Monday, July 6, 2015

Introvert Problems



If there is one thing in life I'm absolutely sure of it's that I'm an introvert.  Not only that, I'm also desperately shy.  And yes, they are separate and distinct classifications.  I read recently that there are four types of introverts:  social, thinking, anxious & restrained.  I prefer small groups, prone to getting lost in my own thoughts, awkward & self conscious and I think before I speak.  Actually, I over think before I speak.  So, at different times, I'm all of these.  Therefore, I've diagnosed myself with Multiple Introvert Disorder.  

How I react to any given situation will be entirely dependent on the people there and how they're feeling.  Because if there is one thing in life I can do well, it's picking up the vibe of the other people in the room.  And this feeling will dictate the dominant introvert personality I don for the evening.  It's entirely situational and reactionary.  I have tried to turn it off,  but I can't.  

Conversely, I think I'm really an extrovert trapped in an introvert's body.  Ok, maybe not an extrovert because I'm not strident by any means, but maybe a less intense introvert at least.  Because I'm both adventurous and brave.  As long as it has nothing to do with social interaction or having a live audience.  Dammit!  Ok, I'm not an extrovert at all.  But, I constantly struggle internally with things I think I should say or do and then the myriad of reasons I shouldn't follow through with them because it would be accompanied by too much attention.  

So I always feel guilty.
And a bit trapped.

On top of that, I always look guilty of something.  Like when I go into a store and avoid sales people.     Avoiding eye contact and heading straight for the emptiest part of the store.  Fitting the profile of a shoplifter perfectly.  And if I'm at a party and I'm having a good conversation with an individual, I will drag it out, asking far too many questions, so I don't have to re-enter the party and start all over again with a new party goer.  Fitting the profile of a serial killer perfectly.  

No matter which personality is my dominant introvert at any particular moment in time, I am still 100% introvert.  (I know this because I took a test in the back of a book once to confirm this fact.)  And I think I can speak for all introverts when I say, if we are at your event and spend time with you in any way, please take this as the highest form of flattery.  Because you don't know the voices in our heads we had to slay to get there, no matter how awkward and weird we act while we're there.  

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Solar Powered


Colorado averages over 330 days of sunshine per year.  Which is a good thing, because I've recently come to realize that I am solar powered.  It's true.  When the sun is out, I'm optimistic and energetic.  When it's overcast, I'm pessimistic and lethargic.  And that's just the beginning.

When the sun comes up with that first stream of sunlight at 5:40am, accompanied by a chorus of annoyingly chipper birds, that's when I wake up.  I can't help it.  And yes, this is with blackout blinds.  It doesn't even matter if it's dark in my room, my body knows.  And I'm up.

And then at about 8:40pm, when the sun goes down, that's exactly when my batteries run out and I shut down and I fall asleep on the couch.  Which is preceded by about an hour of solid yawning with me proclaiming how exhausted I am.  It doesn't matter if I'm in a mall with no windows, although I hate the mall and other windowless places like the mall so this was a stretch of an example, my body knows.   And I'm asleep.

In between sunrise and sunset, I'm slathered in sunscreen.  And usually wearing a hat, sitting in the shade if at all possible.  Because while I love the sun,  it's unrequited.  Because I'm in my mid-forties and have pasty white skin.  Well...actually, it used to be pasty white, now it's more sunspotted.  "Out, damned spot(s); out I say!"  Shakespeare had them too apparently.

If it was a sunny morning, I would have a fantastic ending for this post, but since it's not, I don't even have the energy to finish it.  My battery is dead.  Does anyone have a charger?  







Monday, June 29, 2015

Equalization


I can't believe I live in a time where we have an African American president and that gays have the right to get married (and divorced) just like everyone else.  I also can't believe how long it took us as a society to get here.  And despite these monumental strides in social equality, prejudice and hatred are far from extinct.

In fact, sometimes it seems like things have never been worse.

Because I also can't believe I live in a time where terrorism and mass shootings are part of the new normal.  It's so dire and depressing. It's worse than ever before.  Like no other time in history.  Unless this is how it's felt all throughout history.

Because, the monumental is always accompanied by the horrific.

The Plague, penicillin, the Holocaust, Civil Rights. And way too many other historical atrocities and accomplishments to list.  To the casual outside observer,  the world changes while remaining pretty much the same.  Except to those individuals directly affected by history, for which the world will never be the same again.  

Because freedom is the great equalizer.
Though it's far from free.
Same as it ever was.


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

~Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)




Thursday, June 25, 2015

Rerouting

Photo credit:  whnt.com
I used to be the driver with a firmly established route. I used to get places on time.  In cute outfits, complete with earrings.  But that was before I had kids.  Now, getting from point A to point B involves a lot of roadblocks, traffic jams, breakdowns and ultimately, rerouting.

Always rerouting.

Because nothing as a parent is straightforward.  Especially your kids.  Especially when they're teens teetering the line between capable and yet completely dependent.  Mostly on my nagging, reminding them that they're perfectly capable.  But, they're also completely dependent on my car.  Because even though one of the kids has a driver's license.  He doesn't have a car yet.  Until he buys himself one.  Because he's perfectly capable of saving money to do that and asserting more independence.  But, until then, five of us share one car.  

Which is constantly rerouting.

Because while we all live in the same house, we don't all speak or understand the same language, apparently.  Even if I say it louder or seven more times.  "CAN'T TAKE YOU THERE RIGHT NOW CAUSE I'M TAKING EMBER TO GYMNASTICS.  SEE HOW IT'S WRITTEN ON THE CALENDAR AND EVERYTHING?"  (Swap my kids names with different destinations a la mad libs and this is every day, all summer long.)  But we live in the time of instant gratification where planning ahead of time, organizing, compromising and waiting have become foreign concepts.  And nothing has become more routine than my constant nagging and reminders.   "You DO have a bike you know..."

