Sunday, July 17, 2016

Just Me


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

It’s a sunny day in Nags Head, North Carolina – 86 degrees. I’m back at the three-level rental house after spending a blissful morning and early afternoon sitting on my little chair under my beach umbrella on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. While there, I read, completed a Sudoku puzzle, wrote in my book journal, snacked, people-watched, and nodded off. The decompression had started.

I’m here two more days; an unexpected treat. My daughter and her friends are enjoying beach week at this house and wherever else they’re hanging out. While planning a few months ago, they discovered they needed an adult to rent the place and to be responsible for it. After a slew of emails was dispersed among all the potential responsible adults, the six girls agreed to give up one of the four bedrooms to a series of three moms, which was nicely secluded on the third level; hence, my little treat. I’m responsible adult #2. When I leave on Friday, responsible adult #3 will take over.

Anyway, the Decompression…

May and June… Will these months ever calm down?! After my youngest child graduates from college – maybe?  I won’t bore you with the list of things I have to do for my kids, other peoples’ kids (which is reciprocal), friends, my husband, and my parents, but will just say that it happens in abundance in May and June. And this year included two funerals.

Right… the Decompression…

I am so relaxed and content. The beach girls and I are on different schedules and don’t see much of each other, and that is perfectly fine. I’m sure they feel the same.

The Quiet…

I am relishing it. There is no one to take care of. At home, even when everyone’s gone, my sweet little epileptic dog is there: needing a pill five times a day, needing a potty break, needing a walk, needing the ball thrown to her. Here, at the moment, I’m sitting on the bed with my cup of tea on the night table, Ellen on the TV. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a complete show of hers; and actually, not seeing it now because I’m writing this blog post, reflecting on the quiet.

Ping!

It’s a text from my friend back at home.

“What’cha doin’?”

“Sitting on the bed, relaxing,” I text to her.

(Back and forth we text for a couple minutes; she asks, I answer.)

“Are you going to shop, nap, or see a movie?”

(She has suggestions for each activity.)

“Ohhh, I might go to the shopping center that’s close by. But you know I don’t like to shop, so it would be a short trip, just to see the area.”

Then she asks, “Does it feel strange to be alone?”

(I can tell that she doesn’t get it. Maybe you don’t either.)

“No,” I text back, as I laugh out loud.

(I feel that I need to explain my weirdness, so I send another text.)

“I can be such a recluse sometimes,” with a smiley face emoji.

(Actually, I’m not weird. I simply enjoy solitude.)

When I worked for corporate America twenty-one years ago and beyond, I joined my co-workers in taking personality tests and playing personality games. One game had us walking around to each other to write on paper that was attached to our backs; a word that we thought described the person’s personality type. Once the fun chaos was over, we pulled the paper from our backs to see what others in the group thought of us.

Initially interesting, eventually annoying, these tests were supposed to aid in improving our work environment, career development, and company productivity. I understood the intent; however, it always seemed to end with people sizing each other up. I learned to reject labels on myself; too confining.

But recently, a personality book caught my attention. It’s called, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I liked the inclusion of the words power and quiet in the title, along with introvert, a word that seems to have a negative connotation. These words together and the contents of the book, made me reconsider my ban on personality tests and literature. I doubt that I’ll ever take another personality test; however the book is multifaceted and enlightening.

I never thought introvert was a bad label, but I didn’t readily embrace it. This trip and things that I’m reading in this book, however, are telling me to own it! I’ve confirmed that introvert and shy are not necessarily synonymous. And I’ve realized that I don’t have to apologize for not missing my husband or children if they’re away or if I’m away. (This little trip might inspire me to pack my bags more often.)

I am an introvert… most of the time.

Epilogue:

In addition to beach time, I visited the sand dunes at Jockey's Ridge State Park. Ever since I saw a picture of blog friend Abby's trip to the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado, I've kept the fascinating image in my mind. Who knew that I'd have the experience in North Carolina! I also spent time at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, another nature-girl thing to do.




Sand Dunes at Jockey's Ridge State Park



Wright Brothers National Memorial

Care to share things about your personality or temperament? Do you spend time alone?

31 comments:

Bryan Jones said...

Sadly, at our ages (I'm almost 58) funerals become more commonplace.

