Introversion Time

I’m exhausted. It’s been another busy weekend. Non-stop people and interaction. I’ve said it before, but I feel my introversion physically, and I’m so incredibly tired and worn out.

I feel guilty for taking time to do nothing, but… I need some time to just do nothing and recover. Sometimes you just need to lay on the floor and stare at the ceiling.

No energy.

And the idea of a semi-busy and people-filled week with lots more meetings and figuring things out just doesn’t sound too appealing at the moment.

So I sit and I rest. Feeling wasteful and unsure how else I could manage to spend my time. Maybe someday I’ll get the hang of this…

What ways do you experience your introversion when you’ve done too much extroverting? Do you have any activities that help you recover?

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Introversion And Depression

I’m an introvert and I also struggle with depression. These are not the same thing, and as such, it can be difficult for me to navigate social situations when I’m not fully in tune with whether my needs for space and quiet come from the healthy introversion and my need to refuel, or the more destructive depression and an attempt to isolate. There has to be a balance, I just have yet to find it.

I’ve been thinking about this more lately. I’ve been invited to spend a week away with a friend who isn’t yet very close, but I think certainly has the potential to be. That’s incredibly rare, and I don’t want to miss the opportunity. The trouble is, it overlaps with other special days.

I’m feeling some anxiety at the idea of committing to this trip, even though I know it would be the perfect introvert escape. Everything she has planned will be really quiet and low key with lots of extra time for processing, writing, and individual quiet time. An opportunity like this doesn’t come around very often.

I’m not sure if my apprehension is because of the other dates, because I still don’t know her too well, because of the idea of committing to a week with another person, or if it’s that pesky depression isolation trying to prevent me from doing something that would truly help.

Maybe a little of all of it.

I don’t want to say no and lose the opportunity, but I also don’t want to make a decision until I understand my own motivation and the reasons why I’m making it.

This conflict has come up a lot recently in other contexts though. Times where I can’t tell whether I’m pushing myself to socialize too much, or pulling back and refusing to socialize enough.

Do you ever struggle to know the difference between introversion and depression?

Unknown Path

Roads lie ahead, open and unknown. We don’t understand the paths we take until we’re far enough through that we can see all the points connect, and even then, I wonder if sometimes we miss some.

Unknowns can be scary or exciting, depending on what they are, and depending on the potential outcomes. But either way, we really can’t predict the future.

We can take things as they come, and experience far less anxiety as a result.

I don’t know where all my paths will lead, what I do know is that I can trust my loving Father with all of it. He’s brought me through so much already, and I know He is capable of infinitely more.

What ways have you approached the unknowns in life? Do you notice a difference depending on your mindset?

More Change And Endings

They’re cutting a big tree down across the street. It’s so sad to see something that’s been such a core part of this neighborhood being cut down. It’s so sad to see trees cut down in general. I know that sometimes it has to happen, and sometimes it’s a safety issue, but it’s always sad when life in any form is taken away.

Last week a huge branch broke off of it. I’m guessing that’s what triggered the decision.

I wonder where the oldest tree on earth lives. Would we even be able to recognize it?

Once again though, these external changes are bring about a calm sort of peace in me. After our neighbor moved, and now this tree is being cut down, piece by tiny piece, they all add up to something.

But in the changes, I’m realizing that I’m more content and open to a bigger change of my own. I was feeling some resistance to the idea of moving, because I love where we are so much, but now I’m feeling more at peace with it if the time is soon. It may not be for another year or more, maybe in a couple months. I don’t know. But I’m feeling incredible peace.

Life changes, but that doesn’t mean it ends. I’m trying to be more fully present and just take each moment as it comes. I’m still planning for the future, and sometimes tempted with the pull of anxiety, past or future, but there’s a change and a shift in me.

I’m no longer living in constant dread like I once did, I’m no longer fully crippled by the terror. Yes, change happens, but there’s great joy in that because even though the good things may come to an end, the bad things do too.

It’s just a season, just a time to pass through, and I want to be engaged in every second of it I can.

We grow through everything we walk through. Every fire refines us even further, and soon, there’s nothing but the inner beauty left fully polished and cleaned enough to shine.

