I had an interesting experience at work once. (Not in my current job, so I'll talk about it.) An "expert" in the Meyers-Briggs personality types came to our workplace and talked about the different personality types. It was interesting. Then she gave us the test, and I began to get nervous.
It was my first day on a new job, you see, and I didn't know anyone. The expert had talked to us for a good two hours about the difference between introverts and extroverts, and I already knew which one I was. Next thing I knew, just as I feared, the room was divided with the extroverts (95%) on one side, and the introverts (myself and two other people) on the other.
Welcome! that said to me. Especially the other music teacher, who walked over to me during the break and said, "You're an introvert? You really chose the wrong job! Ha, ha!" Hilarious.
The one good thing that came from that day was that it explained to me why I had always been so "anti-social," "unfriendly," "withdrawn," "shy," or any other number of negative adjectives. It's just who I am. Introverts have to have time alone, or they become completely exhausted. They have to have time to "recharge" because they find being around other people draining, to the point that they can experience physical symptoms.
Before I had children, "alone time" was the majority of my day. I read, watched television, or slept a good bit of the time I wasn't working. Sven was around, and the cat didn't count, but I really got all of the alone time I could want.
Even for me, though, it got to be too much. It got to the point that I jealously guarded my "nothing" time; if I found out, for instance, that I had to be at an appointment that would take 45 minutes, I would be resentful of the 1-1.5 hours of "nothing" (literally, nothing other than reading or watching TV) that I would miss. I turned down things, actual things that might have helped me or others, to do nothing. Nothing became more important to me than anything. I worked very hard at doing nothing.
Then came the children. I have almost no "nothing time" anymore, and I can look back on those days with real regret. How much time did I waste? I now know my introversion was no excuse; I am tired, yes, and sometimes long for some peace and quiet, but I get along just fine with very little "nothing time." I make sure to get up extra early every day so I can have some quiet time to myself (anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on the children), and I snatch a few minutes here and there. But I'm much happier now that most of my time is filled with "something" rather than "nothing."
Specifically, two somethings who always give me sticky pats and moist kisses and tight-to-the-point-of-painful hugs. It's awesome. And I completely mean that.
Mom Tweets Daughter’s Funny Observations - Kelly Oxford is a Twitter power user, a screenwriter, a New York Times bestselling author. She’s also mother of a 7-year-old whose wit gives Mom a run for ...
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