simplyjan

A Simple Look at a Not-So-Simple Life

Archive for the category “Introvert”

Really – I’m Fine. I’m Just an Introvert

introvert

Oops! I think I scared my mom half to death with my post earlier today. Apparently I came across a little desperate and out of sorts. Lest anyone else think that my desire to climb in the kitchen cabinet to hide out with my cat is an indication that I’m losing it, let me assure you that I’m not. I’m simply in need of a little alone time. It’s something we introverts require fairly often.

My kids have been out of school for five weeks now. That’s pretty much five weeks of having another body (at least one other body and usually more) with me – at home, at work, in the car, at the store – 24/7. I don’t get to run alone. (Wait. Since the heat wave started, I don’t get to run – period. Sigh.) I don’t get to go to the gym. I won’t make an appointment to get my hair cut because I dread the prospect of having to take the kids along. Going shopping for anything is a group activity. I don’t even get any zone out while driving time. (Okay, so I still zone out, but I have little voices saying “Mom, did you hear me?” that beckon me back into the zone.)

Like Tubs, I love my people! We are having a phenomenal summer. In the back of my mind, I think ahead to mid-August and realize that I will miss them – all three of them – once school starts back. I don’t wish this time away. It’s just little breaks that I need, and just every now and then.

Not many people seem to understand what the word introvert means. Being an introvert is not the same thing as being shy. I love people. I enjoy public speaking and public events. However, people (especially in large groups) and public events wear me out. If we have a particularly busy Sunday morning at church – a highly interactive Sunday School class, lots of questions before and after worship, an engaging worship service, a busy fellowship time or a meal after worship – there’s a good chance I will crash when I get home. By “crash,” I don’t mean simply “take a nap.” I mean “fall face-first on the bed, drop into a dead-to-the-world sleep in a matter of minutes, and sleep so hard that my entire body feels heavy when I wake” kind of crash. My entire being just shuts down.

You see, for introverts, being with people in highly social situations, while maybe tons of fun, sucks the life energy right out of you. Being with people, even small groups of your most favorite people in the whole wide world for extended periods of time with no break, sucks the life energy right out of you. Being alone is how you restore your energy. Almost any kind of alone time works – a solo exercise session, driving alone in the car (with or ~gasp~ without the radio), shopping alone, or sitting still while staring into space and daydreaming. It’s all about how your body and soul restore their energy levels. Extroverts throw a party. Introverts hide away.

So don’t worry about me. If you need me, I’ll be sitting over in the corner daydreaming. Or hiding out with Tubs under the kitchen cabinet.

I Feel Her Pain

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This is Missy, better known as Tubs. Tubs loves her family – the big people, the little people, the furry people (known by most people as kitties and puppy). But Tubs is also an introvert. Sometimes a kitty just needs to get away by herself for a little while, you know? One of the kitchen cabinets that stores seldom used items makes a great cat cave. The only problem is, while she can easily get in, she can’t always get back out by herself. Apparently the risk of extended alone time is worth it, because she keeps going back.

I feel your pain, Tubs. Is there room in there for me?

All My Children

It’s been such a good week. Exhausting, but so much fun. We had 5 camp counselors to come down to conduct a day camp at our church. They provided a top-notch program for our kids and we provided housing, meals, support, and entertainment for the counselors. Tuesday night the kids and I strolled downtown with them, popping in and out of stores and of course eating ice cream. Anna and the 5 counselors hit it off great. Gus and Mia loved the attention from the cool big kids. And me? Well, I felt like the lucky mama of 8 super-special kids. If you look closely below, you can see all 8 of them. (Note: Gus is riding piggyback on one counselor’s back.)

downtown kids

We popped into the Life is Good store, where Mia tried to imitate her newest buddy.

LIG Mia

Not to be outdone . . .

LIG Gus

We walked to Waterfront Park where we all played games and sang songs (mostly oblivious to the reactions of others), waded in the fountain, and held foot races.

Wednesday night we walked (and walked, and walked) on the beach and played in tidal pools.

Thursday night we went out to eat and then harassed Anna at work.

Day camp was over yesterday. Our counselors had to leave us. (That makes me feel sad.) This week of 12-14 hour days came to an end. (That makes me feel relieved.)

The kids and I were only home to sleep and grab breakfast on the run all week long. Last night I took them out to eat. It seemed like a good option, since the pantry was bare and the dishes stacked in the dishwasher were still dirty. My introvert self had reached its limits of people interaction. It seemed to me that everything at the restaurant was painfully loud, from the Mexican music blaring through the speakers to the table of too many beers behind us. My ears literally ached. I assumed it was the beginning of the “shut down” so typical for me when I need quiet time. Unfortunately, both ears are still hurting and sensitive to sound today. Not sure what’s going on with that.

Except for a trip to buy a baby shower gift, I’ve been holed up in my bedroom sleeping, writing my sermon, and recovering. Even the kids seem content to be low-key today. Rest is a good, good thing.

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