I woke up early on a Sunday morning to get some work done, namely blogging and reviewing what I had written so far in my book about introverts and friendships.
I love the quietness of the mornings. My favorites are watching the sky lighten as the sun rises, hearing the first sounds of birds chirping, and relishing the uninterrupted calm and peacefulness that goes with the dawning of the day. I love being awake so I can be part of this, seeing the world wake up is one of my favorite things to do… on my own.
But then, only an hour after waking up, my kitchen and living room are filled with humans between the ages of 9 to 12. The TV is on, they are talking, they are asking for breakfast, they are asking me to get off the computer so they can play games. In general, they are ruining my quiet morning. This does not seem to bother them.
My dog, a beautiful chocolate lab, understands the importance of quiet. When I wake up, she excitedly waits for me to feed her. After I do this, she eats, and then she goes to her morning sleeping chair.
I do my work, she sleeps. She is the perfect company on the mornings when I want to get some work done.
I really love all the humans in my house but sometimes the noise, noise, noise, noise gets to me. I imagine that the Grinch is an introvert. He never really gave up on people but he also needed space from them.
Sometimes I imagine going away for a weekend, or even a week all on my own. What pleasure I imagine in 1) having time away from taking care of small humans, and 2) only having myself to think about.
I imagine going on long walks and hanging out with my best friends (aka books!). It’s been a long time since I have been able to follow only what I want to do.
I’m going to a two-day workshop next month in a city about 3 hours away from home so I will be gone for two nights. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this! Even though it’s work related, I will still get the chance to be on my own for two nights. It’s still a month away, and I am already planning on how I will use my free time; reading, swimming, going for a walk, eating in a restaurant on my own.
I know I will miss my family and will be happy to return to them but I am also looking forward to quiet. And it feels good to be able to say this; that I am looking forward to time on my own and to not feel embarrassed that I actually have this need.
I sometimes wonder how the Grinch’s life changed after he attended the feast. Did he retreat back up the mountain and only resurface for special occasions or coffee dates?
The cynic in me imagines that the story would be written that he was somehow cured of his need to be on his own and away from people and the noise. I imagine that it would be written to show that he saw how it was better to be with people the majority of the time.
When I think about this, how we are expected to want to be more outgoing, it brings out the Grinch in me.
Do you struggle with accepting your need to be on your own? Are you okay to take time on your own as long as no one needs you? Are you able to make it a priority? If this is a struggle for you, and still is for me sometimes, just remember that when we take care of our need for solitude, we can show up much more present for ourselves and the people in our life.
As always, if this an area you struggle with, please feel free to reach out and book a complimentary call with me.
Tracy, a fellow introvert and therapist, helps introverted people manage anxiety, find success in the workplace, and build better relationships.