Part 11 of 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert

I’m quite the night owl tonight.  My mind is kind of racing so I thought I’d catch up on blogging until I’m tired. 🙂

11. You’re in a relationship with an extrovert.

I am, and I’m so thankful it worked out that way!

My husband – well, I’ll put it to you this way – I just don’t “get” how he is.  He is able to do so many things I just can’t.  He’s good with people, he’s good with saying the right things in a very confident way, he enjoys putting himself out there.

Perhaps this is why we work so well together. ❤

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Called to be…good dirt or an active gardener?

I haven’t felt all too inspired lately.  Things have been so hectic this past week, I haven’t exactly had time to allow inspiration in.

However, a new mid-week Bible study began on Thursday, led by our Pastor, and it’s on the parables in the Gospel of Luke.  The first one we discussed was The Parable of the Sower.  Inspiration happened!

We began with discussing what it takes to have a successful garden.  Being precise with directions on how to plant the seeds and care for them once they sprout, making sure the soil is fertilized, and weeding were among the answers given.

We all agreed, in this parable none of those “rules” of gardening seemed to be followed.

When one reads this parable, one tends to assign roles to the different “characters” in the parable.  God or Jesus is the happy sower.  The path, rocks, and thorns are those who willingly reject the influence of God – you know, “those” people who will never come around, so why bother.  And then there’s us – the “good Christians” who are the nutrient-rich soil guaranteed to produce the fruit.

Mmm, not really.  And it makes sense.  Let’s continue.

First we were asked, what is the seed and who is sowing it so generously?  Is it God?  Sure, he’s the happy sower, but what exactly is the “seed?”  Is it us?  According to Luke 8:11b, the seed is God’s message.  Well, what is that?  To us it’s the Bible, but Luke was written long before the Bible was compiled.  Is it Jesus, the One sent to us by God Himself?

We were directed to John 1:1, as some interpretations of Luke 8:11b don’t say “God’s message,” but “the word of God.”

“In the beginning was the Word.  The Word was with God and the Word was God.”  So God is spreading God around?  What?

Yep.  God spread himself and his grace over every inch of this world.  Generously.  Indiscriminately.  In places doomed to fail and in places guaranteed to flourish.  But why?  Why would any gardener waste seed on a path where birds would eat the seed?  Why on the rocky ground where roots cannot grab a hold?  Why among the thorns where they’re consumed?

God is everywhere.  In third world nations.  In prisons.  In the places most people wouldn’t dare visit for fear of their own safety or health.  How can God’s seed possibly survive in these places?

We aren’t the good dirt with the bumper crop.  We are the caretaker!  The gardener!  It is up to us, the ones who know God, trust in God, and follow God’s message.  We are the ones who need to go to those places – sweep the seed from the path to the good soil; cut away the thorns and weeds; pick out the rocks.

It is not up to us to bring God to these places, for God has been there since the beginning.  It is up to us to follow through with God’s message of grace, mercy, and love – to all people.

Image Credit: LeightonAutrey.com

Part 10 of 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert

10. You start to shut down after you’ve been active for too long.

Yes!  And it takes me a while to bounce back.

Being around people and being “on” for the folks around me is tiring, but only if I’m subjected to it for a good, solid day.  I really hate being the center of attention, but there are times when it is necessary.

There are times, during the holidays especially, where we are almost in a non-stop social groove.  Parties, game nights, dinners, etc.  Once January hits, I can’t socialize anymore for a while.  I’m just tuckered out from all the interaction – even interaction with my best friends.

My husband and I are planning our 15th anniversary wedding renewal.  I can hardly wait, but I’m also hesitant about the actual little ceremony because all eyes will be on us – on purpose.  My wedding day was awesome, but it was much larger than this little soiree will be.  And, yes, only those closest to us will be in attendance, so what’s the big deal, right?

I’m trying to keep my focus on all the other details so the ceremony won’t be a sticking point on my subconscious.  Music has helped tremendously!  I’ll jot down new songs while listening to my Pandora stations – ah, Pandora!  How I love you!

Extroverts out there, don’t be offended when your introvert pals disappear for a while.  They’ll be back…they need to rest up for the next round! 😉

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Part 9 of 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert

9. When you get on the subway, you sit at the end of the bench -– not in the middle.

I do not ride any form of public transportation unless it is my only choice.  I’m not a germ-o-phobe at all, but it’s just so unclean!

Sure, I’m on edge when I have to ride a bus or subway or shuttle, but the main reason I stay away is the lack of control I have.  Ask my husband, yes, I am a control freak.  Comes with the bit of OCD I carry around with me.

It seems every time I’m forced into public transportation as a mode of travel, something happens.  Never fails.  Breaks down, is off-schedule by A LOT, someone at home needs me and I can’t get there…you name it.  I hate being completely helpless and out of control.