Cause all this rerouting is driving me crazy!  


Monday, June 22, 2015

Overrated


If there's one thing I know about myself it's that I can over think things to the point that I become completely static.  Confounded by what to do or what not to do.  Because I have a gift of making mole hills into mountains.  I've tried to stop, I really have.  Funny thing is, the more you focus on something, the more you obsess over it.  So what I'm saying is...

I'm a 5 star neurotic nut job.

While I can say that with absolute conviction, I find it monumentally difficulty to rate other things.  There are simply too many factors to take into consideration.  Like how do I know if I'm satisfied with a vacuum really? Especially when I don't even want to vacuum in the first place.  Now if it would assess that the house needed vacuuming and did it on it's own, clearly that would be 5 stars. So what I'm saying is...

I'm a ridiculously harsh critic.

However, I was raised in the day when if you didn't have anything nice to say you did this weird thing where you didn't say it.  And even if I wanted to write a bad review about a restaurant or something else, I'd go through a whole litany of excuses in their defense.  Maybe they were understaffed that night because a server's grandma died and they had to fly back to Ohio.  Maybe there was eggplant famine and that's why there was no eggplant parmigiana.    And how can I judge them on what could be a freak accident?  So what I'm saying is...

I like to keep my critiques to myself, for the most part.

But, I will read the reviews that other people post.  And I've determined reviewers fall into two general categories (with a myriad of subcategories I won't get into).  There a straight-shooters, who say it like it is.  And there are fluffers who Pollyanna things to death and probably collect unicorns and garden gnomes.  It's the fluffers of the world that cause things to be overrated. And they seem to like most everything even if it's sub par, cause they're optimists like that.  Which pisses me off, because their reviews aren't helpful at all.  I'd like to call them out on their bullshit but, I don't want to be mean.  Which unintentionally leads to a silent overrating, therefore making me a fluffer!  Turns out, I am what I despise.  So what I'm saying is...

I'm a 5 star neurotic nut job.








Monday, June 8, 2015

Family Planning


I have 4 kids and I've done a lot of traveling with them.  So one would think I've got this whole vacation planning thing down to a science.  But, I don't.  In fact, that's my least favorite part.  I don't want to read or even think about where I'm going until I'm on the plane going there.  Which is obviously a problem.  Because you can't afford not to plan when you're a traveling family of 6.  Trust me, I know how exactly expensive screwing it up can be.

The truth is, planning of any kind is not my thing.

But, when you have a big family, organization is really important.  I just don't naturally have that skill.  I don't go to the supermarket with a list of dinners for the week.  I need to know how I'm going to feel on that day and what the weather is going to be like. And how I feel is dependent on the weather.  Obviously.  Basically, all of my decisions are emotional.  Really, how can one plan these things in advance?  It doesn't even make sense to me.  

It's not my fault, I was born this way.

Introverts are known to crave order and since I'm 100% certified organic introvert how can I be so disorganized?  Because according to Myers-Briggs, I'm an INFJ, and while I thrive on structure in my outer world,  my inner world is ruled by intuition and spontaneity.  And naturally, you just can't plan either one of those, they just happen.  So while I want to make things efficient for everyone, I find it excruciating to commit to things too far in advance.  Cause who knows what the weather is going to be?  And that's going to change everything.  Obviously.  

But, if I was a planner, the first thing on my agenda would be to schedule some alone time.
Cause introvert.  

(PLEASE NOTE: I'll be taking a family vacation, so I'm planning to take a week off blogging.)



Thursday, June 4, 2015

I'm Sorry

At the risk of sounding of sounding completely overly sentimental and utterly ridiculous, I'm going to say that writing this blog has given me a lot of gifts.  Just writing gifts made me cringe.  I am not one for "gifts" or "blessings",  I'm more of a person who mocks those words.  But here I am 5 years into a blog using the word "gifts".  Although I've yet to use "blessings", so there's still that.

It's just that writing my thoughts makes me more conscious of them.  Both the good and the bad.  Not to mention the ugly.  And the beyond ugly ones that are grotesquely fugly.  Trust me on this one.   And I've learned to accept that they're mine.  I take ownership.  Of how I'm feeling and how I react to how I'm feeling.  It's that pesky reacting part that gets me into trouble every time.  EVERY DAMN TIME.  It's not a question of if I'll screw up, it's a question of when.  But, I've been doing this new thing where I own my mistakes and say those painfully, excruciating words...

I'm sorry.

Why is it so insanely hard to say that?  And then, when they're said how can those little words bring such enormous relief?  So, why the hell do we fight it to begin with?  Because our instinct is to protect ourselves via the expressway,  denial.    It's a toll road, it only costs your dignity and integrity.  But who cares?  You get to drive really, really fast right before you crash and burn.  Plus, everybody else is doing it.  Which kinda makes the superhighway backed up and not all that super. 

So, I made a decision.  I'm not sure when I made it exactly.  It was so many mistakes ago now.  I made the decision to own those words.  And to choke them out any way I could.  Accompanied with an ugly cry,  an ashamed down turned head,  with a crack in my voice like a 13 year old boy.  Or I could even write it down in an old fashioned hand-written letter like the Amish do.  (Please note I haven't fact checked that the Amish actually do that.)  All I know is it's good to have options because no matter what I do, I'm guaranteed to make more missteps.  

When I grew up parents didn't apologize to kids.  It diminished their authority.  But, I don't think that way.  Anymore.  I hope it's a lesson that I'm as fallible as everyone else is.  And a lesson that how you should handle mistakes after they're made.  And that how you rectify them says more about you than the mistake itself.  

I hope. 







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