I came home from an exhausting day out to the family with the family and hid in the closet. I was frustrated by a million little things--my grumpy mood being one of them, and I found myself shutting down during the last ten minutes of the drive home. It took everything in me not to open my car door and jump out of our moving vehicle.

I suppose we all have those days and probably for different reasons. Luckily, instead of hurling ourselves out of moving vehicles, we have (hopefully) found more constructive ways of dealing with the confusion and frustration swirling inside of us. My way of dealing with things, at least initially, has to do with a place. I found my secret place years ago while dealing with my parents' never-ending separation issues. One night, feeling angry and completely alone, I walked into my closet with a pillow, turned off the light and sat down after closing the door. I found it easier to think in the midst of blackness and silence, and I often returned to that closet whenever things felt out of balance until I left for college. I found a similar space in my college apartments, and I even found the broom closet to be my very best friend at the Missionary Training Center--a place where it is impossible to ever find personal space.

Tonight--after a long absence--my closet found its way back into my life. Without a lock, I just sat against the door with my hands over my ears and my eyes closed, praying the little people robbing my toothpaste just outside the door wouldn't try to barge in and discover my secret spot. I rapidly reviewed my day to pinpoint the trigger moment when the good day I know I was having suddenly flipped upside down, and within a minute I knew what it was. I sat there quietly, listening to my Genevieve and Elle conjuring up plans of hiding my makeup from me, and I knew I would soon have to leave the closet--you know, for my makeup's sake. I tried to figure out how to work through my personal fight but decided I couldn't abandon Tim when all the kids were obviously up to no good. I pulled my heavy body up and took three deep breaths and said a quick prayer the remaining two hours I would spend with the girls would go okay, and they did. They weren't my best two hours, but we made it.

I stuck to my new year's resolution of honoring myself by spending a few minutes alone in that closet this evening. My body required space, and I fed it the space it needed. It probably needed several more hours of quiet, but the 10 minutes were a wonderful treat.

Everyone needs their space where they can escape to when the proverbial crap hits the fan. I hope you have a place you can hide for just a minute to regain composure, but remember not to hide too long; people--whether it be little people, friends, family or strangers--need us.

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