As far as where I sit goes, yes, it has to be on the end.  With transport, I prefer the front – probably because all I want is OUT.  Anywhere else, the back and on the end.  I don’t like people sitting behind me, I don’t like having to inconvenience people by leaving a row if I’m in the middle.  The downside is I’m highly annoyed by all the people who DO end up sitting in the middle who 1) arrive late and bother me by needing to sit in my row and 2) cannot make it through wherever we are without getting in and out of their seat a bunch of times.

Yes, I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to performance etiquette.  Get there early and stay in your seat!  I paid good money, too, and it’s not to rise and fall by your presence in my row. 🙂

Wouldn’t it be great if all auditoriums and theaters had an aisle every four or 5 seats?!?

Image Credit:  IntrovertedProblems.tumblr.com

Part 8 of 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert

8. Giving a talk in front of 500 people is less stressful than having to mingle with those people afterwards.

Nope.  Nada.  NOT going to happen.  For. Get. It.

This is where I divert from introvert to super shy.  I am not good with public speaking or anything where I’m singled out and in the spotlight.

When I applied for the newly vacated position of Director of Christian Education, I made it perfectly crystal clear that in no way would I be expected to be the “face” of the department – I would hire someone to do that.  I’m a behind the scenes kind of girl, and I’m most content that way.

I easily embarrass – flubbing a word makes my heart pound and my face turn red.  All eyes are on me – I’m not physically gasping for breath, but no matter how slowly and clearly I speak, I feel like I can’t breathe.  Before I’m singled out, I’m all nervous and shaky.  Afterwards, it takes me at least 30 minutes to come down from the anxiety ride.

I’m sure a lot of it is psychological remnant from all the times I was teased during a presentation in class, I’d be laughed at quietly.  Just enough to make me feel very uneasy and self-conscious.  That stuff never leaves you.  I’m almost 40 and those “memories” are still as vivid as they were when I was in my teens.  Even thinking about it makes me anxious.

I know, in my heart, all the people in the pews on Sunday morning love and respect me and couldn’t care less if I tripped over my tongue during a reading.  I wish it didn’t matter to me, but it does.  It’s who I am.

I have been toiling over joining our church choir for well over a year.  I just feel so intimidated by the talent up there.  I know my lack of sight reading music doesn’t matter to those up there (I’ve come to learn there are many who don’t read music).  I can sing what I hear and I do love to sing (when no one else is listening, of course).  I guess it’s just a matter of getting enough courage to actually do it.  That is one thing I always did like and was never nervous about – because I was in a group of blended voices.  I do like to just blend in.

I do apologize if there are those of you who DO excel under the conditions of performing or speaking that cannot relate to what I go through in those situations.  I wonder how many introverts out there do suffer from a degree of shyness.  I’d love to hear from you!

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It’s May. Woo.

Try not to energize yourself TOO much on my enthusiasm that May brings every year.

I’m not sure how many of my readers can relate, sympathize, or empathize, but MAY SUCKS!

My two kids – teen and tween – have all but shut down for the remainder of the school year.  Their last day is June 5th, so it’s going to be a very long month.  The excitement of getting ready for school, making breakfast, and being ready to go out the door long before we have to leave is a distant memory.  It’s morphed into a bunch of yelling “GET UP AND IN THE SHOWER ALREADY!” and “YOU HAVEN’T EVEN MADE YOUR LUNCH YET!” and “FEED YOUR GUINEA PIGS!  FEED THE CATS!”  Cue the whining.

May is nothing but a month of Mondays, where snow make-up days gobble up any remaining days off, and where weekends go to die.

I’ve learned, since becoming the parent of school-aged children, that May also seems to be the month where all things happen, and to hell with your own life because it’s all about the school.

An over-scheduled month of Mondays?  I want to rip my hair out every year.

School concerts, school t-shirts to buy, field trips, fun days, academic competitions…enough!  Not to mention all the things that happen at the church that I’m involved in.  For me, May is more exhausting than the holidays.

But, we do anything and everything for our kids.  As tiring and frustrating May always is and will be until they graduate, I attend, and pay, and cheer with a smile and with pride.  We all made it through yet another school year.

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Part 7 of 23 Signs You’re Secretly an Introvert

7. Downtime doesn’t feel unproductive to you.

Hear that?  It’s absolutely nothing!  Mondays are often my recharge day.

Weekends are busy with family, shopping, church work, and/or church socializing – and for me, that’s draining.  I’m fortunate to work a part-time job so I most often end up catching up on ME on Mondays.  I’m sure my husband doesn’t really like hearing that…sorry, hon!

Today was gorgeous outside, but I just stayed in until I had to run an errand or two before picking the kids up from school.  The dog, as always, was my lazy companion.  He’s a Pug, so it’s just in his nature.

There are some days where being unproductive is frustrating.  Usually it’s those days where I have a clear goal in mind for the day and just about anything and everything pops up just to spite me and my plans.

Lazy days I am perfectly fine with doing nothing.  And by doing nothing I mean no real goals.  I’ll work on laundry a bit, take the dog out, prep supper, make sure the dishes are done – I’m not a complete waste! 🙂

After a busy couple of days, I need to recharge in silence and at my own pace.

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