Introvert super powers…

I was wondering what to write about this week, then it hit me. BAM 💥. Well, not really… but I was talking with a friend of mine who is much more of an extrovert, and a lightbulb went off. She was talking about her husband, who is more of an introvert, and what his “introvert superpowers” were. What a great way to look at it! I’ve spent most of my life feeling like an introvert is a curse, but looking at it as being a super power?? That sounds way more fun.

Society tries to make introverts into extroverts, but it rarely goes the other way around. In the spirit of embracing these traits, I thought I’d share. So, here are some of my introvert super powers.

I am always observing and collecting data. Ok, this is true aside from when I’m grocery shopping. Then I literally won’t see you because I’m focused on my task. But normally, I’m taking it all in. I scan the room to see where to stand. I observe the safest place to sit. Do I know anyone? Who seems the most welcoming? Do we have anything in common? What do they think of me? Can I see/hear ok without being up front? Can I escape easily if I start coughing or need to get out? It’s one of the reasons that big crowds make introverts so drained. This and 1,000 other questions and scenarios and data gathering goes on at an event with a bunch of people.

I am a giver. If you’re in my circle, I will gift you things, send you things or offer to do things for you. It’s apparently my love language and it’s a way of sharing myself (my time and talent etc). I’ll send a note in the mail or send flowers or drop off some cookies. I don’t expect anything in return. How great is that??

I’m a good listener. Many introverts don’t lead the conversation. We listen. We are good at asking questions to make you talk about yourself. We (I) will interject a personal story to show connection & that we are listening. We are not trying to imply our story is more important. It’s our way of relating.

I’m sometimes better at writing than speaking, but it depends. If you get me talking about something I love, I’m very animated and not very introverted. I will sometimes over share and immediately regret it. I will replay our conversations in my head over and over. I will analyze what I should have said if I’m in person. If I’m writing, there is always the delete button. I love writing.

I’m not opposed to meeting new people, I just have a selective circle. Although I despise ice breakers, I will do them. Occasionally, I will meet someone I click with. I will usually think I’m not good enough to start with, so I can be a little needy (needing reassurance that I’m accepted.)

I have a wealth of knowledge regarding movie quotes. I’ve watched a lot of movies and can quote many of them. It’s a second language in my house. So if you need me for trivia, movies would be my category!

I’m an excellent planner. Aside from sandpaper or electronics, I love to plan trips, parties, weddings etc. I love the organization of it and trying to make it a memorable event. (This is me flipping the “bossy” or “anal” trait into something positive.)

How awesome would it be if we started embracing our differences? If we looked at our limitations as super powers instead of burdens? How empowering! I’m thankful for my friend who helped me see the positive, wether she knew it or not.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. May you find your super power – introvert or not.

Everybody sleeps…

My cat was happy to be a “sleep model.” It’s something he excels at. Growing up in the 70’s/80’s, Sesame Street was frequently on after school. I can still remember the song, “Everybody Sleeps.” I feel like it was supposed to encourage kids by letting them know that sleep was good and normal and everyone had to sleep, even animals.

About a week ago, I started feeling crummy (fever, sore throat & cough.) I could hardly get out of bed. I slept all of the next day, was weak and had no appetite. Assuming it was influenza, but wanting to be sure, my husband took me to the clinic. A lovely nose swab later, I learned I had Covid. This is the first time I’ve had it throughout the pandemic (that I’m aware of.) I was pretty miserable for a few days, then mainly tired with lingering cough. For some reason, the “Everybody Sleeps” song went through my head a lot. Maybe it was a way of telling myself it was OK to rest. I kind of felt like a caterpillar in a messy cocoon. The days blurred together amidst dreams and thoughts. Most of this week I’ve been moving in slow motion. I’m feeling much better now and I’m glad to have more energy.

The illness forced me to ask for help, to say no to things I wanted to do, and to just rest. Everybody sleeps, but everybody gets sick or has struggles too. Sometimes we forget there are more things that we have in common than things that divide us. If you’re going through a caterpillar time, allow yourself some rest. It’s ok to pause. I only wish I slept as soundly as my cat.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough.

No more math

This is the year I turn 50. Don’t bake a cake yet, it’s not until November. This is also the year I won’t have to do math to figure out how old I am. Not that my age comes up a lot, but if I’m filling out a form and it asks for my age, I always have to do the math. Not this year! I’m 49 until the end of November and then I’m 50.