Baking

I’m tempted to break into the cookies. But I’m also planning to do some baking later today, so I know I probably shouldn’t. So what I should do, is put the cookies away and out of sight.

Baking has become a fairly reliable relaxing thing for me. Since I’ve started keeping my house a little cleaner, I’ve found I don’t mind creating the mess as much. At least when it’s intentional.

I’m torn between banana bread, and some sort of crumb cake. Maybe I’ll opt for both. We have a lot of events coming up over the next week, so I can bring extras to share.

Do you enjoy baking as a relaxing pastime? What are your favorite things to make?

Boundaries

Sometimes we feel like we’re walking a narrow pathway, one missed step, and it could all fall apart. But what if those narrow roads are guidelines intended for our own protection? What if it wasn’t just to keep us in, but to keep bad things out?

Good boundaries have gates.

Settings boundaries is hard. It’s hard with ourselves, hard with others. And sometimes it’s hard to know where the lines ought to be. How far is too far? How much is too much?

It’s easy to close in on myself. It’s easier to put up walls and not allow anyone in. I might sit there and smile, and engage well enough, but there’s a huge difference between being in a room with a person, and allowing that person to truly know you.

I’ve struggled with this. Why is it so hard? Why do I push people away when what I truly long for is connection? Why do I feel trampled, and like anyone could be let in?

I was having a conversation with a close friend at church the other day. I know it’s church, it’s a public place, so others might be around and interrupt. Some of these interactions seem less invasive than others. And I feel so guilty sometimes for being judgmental when there are certain people I wish would just leave me alone.

But anyway, this friend is one of the VERY few people I feel I don’t need to wear a mask with. I know that God orchestrated our friendship, and we needed each other to walk through this life together. I’m so incredibly thankful for her.

We were talking about difficulties we were having, it wasn’t exactly a conversation that invites interruptions. We moved to a corner… I don’t know how to talk about people who don’t understand personal space. Especially when those people push physical contact. I feel violated on some level, and don’t know how to just say no. I feel rude turning away. I know there are mental issues there. I also know he makes both of us incredibly uncomfortable.

My friend needed a friend that day. And I feel on some level that I should have been the one to defend against the unwanted intruder.

Writing this here, I feel I need to write out, and maybe discuss with my husband, ways of handling this person and the situation. How to be kind, without allowing things I’m really uncomfortable with.

I have another friend who is so good about setting boundaries. She’s an older INFJ and I look up to her and admire her so much. I have a lot to learn. Maybe I should talk to her about this too. I did once before, and that situation was resolved, but maybe it’s time to have that conversation again. She’s so kind and diplomatic while also firmly stating what she will and will not go along with.

I feel this is still an area I really need to grow in. I’ve come a fair way from where I was, but I’m still plagued by guilt whenever there is an opportunity for boundary setting, whether I do or don’t set the boundary.

This post is kind of me processing… Thank you for letting me do that here.

Do you have any tips on keeping or setting good and healthy boundaries?

Storms And Endings

Who are we when we stand in the midst of the storm? When we’re waiting for the thunderclap, when we stand to look at the clouds?

Where do we look? To the sky, or to the creator of the heavens? Who calmed the storms and seas, but the one who made them.

I’ve felt a little distant lately. Calm. At peace. There’s something going on under the surface that I can’t quite grasp or lay my finger on. I’m not sure what it is, but I feel a shift in me.

It’s funny how changes don’t tend to happen all at once, but gradually over time, all the subtle shifts add up, and soon we notice the chasm between who we are, and who we used to be, wondering how we ever got to this other side.

There are more paths ahead of us now, more options to choose. More hope. More future. And yet, we’re somehow closer to the end.

Someone died recently. I didn’t know him, though I knew his name. A man who was full of adventure, and that adventure killed him. We were the same age. He spoke just the day before, talking about a busy week and so much to do after it. He talked with excitement. But for him, that busy week never ended. He did.

It makes me wonder how much time I have left. I’m at peace with dying. But I also want a chance to truly live.

What am I doing with the time that I have?

What are any of us doing?

I don’t want these storms to have the final say. I don’t want these voices to crush me any longer. I want to rise above the ashes. What will we say, when we finally reach the end?