I have a secret fantasy.
This fantasy has become a barometer of my mental health and its frequency is in direct relation to the amount of stress currently in my life.
The busier I am,
the more social obligations press in on me,
the more I find myself daydreaming of my fantasy life.
My secret fantasy is one of isolation.
I dream of buying a small cabin in the backwoods of Alaska.
I fantasize about simple living…
of off-grid living, of cooking on a wood stove, home schooling my children by gas lit lamps.
But the key factor in this fantasy is my location.
It all takes place on a piece of land so remote that it lacks telephone service and requires a Cessna plane to access it.
This is just a fantasy. It will never and could never be my reality,
but I do enjoy dreaming about the simplicity and isolation this lifestyle would afford me.
This is why I use this particular fantasy as my mental health barometer.
When many of my waking hours are spent wishing my closest neighbors were elk and bear I know I am on the verge of a breakdown…
Life is on the brink of engulfing me and it is time to pull back.
It is time to say, “No.”
I struggle so with that simple, two letter word.
I say “yes” until I am drowning and then I begin fantasizing about a life where I am so remotely located that no one can get close enough to ask me to do anything…unless you have access to a Cessna plane. 😉
It is not the tasks of life that wear me down, it is the “face time.” It is the interactions with other humans, trying to meet everyone’s needs, the guilt, and the emotional drama that makes me weary,
that makes me want to run away.
But I can’t run away and then I struggle with guilt over having these emotions.
That is why this particular fantasy has always been a closely kept, dark, little secret.
I mean, what would people think if they knew how much I long to be alone.
I long for the quiet of my thoughts.
I dream of a day when not one person asks anything of me.
I secretly admire those women who NEVER raise their hand to volunteer for those tasks I find myself always agreeing to.
I resent them, sure, but I also admire them.
They feel NO GUILT.
If they don’t want to do something they simply say no…
be still my heart!
Normally I don’t mind being a “Yes woman.” Great joys come from stepping forward and embracing the “yes,” but only when the motives are pure.
This is the lesson I continue to struggle with,
and God’s keeps trying to teach me.
When the “yes” is motivated by the Spirit then the burden is light,
but when that same “yes” is motivated my guilt or pride
that same task brings soul-deep weariness.
I am weary and my soul is tired. I am weighed down by dread and resentment.
When these feelings hit (and they usually do 2 or 3 times a year) I know it is time for some self reflection and reprioritizing.
It is time to reassess the “yes’s” I’ve so freely doled out and for the sake of my mental well being practice saying “No.”
It is time to start “trimming the fat” and cutting out the unnecessary.
It is time to spend more time seeking the Lord’s will and less time trying to please the masses.
It is time to throw myself in the activities that bring the strengthening power of the Holy Ghost…time spent in prayer, in meditation, in scripture study…so that I can take advantage of the guiding and strengthening power that comes from that well spent time.
It is time to let go of the need to please
and be ok with “Just OK.”
It’s either that or it’s time to start honing my cabin building skills…
Alaska, here I come!