While it’s been lovely having company, showing my mother-in-law the sights and a peek into our lives, I dearly need my routine again. I am an introvert. Anytime I doubt this I need only to have extended, face-to-face contact with a person; I wilt. I need expanses of solitude. I do enjoy particular people, but as a whole, I’m not fond of the teaming masses. (I’ve spent the past week trying unsuccessfully to convey my sense of the world to an extrovert. Extroverts mistake being personable for being social.)

Another insight was refreshed for me as well. I would be well-advised to select a small range of activities and dedicate my efforts to them. I want to arrest my tendency to dabble and buy how-to books. Shallow interest, combined with insecurity about being a novice, hinders involvement. Since I have insomnia tonight, I’ve spent time prioritizing what matters to me, so I can use my time more fully. They fall into three general categories: creativity, community, and health.

Creativity encompasses writing, reading, collage art, photography, gardening, and learning to knit. Community includes volunteer work, church, nurturing budding friendships here, and tending my long-distance relationships. Health pertains to exercising daily in some fashion, participating in walkathons, and eating well. Even this is a sizable list, when one also factors in the time I want to spend with my husband, as well as time and energy consumed by mundane duties.

I like schedules — as long as I create them for myself. I find it motivating to book appointments for the priorities I mentioned. The calendar reflects my commitment to follow through even if no one else will participate. Julia Cameron writes about making an “artist’s date” with oneself. One can also make a date to exercise or to follow-up on a phone call or email from a friend. (In fact, my ten-year correspondence with a friend flourished because I made notes of points needing response and dedicated a couple hours every Saturday morning to write.)

This week’s visit full of conversations about interests and goals has triggered the second insight regarding intention, concentration, and movement into life, rather than darting over it. One can so easily talk about what one wants to do, but discussion can and does become a means of avoidance. My Wise Self implores me to remember the values I hold dear: express, discover, renew, create. Okay, I say to my dear self, this post was an effort to jump-start my life. And now I am ready to sleep.

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7 Comments on “Asynchronous”

  1. twyla Says:

    Wonderful post! I admire the way you’ve been able to understand yourself and what it is that feeds your soul. You’ve got me thinking now…what are my priorities, what feeds my soul, how do I pursue those things with intention and focus? Thanks for the nudge. Sleep well.

  2. Larry Clayton Says:

    C.S.Lewis made a lovely comment that I want to join here: he said, “I love monotony”. Me too.

  3. Fran Says:

    I’m an ENFJ on the Myers-Briggs, but the last time I tested, I was far less extroverted than I had been in earlier years. What are you?

    Having anybody in your house for a prolonged period, but particularly a mother-in-law, is hard–even for extroverts. I’ll remember what you said: Extroverts mistake being personable for being social.

  4. Kathryn Says:

    I’m an INFJ. No surprise there, eh?

  5. Nathania Says:

    Kathryn, thank you for your lovely and insightful post. It is so easy to fall into that place of self-forgetfulness and lose the thread of our passion. I think that’s the most anxiety-producing thing that we, as humans, confront. We’re constantly having our internal compass tampered with. The magnets of other people’s agendas, ideas of who we’re supposed to be, pull us off course. How lovely to take a few moments to realign.

    As an ENFP, I have discovered that I am far less extroverted than I think I am and have to be more careful about guarding my energy and internal resources. Too often I serve the extroversion only to collapse afterwards suffering a migraine. There is a balance to be struck there that I have yet to master.

  6. Adrianne Says:

    I am new to reading blogs. I started reading who I tripped over in an article & it caught my attention. She is a witty & funny writer but her life holds no interest to me having raised my children and hung on to my sanity a long time ago. Their adulthood is what leaves me at loose ends. Heather is part of a large blog community & I clicked my way through a thread of recommended others. Then I found my way to Time goes by – Ronni Bennett who is wonderful & interesting to read and closer to my age & interests. Yesterday, her blog led me to you. I feel like I have just found a well of fresh cool water that will quench my thirst & renew my spirit.

    I will come back often to drink at your well & gather insight as I design and create this new phase of my life.

    Plus I love that you’re a “Baby knitter” I have been knitting since I was 11 but have just picked up my needles again afterputting them down 15 years ago. Teaching a young friend has renewed my interest and the needles are clicking once again

    Thank you.

  7. Kathryn Says:

    Adrianne, welcome! I hope you’ll find refreshment here as often as you need it.

    To all commenters… your comments are well-wrought and I love how you bring me into your perspective!