No, really I am. You see...I'm an introvert, and yet for most of my adult life I've had to do jobs that forced me to be in the public eye. Teaching, advocating, public speaking and performing to name but a few. I have had to deal with people from all walks of life; judges, cops, actors, attorneys, musicians, victims of crime, parents, students and teachers. I taught classes, provided domestic violence advocacy, sang in a band, created and starred in public access TV talk shows and interviewed potential pet adopter families.
I was an introvert through it all.
They say, fake it till you make it. Well...I was the queen of faking it.
the more time I spend around people, the more time I need for alone time.
Time to decompress.
Or as Larry Wilmore would say, time to be100.
100% me, that is.
As I became an adult, I spent a good portion of my life in relationships with men who were not very emotionally supportive. They didn't know the real me and put forth very little effort to find out who I really was. After my kids left the nest, home no longer felt like home to me. I spent a lot of my time working and volunteering so I wouldn't have to interact with the people I was living with. And when I wasn't working or volunteering, I was looking for other projects to take on. And when all else failed I would go out, party, and drink until I could drink no more.
This was an unsustainable way of life for me, and I know now it was never meant to last. Not having a secure base of operations for an introvert...a safe and warm hiding place from the world...is truly a form of torture.
I finally found my way back into my soul mate's arms after a lengthy period of time, and suddenly, the manic me was wanting to spend more time at home. Quiet time. Relaxing time. Peaceful time.
When I used to have to work two to three jobs at a time to pay the bills, I never had weekends off. With my current full time position, I have every Sunday off, and once a month I have an entire weekend off. I am jealous of these precious days off. I am always busy, sometimes doing something, and many times doing nothing. Yes, you heard me...I'm sorry I can't see you right now because I am busy doing nothing.
It sounds rude when you say it like that, doesn't it? But why? Why is it less rude than when you have a pressing social engagement to attend? Why is it such a societal stigma to admit you like hanging out at home with your significant other or family, especially when you have no plans? Having no plans to speak of can free you up for some amazing conversation, enlightening experiences and time to reflect. Having no plans is freedom!
I have said before that I don't do New Year's Resolutions. I do, however, give myself gifts in the beginning of the new year. For 2016, I gave myself a permission slip to be the REAL me, with no excuses or apologies needed. To be my weird old introverted self. To do what makes me happy. To make decisions based on what is best for me and my family. To create a sense of freedom within my real world. And to hide away when my emotional well being is at risk because of PTSD flare ups, physical pain or overwhelming stress.
You see, nothing can be amazing when you're doing it with the person or people you adore. Because my love and I were separated for over 20 years, I enjoy spending every moment I can with him.
It's great when we do the couch potato thing and binge on Netflix or Hulu.
It's great when he pops corn on the stove, I melt the butter and we share stove-made popcorn on a Friday night.
It's great when we sit outside watching the last rays of summer sun kiss the sky goodnight in a blaze of purple fury.
It's great when we share space while I write and he plays video games.
It's great when we do yard work and take a trip to the dump.
It's great when we take the bike out and stop to have a beer at some cute little dive while on our way to nowhere.
It's great when we are busy doing nothing together!
I love my grand-babies, and I love doing nothing with them as well; Skyping while they eat lunch, having outside tea parties, building forts to hide in, watching movies, taking walks and reading stories to one another.
I am a great doer of nothing nowadays, and it took me at least half of my adult life to learn how. I was, after all, a human doing for most of my life. Yet now, as I age and sage and work my way to the inner core...I realize how important it is to enjoy doing nothing. To learn from doing nothing. To refuel from doing nothing. And because of my spiritual growth, hopefully I am closer to becoming a human being...and I'm leaving the human doing part of me in the rear view mirror.
My hope is that you...introverts and extroverts alike...have yourselves a wonderful Spring and Summer...and remember...don't forget to do absolutely nothing once in a while! It could one day save your life. Or at least your sanity.
Peace, love and once in a while...a mostly empty schedule,