And I can totally identify with the attractions of time out, spent alone away from the daily demands of life. Like you, I've always enjoyed my own company.

Take care.

Tabor said...

Yes, I am an introvert and do love being alone. Absolutely fine with it. Hubby has to have people around at least 80% of the time, so he goes off finding excuses to talk to someone. I am curious as to how you worked out the meals and cooking or were you on your own there as well?

Anita said...

Tabor, as an early riser, I'd cooked my simple breakfast long before they woke up. The pattern of having meals before they had theirs continued, with the exception of one time. We shared the kitchen as I cooked my grilled cheese and tomato sandwich, which I ate on my small, but private deck off of my bedroom. They planned, bought, and cooked their meals, as I did mine.

The girls are a bunch of low maintenance, non-drinkers, readers, movie watchers, tourist types - though they did meet some guy friends on the beach one morning after I left, who were friends from home.

Anita said...

I fixed my typo. fill--->feel

Susan Sharp said...

Interesting that you mentioned the book "the quiet power..." My son has that book as required reading this summer. I find the beach to be a perfect place to be alone.

Linda Hensley said...

I loved that book and Nag's Head. I think our world would be better if introverts were better appreciated. I need my quiet time too. I'm glad for you that you're having/had a good trip!

Linda said...

I have even learned about the deaths of a few of my family members on the internet! Very sad indeed, but these were family members who had not stayed in touch and I didn't know where they had moved to (cousins). I will be 60 this October and this is happening more frequently as I age. Your photos are beautiful and I am so glad you are enjoying your time! We really need to do this in life...enjoy the moment, as we never know which one will be our last. Sending you warm hugs and much love. So lovely to see your post. :)

joeh said...

Sitting on a bench looking over the ocean, with a glass of wine and a good cigar, watching the birds...I have to confess to not missing wife, kids or grand-kids.

ShadowRun300 said...

Surprisingly enough I have introvert traits as well. No one at the hotel would believe it so, because I'm always the social butterfly with our employees and guests. But I LOVE alone time and make sure I get at least a little bit every day. A few years ago, I took a vacation all by myself and it was so freeing! So I get you. Enjoy this time, and yes! Do it again!

Barb said...

Anita - I was happy to see a post from you. I'm also happy you had time alone. Don't we all need it? I'm a person who relishes solitude and quiet. We just had grandchildren for 8 days, and I totally enjoyed them. When they left, it seemed like I could feel the silence down to my bones.( A wonderful sensation indeed.) Those dunes look spectacular.

Mari said...

I totally get it! I need some time alone occasionally. Glad you are enjoying that time in such a beautiful spot!

Abby said...

Doesn't this just sound wonderful! Seems like a nice setup with the girls and the chaperone sharing, and I want to read that book.

I've done my fair share of personality assessments too, and usually fall just on the extrovert side of that fence. I love me some time alone on occasion and totally get where you're coming from. I notice it more since I've had kids :)

Karen said...

I absolutely 'get it' about needing time alone. Especially when there are still kids at home and nearby. Even if there are not, like now in my life when it's just me and my husband and the dog. I think your time at the beach sounds heavenly. What a great idea for the three moms!

bettyl-NZ said...

It's always a treat to have time to yourself. Your photos are really great.
Personally, I have a rather hermitly (is that a word?) life and love it.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

As you know, I completely understand. Alone time is essential to my being. I found the book, Quiet, very comforting.

I always knew something was amiss with me, that I could be very social, but I did it with the knowledge that solitude that would come after. That I found comfort in being by myself.

Of course, for years while raising children and running a busy household and life, that was not possible. But now, I have become most accustomed and get along very well with myself. I worry what might happen when my husband decides to retire.

Very glad you had this time. Next year you should volunteer to do the entire week!

Hilary said...

Your time on the beach sounds delicious!

I had always thought I'd be considered extrovert. By no means a life of the party type.. but I do enjoy socializing. I like people. I enjoy company. I also treasure alone time. Personality tests ALWAYS place me as introverted.. but often very close to the middle.

I'm glad you enjoyed your time away. There's isn't much more relaxing than summer reading.

LL Cool Joe said...

