Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Random Musings On Life Through the Lens of A People-Loving Introvert

I am an introvert.

I have come to realize that introvert is a broad category and within that category are lots and lots of different types of people. Duh.  You already knew that.  You smarty pants you.  

I am this type of introvert:

My sanity and energy is only replenished when I am alone.   I would literally die without a BIG pinch of alone time every single day.  I would DIE.

No, I am not being dramatic.

Alone time usually consists of me doing some very relaxing activity like reading my bible, staring at a wall, watching a show, talking to myself, browsing on my cell phone, taking a 20 minute cat nap, or curling up in the fetal position on the floor.  Don't know you do it to...okay, you can laugh;).

Alone time must be in my home.  Not at a coffee shop.  Not as a guest in someone else's house.  Not at a store without kids.  Alone, in my home.

My home is my sanctuary.

My home is the only place that I feel completely relaxed and free to be me.  It is my escape.  I could even go so far as to say that alone time in my home is a vacation for me.  I am genuinely refreshed best in that time and space.

If I am a dead battery, then my home is the charger and the longer that I am away from my charger, the lower my battery level gets.

I love quiet spaces....They don't have to be silent..just not loud.  I don't want to hear any screaming kids, blasting music or TV, nor chatty people or wild hubby...just me and a mellow room = Bliss.

I never enjoyed sleep overs as a kid (though I did get through a fair amount) because I never enjoyed chatting with a friend until late in the evening.  I was always too tired to keep that up...probably because all of the high pitched talking and excessive giggling had completely fried my mother board.

I struggle with sharing a space with anyone other than my immediate family for too long.  Like I really do not enjoy it.

Some introverts do just fine sharing their space with others during a family reunion trip at a resort or at the beach or maybe during the holidays etc.  Good for them.  No me gusta.

I can handle a couple of days or maybe three at best and then I begin short circuiting.  It actually feels very much like I am running on a week without sleep after a few days of non-stop visitors and noise.

My brain and body begin shutting down.  Literally.

What is the problem?  Well, the problem is that I am unable to get the alone time that I desperately need to recharge when I am in the constant company of others.  My routine gets tossed out the window during long social events and I really rely on a routine for sanity.  

If you are already judging me at this point then you are an extrovert and you will never understand so just move along (wink).

I do not require a girl's night out each week to keep my stuff together.  I get my stuff together when you all go out and leave me at home...alone.


On the other hand, I LOVE my friends.  LOVE. LOVE. Love each and every one of them.  I love communicating (something that many introverts hate).  I love keeping in touch.  I love e-mailing, texting, voxing, facebooking, instagramming.  I care about my friends more than words can express.

It is only BECAUSE I love my friends so much that I will pull together every scrap of social energy that I have left after a long day of play dates and battling opinionated little humans, to meet up for coffee or whatever we decide on.

 In other words, I will sacrifice my beloved evening alone time of refreshment, for my friends, because I care about relationships and I recognize that they do require investment in order to thrive.

And I do LOVE those outings when they do happen because I love the people I am gathering with.   It is good for the soul to have girl time and I understand the great value of finding social balance in life...even for an introvert.

I may have to push myself much harder than an extrovert to get together with friends but, the friendships that have been built out of these efforts are priceless to me.

I have been blessed with some of the most amazing girl friends a gal could ask for.  Friends that I have known since I was a child, friends from school, church, my new state and even new friends that I have made through social media.

Building quality relationships isn't always easy for an introvert...or maybe it isn't always easy for extroverts as well....I dunno.  Extroverts, thoughts?

It is hard work sometimes and it is certainly not always an easy path to navigate with women because we are all so guarded more often than not but, it is so rewarding for me to invest in people this way.

We are all quite similar behind all the masks that we hide behind.  We all just want to be loved and accepted for who we are.  Right?

My greatest joy in life is encouraging others...and that is an interesting thing to derive joy from when you are an introvert who loves being alone.

Encouragement is the gift that God has given me and it is the one thing in life that when I give it away I too am blessed tremendously as well.

