the importance of keeping everything spotless. It started with the arrival of the twins. Honestly, there is stuff is all over my house, all the time. My natural instincts tend to kick in when I see toys laying on the floor or covering my coffee table and I rush to set them in a bin and wipe off the sticky mess a GoGurt has made on the wood.
The next day, the same thing happens. Along with a pair of socks that have no earthly business being stuck in the cushions of the couch, there is a fine layer of dust on the entertainment center again. I sigh and pick up a cloth to wipe it away, knowing full well; it will be waiting for me 24 hours later.
But I am a creature of my upbringing and so I kept doing it.
Until, one day a few years ago, I was decorating the house for summer, taking one thing down and replacing it with another and making blanket statements to my husband (who was very involved with his twitter account).
“I will put out the decorations tonight and then on Saturday I will do a good cleaning, ok? “
He looked up at me and paused. “Ok.” He said, but his voice held a “but” at bay.
“Is there something I forgot about Saturday?” I asked.
“No.” He answered. “I just thought that if the weather was nice we’d go into the city.” (meaning NYC)
I stopped what I was doing and smiled. I felt the pull of just wanting to get away, heard the sweet siren song of irresponsibility.
Of course I wanted to go to the city!
For as much as I cared about the mess I believed my house to be in, I was willing to push that aside to take that trip.
It got easier every time over the last few years.
We runaway from the chores.
We just go!
We know that in the end, it’s the memories we are making and the time we are spending together as a family that really matters.
These years will be gone, our sons will be grown and the dust will still be there, so we’re enjoying the sights and sounds of our world instead for the time being.
And that’s the best reason I can think of to Runaway every once in a while.
How about you? Do you RUNAWAY from the chores and the “need to’s” of your life these days?