Pretending to be an extrovert

Disclaimer: If this post isn’t up to my usual standard (whatever that is) I apologise. It has been cranked out after the concert last night (way after pumpkin time) and over breakfast this morning. I have no time this week!!!

I am an introvert. People don’t always realise this. I am good in social situations. I will go out of my way to talk to strangers and try to make them feel comfortable. I am happy speaking in public. Yet I am an introvert.

I didn’t always realise it either. I was brought up living in community settings of one kind or another. In one place we lived there were cottages all around us with foster children families, in another we lived in an old monastery with 150 or so other people – communal eating, a bus took all the children to school, that sort of thing. Or we would have an older couple, a couple of single girls and our family all living in the one house. Living like that, introversion is less of an option.

But now I know I need time alone. I’m sure you’ve all seen the propaganda that introverts have been putting out lately so I don’t need to spell it out. I know that I am happiest when I have had at least one day at home by myself. I can work during that time, I can even work flat out during that time, but I will finish the day energised and ready to get back into things. If I have the time alone, then I can reach out to others with more energy, more to give.

However, sometimes there is not that time. Sometimes I just need to pretend I’m an extrovert and go with it. This week is one of those times.

We’ve had a family dinner to celebrate my darling mother’s birthday (and Pip’s too of course) with my uncle and his sons and their wives and children as well as my siblings and my own family.

I’ve had coffee with my darling sister and I intend to have a few more coffees too! Gotta make the most of her while she’s here!

The siblings have got together for precious sibling time after dinner in the evening and we’re going to do that again too before they leave.

There’s a baby shower on Saturday, there was church last Sunday and this Sunday coming and there’s the launch of the prayer group at uni. Then there was the Need to Breathe/Third Day concert last night. Brilliant! Much fun! Two major bands here in Tasmania from the Deep South! The introvert in me would have preferred that the concert could be postponed for a few weeks but there is no way I’d miss out on it. My concert buddies and I had a fabulous time together! (Thanks Dess and Julie!)

Someone at the concert asked me whether I would be able to recharge this week. The answer is no. Nope. Not like an introvert. Not this week. There is no time to sit and think, no time to spend time alone, no time to consider and reflect. But that’s ok, this week I’ll pretend I’m an extrovert.

Because there is energy that comes from being with those you love. From building relationships. From sharing ourselves.

Before the concert last night and in the interval I talked to several very good friends. They gave me support in what I’m going through, and they reminded me that I am not the only one going through hard times and I can give them support too. When you are in the middle of a huge time in your life, it is good to be reminded that others also need support – it stops you from becoming too inwardly focused. The time with friends was encouraging and re-energising.

The music last night was also encouraging and re-energising. ‘There’s a light at the end of this tunnel’ (was that written for me?) ‘Brother let me be your shelter’ (totally applying to my life right now). Also, just the joy in being at a concert – the lights, the loudness, the dancing, the singing, the endless clapping – so good.

The time with family is so good. There is a sharing in family that can be done with no-one else. There is support that no-one else can give. It has been brilliant having my siblings to visit, to share, to care, to have hilarious laughter with. Nothing like it!

So this week, I’m giving in to the little bit of extrovertedness that’s inside me. There will be time for the introvert to recharge later. Right now there’s too much to celebrate and enjoy and I intend to do just that!

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