I'm an extrovert introvert. I'm capable of being the life and soul of the party, I just want to be and will choose not to be any chance I get. I love being alone more than anything else, but I'm also aware that I also like to have my family around sometimes and wouldn't want them or my parter never to be there.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed your quiet time. Sounds wonderful.

yonca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
yonca said...

Hi Anita,
Sometimes we all need some alone time.
Actually, it reacharges me. I'm camping on the most west point of Turkey, Cesme right now with my son and hubby, which is face to face with Greece. I met new people. Some of them are good, fun, interesting, familiar.. Especially early mornings, i really enjoy listening to birds singing while having my morning coffee and watching the Aegean Sea. I think a new blog post will be coming about Cesme :-)
So glad you've had a good vacation!

Arlee Bird said...

I enjoy being alone and I spend a lot of time in solitude. I am inclined to be introverted though most people don't seem to think I'm that way. I can be outgoing when I need to be or if it seems to be the appropriate thing to do.

Hope you're having a wonderful summer.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

bettyl-NZ said...

I live in a rented house that has no neighbors within yelling distance; we are also at the end of a dead-end street where few cars wander without knowing where they are going. We only have one car that Hubby uses for work. I am perfectly happy with no one around except the cat. Doesn't bother me a bit to be alone.

Stephanie said...

Should I confess that I don't remember the last time I had extended time alone? I''m not sure how I would do. I need my people, my little group of people, but not much else :)

Kat said...

That beach time sounds like perfection. And I cherish alone time. I always have. Moving into my first apartment by myself (I was 22, I think) was the happiest moment of my life thus far. My mom was so worried I'd be lonely in a city where I knew no one but I LOVED it. LOVED it.

I have self titled myself as an introvert impersonating an extrovert. Basically, everyone I meet thinks that I am an extrovert but I am secretly an introvert. I can be very outgoing but it is kind of an act. I always want people to feel comfortable around me so I go out of my way to be friendly. However, on the inside I am sweating. Especially when I meet new people. It makes me SO nervous. I really loathe it. Or group settings where I don't know many people. UGH!!!! No. Luckily, I have a bit of acting experience and I can kind of fake my comfortability level. But again, that is all for the benefit of those around me. I'm weird like that. But I would much prefer to spend time by myself or with my immediate family. That's it. ;)

And like you, I have had a hard time getting around to blogs lately. I really wish I would get back into it again. I miss it. But time is in short supply these days. ;)

It was good "visiting" with you again!

Buckeroomama said...

When I was younger, all personality tests I took showed me to be an extrovert. Now looking back I think I'm more of an introvert in an extrovert's shell. While I am happy to be around people, I relish my alone time.

Beyond my once-a-week posts, I am hardly online visiting other blogs. I hope to get back into visiting a bit more often once things settle down.

(Thanks for stopping by mine. I've always enjoyed your visits!)

InSeason Mom Cynthia said...

I’m an introvert who loves participating in extrovert activities (public speaking, performance arts, etc.) I love meeting and talking with people. But, I not at my best if I don’t have a few hours daily of “alone time.”

Munir said...

I did not think that being an introvert was a label at all. I think more importantly what ever you are comfortable with is what you need to be. I am very outspoken, sometimes more than I need to be, I guess. It is something I am and I do not think that I am hurting anyone unless I am giving away secrets, which I don't. Thank you for stopping by. I do need to write a little bit more. May be I will as soon as I get a chance.

R Curcuru said...

I"m definitely an introvert; I need my quiet time. You beach vacation sounds lovely.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

I hope you and yours had a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and are looking forward to a very HAPPY NEW YEAR. May we display your header on our new site directory? As it is now, the site title (linked back to its home page) is listed, and we think displaying the header will attract more attention. In any event, we hope you will come by and see what is going on at SiteHoundSniffs.com.

Haddock said...

I too always felt that "power" and "quiet" are synonyms to introvert.
By the way long time no post ?

Linda said...

Dearest Anita, I want to wish you a very Happy New Year, and I wish you all the best in 2017...and always. Much love and warm hugs. :)

bettyl-NZ said...

Great photos, I always love seeing the ocean in different parts of the world. I stay by myself when Hubby is working and I love it. I can socialize when I want to, but am quite content with my garden and no neighbors.