Overwhelmed

I’m an introvert.  Absolutely, no doubt about it, introvert.  Many times, when I share that with someone, they will tell me that I am not an introvert, or I certainly don’t seem like an introvert, or that maybe I think I am an introvert, but I don’t fit the profile.

Maybe I don’t fit the image society has of introverts—but that’s not because I’m not one, it’s because society has it wrong.

I’m not shy.

I have lots of friends—the really, really good kind of friends.

I like being around people.

I love being in a crowd, one among many.

…but those things don’t make me an extrovert.

Here is why I am an introvert:

Yesterday, I met with some other homeschool moms at a local trampoline center (which, by the way—was AWESOME).  After that, I brought the kids home, made them dinner, and tidied up the house to get ready for our weekly small group from church, a group of people who come to our house with their kids on Friday evenings to study the Bible.  It was lovely.  We had a great discussion about John 1:1-14, we shared brownies, and the kids all played together very sweetly.  It was lovely.

After everybody left, one of my dearest friends texted me to tell me she was en route to my house with treats for me (yay, dessert and wine!).  We spent a few hours with our friends, with good, real, intense conversation.  We went to bed last night feeling like our lives are so full, with so many wonderful opportunities and people.

But I woke up this morning mentally drained.  There are some external things happening in our lives, changes to our regular routines that were unexpected and sort of lurking in the background, and they seem big today.  I wanted to have a conversation with my wonderful husband, but struggled to want to find words.  I almost fell apart during lunch when the kids asked me a question that involved my having an opinion.

I spent it all.  All of my energy for other people, I spent it.  And the only way to get it back is to be alone, to have time to think and pray and read and write.  I needed to plug myself into solitude, recharge my fuel cells.

I was thinking the other day about homeschooling—this crazy adventure filled with the joy of my kids, the excitement of their lightbulb moments, a home full of love and laughter and learning.  People often think that the greatest challenge of homeschooling is ‘socialization’, but obviously my kids are socializing constantly.  For me, the biggest challenge about homeschooling has been finding a balance between being a homemaker and a homeschooler, and being an introvert on top of it and finding time to be alone in a house of people.  For me, that alone time, the solitude, is as necessary for my well being as a healthy diet and regular exercise.

So, that’s why I’m an introvert.  I love people, I love my friends.  My life is full of incredible people, and I am rich with a home full of love and warmth.  I love that people drop by, I love that my friends feel comfortable in my home.  I would not change that, I would not take any bit of that away.  But, sometimes at one in the morning, after an exhausting day, instead of going to sleep, I find myself folding laundry in silence, alone with my thoughts in the quiet of a home where nobody needs my attention at that moment.

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