Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday, Uncategorized

When to Change, and When to Stay the Same

I love myself. I can’t remember if I ever didn’t, but I really love myself now.

There were times when I felt I needed to change. Those times were mostly because I was told so by someone else. Even then I wasn’t convinced. When I was younger, I was told I was too thin. I didn’t have any health problems, and I didn’t think I was too thin. Nevertheless, I gained weight. I didn’t to it to please myself, but to please someone else. I did quiet a few of these changes in my people-pleasing years.

There were times when I felt the need to change, and I did. I did so because I wanted to. The things I needed to change were the things about myself that I didn’t think served me or were not good for me. I changed my diet because I was not as healthy as I wanted to be. It was a personal decision. That was one of the first things I did at the resistance of those people I was trying to please. It was hard in the beginning, but I did it. All subsequent personal changes were a lot easier.

Sometimes you may need to make some changes, but they should be for your own reasons and beneficial to you. Trust your gut. You know yourself better than anyone.

Posted in Think About it Thursday, Uncategorized

Propagation

I light of my new fondness of taking care of plants, I have started relating that care and growth to my own life experiences. One of my favorite things to do is propagate plants. I love watching the roots form and multiplying my plant family.

This led me to think about what little parts of me am I taking off to grow in the hopes of multiplying parts of me that I wants to add to the world.

I work at a university. Part of my job is to help students develop skills to succeed academically and in the world. I hope sharing the good parts of me with them so they can continue to grow.

I hope I am doing the same thing with my son. It is funny to see that we have almost the same interests and similar personalities. He too in an introvert, loves to read, and he loves the arts. I’m not sure how much of that I am responsible for, but I like to think of him as my most successful propagation.

Posted in Think About it Thursday

Bloom

I have often been criticized for being too nice or too optimistic.  I have been challenged by people who say that I am not being realistic, but I disagree.  I know  things are not perfect all of the time, but they are not bad all of the time either. 

One of my new pastimes is taking care of plants.  I have a myriad of houseplants and am now working on establishing some outside as well. I love watering them, repotting them, pruning and cleaning them.  I have done hours of research on the care of my new personal jungle.  I find the entire affair quite revolutionary.  Especially in terms of my own personal growth.  One can relate much of what I have learned about plants to one’s own life. 

Life needs to be lived and nurtured.  We need to take care of our lives and work toward growth.  Not all growth is easy.  Sometimes you must be uprooted and transplanted to new soil in order to flourish.  Often you have to evaluate an environment to make sure it is well suited to your growth and development.  Sometimes you may only need to make minor adjustments, and other times you may need to do things completely differently.  There are times when we must reduce in order to make way for the new.  We may also, on occasion, have the opportunity to take a little part of ourselves and give it away to create something new and fresh.  With all these changes, we must allow for some trial and error.  No thing is perfect.

Posted in Uncategorized

New Beginnings and Starting Fresh

A lot has happened since I started this blog, and even since my last post. I have sold a home, moved, caught COVID, got divorced, got engaged, bought a home, and got married. It is crazy how life works out. For me, it has definitely been for the better.

At the start of the pandemic, I began working from home and my son began virtual school. This was a very eye-opening experience. Lots of things have been put into perspective for me. I feel brand new.

Sheltering in place and working from home were wonderful for the introvert in me. I was extraordinarily productive with my office work and work at home. I learned to better manage my time and set work/personal life boundaries. As I was limited to a certain amount of social interaction, I had plenty of time to self-reflect. I that I had too much stuff. I had more than what I needed. I realized how much of my money was going toward ordering in or eating out. When I was working away from home, I was often tired when I got off from work. I was also spending a lot on gas traveling to and from work and to and from my son’s school. I started investing the money I was saving.

I have embraced minimalism (relative to my former lifestyle) and literally got rid of 75% of my stuff. When I joined my husband in our new home, we both decided to start fresh. I gave all of my furniture to my brother and my husband either sold or donated his furniture. Then we shopped for all new items to furnish our home. Fortunately we have similar tastes, and shopping was easy. We both wanted our home to feel bright and uncluttered. Both of us have the tendency to collect things, and we have to continuously hold each other accountable to our decision to remain clutter free.

I have also become a plant mom! Plants are my new obsession. My home is filled with light and vegetation. Taking care of and being surrounded by them is so calming. I was horrible with plants before. Cacti and other so-called un-killable plants have perished in my care. Now my thumb is viridescent! I can rehabilitate the struggling ones. I can propagate, separate, and repot. I am so proud of myself. I sincerely believe that they are thriving on all of the positive energy we have infused in our home. My husband, son, and I are so happy.

My husband is also a skilled woodworker so I am really living my HGTV dream. If I can dream it, he can build it. When we were dating, we always talked about working on various projects together. Now we are doing it. I am looking forward to sharing our work.

I often reference my season of unfortunate events. I am now in a totally new and exciting season. I can really appreciate what I have because of all of the lessons I learned in the past.

Posted in Uncategorized

Back at It Again

I started my blog as a collection of my thoughts and reflections on life. I did not expect many people to follow or read it. I consider myself a relatively boring person. As I have been publishing my thoughts, and closely examining my relationship with the world, I have learned so much about myself. This blog has been my escape to be myself.

I noticed I haven’t posted anything since the onset of this pandemic. Naturally, I wondered why. I’m not sure that I have an answer, but I have learned so much about myself during this time. I think this has been a blessing in disguise to many of us. As horrible as this disease is, the result from the closings and sheltering in place have forced many of us to confront our true selves.