Basically, I am an introvert who loves being alone but, I love investing in people just as much.

Definitely an interesting tug of war at times.

 I often have four or five play dates a week.  That is a lot for an introvert like me but, I love helping my kids to build friendships and I love being able to build mine at the same time.  I also prefer keeping busy with my kiddos than attempting to get through each long day on my own at home.  That is far harder for me.

I feel much more social during the day than I do at night, so play dates are a great way to meet up with my friends and entertain my kids at the same time.

But, even after a three-ish hour play date I am completely and utterly wiped out.  Yes, the play dates are worth it and yes, I enjoy them but, three solid hours of conversation makes me so sleepy.  If I hit that crashing point, my brain will just abruptly stop producing logical conversation.  It becomes a tremendous struggle to stay present.  My eyes might even feel a bit glossed over and my brain feels like it is in a daze.  I'm so done.

 And yes, it can be such a bummer to be an introvert when these types of things happen.

Talking on the phone....well, I love it and I hate it.   I only talk on the phone regularly with a handful of, five.  Talking on the phone is a social activity and once again it takes energy away from an introvert like me.

Why is talking on the phone depleting for an introvert?  Who knows.  Well, I do have some theories but, it would take too long to go into that now...It just is.  So there.

A good friend of mine asked me if I would ever consider renting a beach house with a group of friends for a week.  I, probably not.  I told her that I could handle a couple of nights but, that would be all and I would be whipped after two nights.  It wasn't easy to admit that to my friend but, I have learned that it is better to be honest up front than to make excuses later.

I could rent a beach house next door to my friend's beach house and survive that much better than sharing a space with them day in, day out, for a week.  Because I would have a space to retreat to....and I would pull away and recharge, if it all became too much.

I know how weird/strange/crazy/odd this all might sound to anyone who is not like this.

Like really is it so hard to share a house on a beautiful beach with friends for a week?

Yes. Yes, it is.


Hosting people in my home...

For some introverts, the very thought of hosting a gathering can induce a panic attack.

Not the case for me.

I actually love inviting people into my home on occasion but, I do need to plan and prepare for it.   Although, I don't think that hospitality comes entirely natural to me, I have really enjoyed the learning process over the years.  I am a slow learner but, I am getting there.

I take note of what other women do when I am in their homes that makes me feel more welcome and then I try to incorporate more of that into my routine with my own company.

I used to host gatherings quite frequently in my home before kids.  Again, I think this is because I love people and I love bringing people together.  I love building relationships with anyone and everyone.

I am the type of person who strikes up conversation with any random person in a store, in a line, at school, in the bathroom, while on a walk, etc.  Whenever I have the time, I will linger and chat or listen if a stranger wants to.

After having kids, I lost A LOT of my drive to host.  It is a good amount of work to clean a home, prepare a meal or snacks and then entertain company and then clean the home again after it is over.  Now that more of my energy is directed towards my kiddos I have much less energy to host.

I have a feeling that I will be hosting a lot more once our kiddos are a little bit older.

I have also noticed that I need more alone time now that I have children.  I needed far less before having kids.

Kids take a lot out of me...they extract every social/mental drop out of my system each and every day.

Make no mistake, I LOVE being a mom and I LOVE being a stay at home mom.  It is a priceless gift that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.  But, it's the toughest job I have ever held without a doubt.  Amen. Amen.

When my kids are grown and I have an empty home once again, my introvert needs will change to reflect that season because I will be getting a lot more alone time every day.  I might even take that friend up on the week long beach trip then because I could handle it much better without kiddos.

We are always changing.

I like to leave lots of room for change.

This is just where I am at right now and where I have been for the past 6 years or so more or less.

Introverts, how much of this can you relate to?  I LOVE you!  You might be a nut that takes me a little longer to crack but, your hearts are so beautiful.  I love that I can relate so well to you!

And extroverts, I LOVE you.  Your energy is infectious.  Your zest for life is inspiring and you motivate me to get out of my shell.  I will never be able to keep up with you but, I love watching you GO!


Life is beautiful.  You are all beautiful!
And on that note,
 good night.