Saturday, April 19, 2008

Make the world go away

The first time I heard someone say, “He lives inside his head,” I related instantly. That sentence clarified for me a condition I’ve known since childhood, a personality trait that I now know is labeled ”introversion.” If you were to search this blog for the keyword “introvert,” you’d find that I’ve written about this subject a number of times.

I’m quite contented with the head in which I live, except for the fact that I have to stick it out into the real world all too frequently, and the real world isn’t always a safe place for us introverts. It’s noisy, it’s hectic, and there is entirely too much talking going on. It’s people, people everywhere and not a place to think.

Lately, the noise and confusion of my days, not to mention the televised evening news, have made me spend my evenings turning inward, regrouping and searching inside my head for the coping skills I’ll need when the mornings roll around. Having had years of experience in dealing with copious amounts of crap, my coping skills are highly developed. Chief among them is the ability to raise an umbrella of silence and serenity over my head.

When I’m under that umbrella, it feels right to talk as little as possible. When my mind is cluttered with a thousand random thoughts, the silence helps me to think more clearly, to evaluate which thoughts and ideas have value and which ones are dragging me down. Once I have them neatly categorized, I can “accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative,” and regain the sense of balance necessary to navigate my life.

Unfortunately, I’m realizing that when I don’t feel like talking, I don’t feel like writing, either. For a blogger, that isn’t a good thing. A “genuine” writer, I suppose, would feel compelled to write down the troubling thoughts, to dissect them in an attempt to discover their origin and their meaning. It might even be therapeutic. But I certainly wouldn’t want to write that stuff here, and, frankly, I’m not inclined to expend that kind of energy.

Energy is another thing that's been in short supply lately. I’ve done what I’ve needed to do at work, and at home I’ve accomplished the bare minimum necessary to take care of myself and my dogs. How little I’ve actually done at home was brought to my attention a couple of days ago when I found myself (of necessity) eating microwaved enchiladas with an iced tea spoon.

The dishwasher has since been turned on, and the laundry will get done today. Before the weekend is over, I’ll dust the furniture (although I’m tempted to plant flower seeds on one end table, just as an experiment). I’ve paid my bills, I’ else have I done? Oh, I’ve written this.

It’s a start.

Me, today.

Me, soon I hope.


  1. We are....oh so much....alike. Its kinda scary. But I guess it makes me feel better knowing that I'm not the only one like this. I actually prefer to be alone...I'm very content for long periods of time like that...but I do occasionally crave the company of other people...but only when I'm in the mood. LOL Retirement is nice.

  2. Val, I enjoy people tremendously in small doses, but lately I've been getting people-saturated by mid-afternoon. I'd like to work another year or two and save some money I'll need later on, but retirement has certainly become an attractive idea lately.

  3. Reading your blog was scary. I am like that most times, only venturing out when I have to go to the bank, the grocery store or to the vet for Tinker. Books hold lots of allure for me these days maybe trying to get 'out' of my head instead of into it. I sympathize with you completely, wishing I could be different but at the same time glad I'm not!

  4. I'm a lot like you, too. I don't mind staying in my little apartment day after day, and when I feel the need to see people, I am free to go out. But, since people piss me off, I'd rather read a good book or a good blog. Like Val, I'm lovin' retirement.

  5. Nan16, I know it's healthy to have some sort of human contact on a regular basis, but an hour here and there would be plenty for me. When I have a good book, it's easy for me to stay indoors (in my nightclothes) from Friday evening to Monday morning.

    Betty, I think I'll enjoy retirement, too, when the time comes. There are so many things I wish I had more time to do, and reading is one of them.

    It's good to see so many introverts coming out of the woodwork. Hey, maybe we could form an introvert's club. How's that for an oxymoron?

  6. Hi Velvet - I certainly understand being an introvert! I'm quite content being up here with just the animals, my garden, and Mike when he's home. Now that I don't have to travel and do art shows anymore and get over saturated with people, I find I'm actually starting to enjoy some social time every now and then. I have missed you though...hope you start being inspired to write again soon. Carmon

  7. "People-saturated"-that's a good phrase, and I get that way a lot, too.

    Why is it that whenever I'm in a line, such as at the post office, and am using the time to space out, someone comes in behind me and wants to chat? I've been staring at a poster of what is and isn't permitted to be mailed, what makes her think I'm someone to talk to? Even feigning being busy with papers, wallet, etc. isn't a defense. Some people feel the compulsion to fill silence with noise.

  8. Velvet, I think we've been going through the same thing. I HATE being out in the world. It's been a rough couple of weeks for me for that very reason. Sometimes it just feel safe out "there."

    I hope you feel like sticking your neck out soon. I miss you. ;-)

  9. Carmon, it's the introverted part of me that is so attracted to the peace, quiet, and communion with nature that you have at Star's Rest. Then I think about the hard physical work involved, and the lazy part of me runs screaming away. ;-)

    Janet, I don't even mind a leisurely conversation with a polite stranger if it has any substance to it at all. I just have a very low tolerance for folks who talk *at* people instead of *to* them, and I seem to have encountered that a lot lately.

    CreekHiker, does it seem to you that a lot of things in life are made more difficult than they ought to be because of the apathy of people whose job is customer service (in one way or another)? Or maybe that's just me, but it's one of the things I've found particularly frustrating lately.

    I hope things settle down for you soon.

  10. There are special spoons for iced tea?

  11. Mike, I'm so awed by your technical knowledge that it delights me to find out I knew something that you didn't. Yes, there is a special spoon for iced tea. The bowl is just a smidgen (technical kitchen term) smaller than the bowl of a regular spoon, and the handle is about an inch and a half longer. It keeps your fingers out of your tall glass of iced tea (although that's kind of pointless if you've just squeezed a lemon slice with those very same fingers).


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