Since my last post, I have been working from home and my son has been attending virtual classes. I was shocked at how productive I have been in the comfort of my own home. Do I miss the interaction of all of my coworkers and students? Yes, but I am still able to communicate with them. What is no longer present is what I call “background people”. Background people are the people who you just tend to happen upon. People who are just around. You may not have any business with them, but there is some social pressure to interact with them in some way. As an introvert, It has been a relief to have some control over my social interaction. I feel my battery life has been extended.

My son’s virtual schooling got off to a bumpy start, but it has taught him discipline. He is becoming self-motivated and responsible. I have noticed he too may be an introvert and expressed little discomfort in sheltering in place. Although he missed seeing his friends, he has been able to stay is contact with them.

I have become an even better cook. My son and I have been experiencing different dishes and cooking techniques now that I am not spending hours in the car commuting. I have lost 10 pounds, I feel better, and less stressed. Life is more relaxed and I have gained in the area of productivity. This is a perfect work/life balance.

So as I was examining my life during this pandemic, I wondered why I had stopped blogging. I have taken many breaks since I started the blog, but I had explanations for those breaks. I could not quite put a finger on why I had stopped, but I think like most people during this time, I was adjusting. I was adjusting to a whole new way of life. My daily routine had drastically changed. I no longer have a set schedule. Although I make myself available during my normal office hours for work, I now have some flexibility to make lunch or dinner in between calls, dress comfortably, and to be in the comfort of my own home. This for me, is ideal.

I am back at it again. I suppose I have adjusted enough to this new normal to start writing this blog again. It feels good and just like all of the other changes, I feel relaxed.

There have been many other developments in my life that are quite extraordinarily wonderful. I feel that my life is better than I could have ever hoped it would be. I have rekindled old friendships, started restoring furniture again, and I just have a fresh outlook on life in general. I have a lot more to blog about, and I look forward doing so.

Posted in Uncategorized, Write On Wednesday

Write on Wednesday #63

Today’s Writing Prompt:  Rewrite History

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to participate in a pivotal point in history?  What what it have been like as a conductor on the Underground Railroad?  Have you ever wondered how the ancient pyramids were constructed?  Write about what it would have been like for you.

Posted in Introvert Lounge

Social Distancing

 

Fortunately, I am able to work from home.  These next few weeks will be interesting. Many have joked how us introverts have been prepared for times such as this.  I am wishing all of you well and for those who have fallen ill, I wish a speedy and complete recovery.  God bless!

Posted in Introvert Lounge, Uncategorized

Introverts and Socializing at Work

As an introvert, I don’t feel I am at a disadvantage most times. I have grown to love my introversion and do not view it as a hindrance, but when you are in a situation where you are you must work with mostly extroverts those advantages don’t seem to put you in a favorable position.

Working with extroverts, especially those who try to for you out of your introversion can be difficult. Most of the work activities are stirred toward forced social interaction, team-building, and all things that they may enjoy, but we find uncomfortable and tiring. It can be challenging to be an introvert in those situations. I have found some ways to cope with them. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. When they do, it is a win-win for all involved. Below are some of the tips I have used in the past.

 

Offer to do the planning and the setup.

I love to plan.  Planning an event is never a problem for me.  It’s attending the event that sparks my anxiety.  That anxiety is exacerbated by the idea that everyone will thing I am antisocial or unwilling to participate because my energy will drain and I will begin to power down in the middle of the event. If I become heavily involved in the planning, I can still participate in my own way and often alone.  I can also busy myself with the setup and thus avoid any sustained interaction.  

 

Find another introvert

I call this the magnet method.  The introvert is easy to spot.  Search all corners of the room and that is where you will find us.  Generally introverts who understand each other are content with congregating together and not socializing.  

 

Excuse yourself ahead of time

If you are not on company time, it is perfectly fine to have other plans they will cut into the event.  When you feel your energy start to drain, leave.  It works well to have something planned ahead of time so everyone can be prepared for your departure.

 

As I mentioned, these tips don’t always work for every situation, but they can ease some of the introvert’s anxiety.  The main thing is not to feel guilty for using these or any other coping strategies. We are who we are and we cannot help that.

 

Posted in Think About it Thursday

Renewal

 

Soon it will be spring and with it comes thoughts of things starting anew.  Along with the blooms and pastels there will be new beginnings.  Some mark this change of season with cleaning house from top to bottom.  I usually don’t follow such customs, but this spring I am committed to a renewal.

Are there things that you need to renew?  Are there any slates that should be wiped clean and a new story written in its stead?  Let’s use this upcoming spring to start something afresh.

 

Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday, Think About it Thursday, Uncategorized

Just Leave it Behind

There are some things we have to leave in the past if we want to have a different future.

That is a lesson that has taken me years to learn.  We can get so comfortable with past experiences that we make them our present and our future.

Many of us have lived through a tragedy, had our hearts broken, or been mistreated.  There is no reason to keep reliving those horrible moments.  Certainly those experiences have shaped the people we are today, but they don’t have to shape us in a negative way.  We should view those experiences as learning moments.

We often use past traumatic experiences to excuse our present behavior, but the only reason these past experience continue to affect us is because we continue to reach into the past and bring them to the surface.  If you have ever uttered the words “I am like this because_________happened to me a long time ago”, you are guilty of allowing past experience to shape your present life.  Stop creating issues and focus on healing and moving forward.  Learn from those experiences and make better choices for yourself.

If you were ever in a relationship with a dishonest person, don’t create trust issues.  Make better decisions on who you share your life with.  If you grew up in a household where accountability and responsibility were nonexistent and you can recognize that, don’t allow that to be your excuse to continue that pattern.  I admit that not everyone who exhibits a  certain negative behavior is aware of the reason, but for those of us who like to blame current behavior on past experiences, we know exactly what we are doing.  We know there was a problem in the past.  Let’s leave it behind and move forward.