I woke up this morning with one goal in mind: to see and/or speak to as few people as possible today. I've been kind of cranky lately, but I'm not entirely sure if my crankiness has fueled this sudden desire to be reclusive today. Sometimes the introvert in me kicks into overdrive and all I want is to act like a hermit for a day. On any given day I pine for a few quiet moments to recharge; today, I'm pining for solitude. Unfortunately, solitude is hard to come by when you have a very gregarious, socially minded, hostess with the mostess, 8 year old. We've had our house somewhat full today, but manageable all the same.
Thankfully Caroline and her friends are at an age where they don't require much in the form of child care. They're perfectly happy to entertain themselves, only beckoning (again, in that squawky voice) for nourishment and to answer the occasional "mom, where's my__________" question.
With my goal for solitude set in place, I'm happy to report that I have been able to hide a bit today. I did a little cleaning, enjoyed the vacuum lines on the carpet ( a little too much, probably), watched HGTV and did a little cooking. My goal is to venture outside as little as possible today. The sun is blazing and I find it's harshness more unwelcoming today than any other day. Perhaps knowing that heat and humidity will greet me with an unwelcoming fierceness is one of the reasons I've decided to be a recluse today? Anyway, since arising at 7 this morning, I've stepped outside twice: once to get the paper and again to fix Caroline's friend's bike pedal.
Right now, Caroline is across the street at a birthday party. I can hear happy kid voices in the distance, which even on a day when I feel like hiding out, still brings a smile to my face. Who doesn't like the sound of children playing? Even better, who doesn't like the sound of children playing in a house other than their own?
To a non-introvert (I suppose that would be an extrovert) my desire to be a recluse today must seem like an alien concept. If I didn't know myself better, I might think that, as well. However, I know that even though my life isn't particularly hectic, the thought of pulling back, hiding in the cool, dark basement, lighting an aromatic candle and removing myself from excess chaos and noise, is the best medicine I could possibly offer my body. The ability to hide, even for an afternoon, offers priceless renewal.
I'm not vampire. I'm not agoraphobic. I'm not anti-social. I don't hate people.
Some days I wish for a to-do list a mile long. I long for conversation and eagerly join the crowds at a busy venue. I love to people watch and shoot the breeze.
Sometimes I crave action. Sometimes I curse my quiet, simple life, wishing my social calendar wasn't so vacant. Sometimes I want more. MORE. More friends. More outings. More stuff. More excitement.
But, in the end, I'm an introvert. A solace seeking, quiet loving introvert. I want, need, crave this quiet time. I need it to feel fresh and alive. I need it like I need water and chocolate. If I feel my life is hectic; if I feel I've spent too much time talking; if I feel like I've been running around too much, I retreat.
Last night at Caroline's soccer practice the coach had the parents play against the kids for a few moments. Out there on the field I was reminded why team sports aren't for me: it's too overwhelming and chaotic. Maybe that's why I've grown to enjoy running. Running is quiet and allows time for introspection. It's good medicine for the internally charged. I was also reminded why playing soccer while wearing flip flops is a very VERY bad idea. One little girl's cleats met my bare toes with great force. She was small, but that didn't matter one little bit. Small feet in soccer cleats can do just as much damage as any big feet on the field.
I have a little over an hour left before the birthday party ends and I'm once again greeted by a boisterous kid. I know I'll be glad to see her; to hear about the party games; to catch up on the gossip; to talk about the cupcakes.
So for now, I'll enjoy what I can get. I'll savor the aroma from my candle and drink a cold diet Pepsi. I'll relish my reclusiveness for this one day because I know tomorrow won't be as quiet.
I hope you're having a happy Saturday. Quiet and relaxing or crazy and busy.
Whatever makes you happy.