I remember when 50 seemed “old.” I’m not sure what I thought I’d be doing at 50. Six year old me would have been a vet or worked at a zoo by now. Sixteen year old me would be an artist. Nineteen year old me would be a physical therapist who acts in a local theater. Twenty five year old me just wanted to be a mom more than anything. I don’t have a fancy job, have a big title or own a big business (I don’t think our farm counts). I am a loving wife, mom, sister, daughter and friend with a bunch of random dreams and a job that supports our family.

If you’ve followed along, or know me in person, you know I’m a list maker, a planner. I often have spreadsheets for planning work and personal things. Yes, there was a spreadsheet for our recent trip to Houston. Mainly because the plan changed and my memory isn’t as good. I wanted to make sure we saw and did the things I had looked into with some extra time for “random things.” I’ve been thinking of making a “to do” list for my 50th year. I probably won’t do a big party. It’s not my thing and quite frankly, I think only a handful of people would show up and that would bum me out. So, I think I’m going to set my intentions for this year. I’m going to make this my luckiest year yet.

Some people don’t celebrate birthdays. I’d be willing to bet, if you asked most cancer survivors, they would say they do. Another trip around the sun is nothing to take for granted. Not everyone is given the opportunity to be here 50 years. I’m thankful.

I’m a little scared about listing them because of fear of failure. What if I don’t do the things? In the spirit of stepping outside my comfort zone, I’ll share a few. Not to brag, but to dream out loud and welcome these great things into my life. (In no particular order):

  • I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii. This year will be the year I make it happen. (Feel free to send me tips on this, keeping in mind a budget for 4.)
  • I’m going to dust off my treadmill and at least walk most days. When it’s not snowy or the air doesn’t hurt my face, I’ll walk outside.
  • I will spent time in nature daily. Yes, the chickens are included with this!
  • I will create again by sewing or painting. I will continue writing and will expand my reach. I will get paid for my writing.
  • I will declutter, starting with my closet. I’ll keep only the things that make me feel great (either they are comfy or make me feel pretty.)
  • I am welcoming financial abundance this year. I can’t wait to see what this year will bring.
  • My A1C (diabetes) will be within normal range. I will reach my goal weight.

I’m sure there will be more to add. It’s not really a “New Year’s resolution,” it feels bigger than that. And more impactful… like a stretch goal I actually want to do. I understand the concept of stretch goals at work, but it always made me feel like, “your goal isn’t good enough, so list this crazy stretch goal that you’re unlikely to achieve so we can set you up for failure.”

I’m going to make a calendar reminder to look back at this post the end of December & see how the year went. I know it will be filled with wedding events for my niece, many birthdays and trips and a lot of changes. Good things are in store. Dream big, friends.

Peace be with you on your journey of enough. Cheers to a year with less birthday math!

RSD…

(Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I’m just speaking from my own experience)

Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD) isn’t a medical diagnosis, but a symptom associated with ADHD. I wouldn’t have ever found out about it, but I’ve researched more about ADHD since our oldest son’s diagnosis. I knew ADHD probably applied to my husband, but I didn’t think it applied to me until I learned about RSD. Once I read about it, a lightbulb went off and I felt understood.

Perhaps I wasn’t crazy every time I “overreacted” to rejection. I vividly remember being rejected by friends in high school. I cried and felt like an utter failure when I got a bad review for teaching a class. I panicked, fearing I’d be fired after I failed a test for a professional certification. When a friend stopped talking to me, I was convinced I had done something wrong. I often don’t start a task because I’m afraid of not doing it perfectly. It’s also probably one of the reasons I avoid crowds because I don’t want to feel rejected. Each week when I write, I worry about it not being good enough. Hence my journey of enough.

Web MD describes it as follows:

“Dysphoria” comes from a Greek word that means “hard to bear.” People who have RSD don’t handle rejection well. They get very upset if they think someone has shunned or criticized them, even if that’s not the case. Up to 99% of teens and adults with ADHD are more sensitive than usual to rejection. And nearly 1 in 3 say it’s the hardest part of living with ADHD. People who have the condition sometimes work hard to make everyone like and admire them. Or they might stop trying and stay out of any situation where they might get hurt. This social withdrawal can look like social phobia, which is a serious fear of being embarrassed in public.

Telling someone with depression to cheer up does not work. Telling someone with anxiety to calm down doesn’t work. Telling someone with RSD to get over it doesn’t work either. I don’t know much about it yet and I have not been formally diagnosed. I just know that it resonated with me so much. The feelings seem more intense for me than it does for most people. For me, awareness is a good step. Now it’s just to determine the next step. (Keep in mind that sharing this is pretty vulnerable & opening myself up for rejection)

I’m wishing you peace on your journey of enough. May 2023 be all you hoped for.