Monday, September 10, 2012

An Introvert Reaches Her Limits

I am an introverted person. I was very happy to read a new book that came out this year Quiet by Susan Cain which is all about introverts. The author has a little set of questions to ask yourself if you are introverted or extroverted. I knew I was an "inny" from the beginning, but the set of questions just confirmed it. You should just read the book if you want to learn all about questions like what makes intro / extroverted people, what are our various strengths and weaknesses, how we introverts can overcome some of our difficulties in life & how parents, teachers, managers, co-workers can best work with us.

One of the items on Cain's assessment quiz is ""I feel drained after being out and about, even if I've enjoyed myself." Couple this with 'I enjoy solitude", "I don't enjoy multi-tasking" and "if I had to choose, I'd prefer a weekend with absolutely nothing to do [versus] one with too many things scheduled" and there you have the outlines of why August was too much for me.

Cain discussed the idea of the sweet spot or finding a balance in your life between to much and not enough stimulation and interaction. Last month I went way, way beyond my personal sweet spot. Now I'm recovering. I did end up being totally drained.

I spent August in the city and made a schedule for myself that proved to be insane .... for me. Each individual part was fine by itself, but added together it became way too much in total. I realized I had had enough when I just left the Bonnie Rait concert at Red Butte Garden after having listened to it for about 30 minutes. I mean, Bonnie Rait, 30 minutes! Who does that?

Well Bonnie Rait was concert #5 in one month, for one thing. I attended Diana Krall as a ticket holder and then volunteered as a worker for Michael Franti, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Huey Lewis, and Bonnie Rait. Twice that meant two concerts in one week. (Now I realize that the people who worked the concerts as their jobs attended several concerts / week, but that was their primary work, not a secondary activity.) Generally I would leave home about 1600 and get home after 2200. And the whole time would be spent in the company of a LARGE group of people with sensory overload to the max.

I also did a ton of horticulture work. If I could fit it in, I was at the garden every day except Sunday and Monday. The nice thing about the gardening work, however, was that I could find work off to myself where I didn't have to talk with anyone if I didn't want. I found I always opted for that without really being aware of what I was doing.

Then there was work and the start of the new school year which meant meetings and classes more meetings. Sunday mornings I met with my writing group each week. Enough said about that.

I went to taiko class or rehearsal as much as I could, up to twice a week. We also had two performances within the month which together ate up two whole Saturdays for me.

Then there was the regular knitting group times plus extra time with my knitting friends, especially my dear friend S who is moving out of state at the end of September. I wanted to spend as much time with her as she had available.

Add in small things like a haircut and a spur of the moment pedicure, an eye doctor appointment and getting new glasses, lunch and a play with another friend, a trip to Urgent Care because of an injury, an extra volunteer night at Red Butte for a private event, finalizing the wedding I did over Labor Day weekend as a celebrant, and a superb party one evening with the taiko group.

Each thing, fine (or maybe wonderful) by itself. All together, way too much!

Now I'm at my country home, and I am decompressing. I have no schedule and I'm just doing my computer work and hanging out. Most importantly, I am not seeing people, much as I love them. I'll be here a bit more than 2 weeks total. Then back to the city and back to activity again. I won't tell you right now the plans for October. You will think I'm crazy.

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