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 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, Uncategorized

Are You Responsible for How People Treat You?

 

I have made a huge change in my life.  With this change came a lot of work that I needed to do physically and emotionally.  I will first explain the physical work.  I  made a physical move.  My son and I moved into another home.  Our new home was very close to the old one so I didn’t plan on hiring movers, and there was no deadline for me to leave my old home so I could take my time.  I packed our essential things gradually leaving the things we needed readily accessible in place.  I had no clear-cut plan on how the move was going to get completed.  I just relied on the fact that there was no rush.  I had time and I was only moving a few miles away.  So I packed my nonseasonal things in boxes and drove them to my home each day over that span of several weeks.  I chose not to fill my fridge with groceries as I would be moving it to.  Although I still had no plan on when and how I was going to do so.  The same went for my large furniture items.  I knew I would have to move them eventually, I didn’t want the shell out the cash to pay for movers, and didn’t feel the pressure of time.

A few weeks went by, and  I was still a one-woman caravan for my manageable items, but the larger items remained and I was starting to feel the effects of being unsettled.  I was rifling through packed boxes to fish out things I needed, but had packed because I believed I would only have use for them when I had completed the move.  As my frustration started to build, I began to wonder why no one had offered to help.  Everyone in my circle knew I was moving.  They all knew how I was traveling back in forth with my mid-sized SUV packed to the hilt.  They had all seen me stooped in pain from carrying boxes back and forth, loading and unloading.  I was getting upset with everyone around me for watching me struggle with this move.

Then I realized that I had never asked for help.  Not only that, several times in the past, I had refused help when it was offered.  It didn’t click with me at the time that my constant refusal of help may have been a signal to all of my friends that I didn’t need the help.  I was responsible for how they were treating me, but being the stubborn person that I am, continued to move unassisted.  I moved beds, a coffee table, shelving units, boxes, all by myself.  I even carried a six-drawer dresser up six stairs into my new home.

Eventually, I hired movers to move my refrigerator and sofas.  I have no idea how I was able to do so much, but I paid that price.  I visit a chiropractor twice a week now.  I could not walk the day after I completed my move, and two days later I couldn’t stand upright.  Was I proud of what I had done? Yes.  Was it stupid? Yes.  Was it necessary? No. Could I have asked for help? Absolutely.  Have I learned my lesson?  Not yet, but I’m working on it.   Old ways die hard and I am certainly open to suggestions.

 

 

 

Posted in Introvert Lounge

In a Sea of Extroverts (A tiny rant)

If you have read any of my other posts, you know I’m an introvert.  I am an introvert who does not appear to be on because and many people don’t understand, I love people.  I can be the life of the party for about 15 to 30 minutes.  Then I have to disappear.   If I actually attend a party you can rest assured that it was either mandatory, a mistake, it was one of those step-out-of-my-comfort-zone moments, or I had some idea of a quick and clever escape once I arrived.  I have always felt my introversion was an advantage and I have learned to stop making excuses for it, but recently I am seeing that there is a  clear extrovert advantage and it is making my me feel, for lack of a better phrase, some kind of way.

Those who are extroverts and thrive on creating and attending social events can really put the pressure on an introvert.  Especially if you find yourself in a sea of introverts.  There is a very well-liked extrovert who has recently entered my circle of associates.  This introvert is the one who plans get-togethers, parties, meet ups, group outings, all the things I and many introverts shy away from.  Being the introvertiest person in the group, I often feel the pressure of attending these functions as all of the others are willing to accept.  To top it of, I get lots of “Are you coming to this one? You didn’t come to the last one?”  I feel like I am drowning in a sea of extroverts.

In instances like these, I feel the extrovert has disrupted my little world. In a sea of extroverts it takes time for them to adjust to your introvert ways.  I have to navigate the “it’s not you, it’s me” conversations to assure them that although I enjoy their company, I get over it quickly and want the interaction to end.  Once I get them used to me, someone comes along and makes me the odd one out all over again. UGH!  My little group was accustomed to me leaving events early or not going at all, and would let me do so in peace without question.  Now this new introvert has reignited them. It is as if they have forgotten what kind of person I am.

Now I have to start over but, that’s okay.  If you plan to have a healthy and fulfilling life you have to adjust to different types of people.  This instance is challenging to me but, I will work through it.

 

Posted in Embracing Vulnerability Series

Control

In my previous post, I ended with how I needed to gain control over my emotions.  I feel that control over my emotions is something I will never have, but I do have control over how I allow my emotions to affect my life.  If you follow my blog and read any number of my posts, you are familiar with my season of unfortunate events.  That time in my life was a period of reflection, introspection, modification, and liberation.  It was a necessity for me to gain control over how I allowed my emotions to affect my life, but I was failing at it.  I looked great and no one could tell that I was going through my emotional turmoil.  Actually, I made it my mission to look my absolute best, have the best attitude, and appear to have my act together.  The more my world fell apart, the more I tried to hide it.  I was doing a great job until my health started be affected.  I was getting sick often, getting various infections, viruses,  and inflammations.  I was not in control of my emotions.  I was still feeling these things, but I wasn’t dealing with them properly.  I was pushing them under layers of stylish clothes, Ruby Woo lipstick, and halo of perfectly coiffed, but gradually thinning hair.  It wasn’t until I got tired of sweeping tumbleweed of my beloved kinky coils off of the floor, that I realized something had to give.  I needed to regain control.

I had to realize that I had to do something about what was happening to me.  There were some things I couldn’t control in my life, but there were also things I could control and that’s where I started.

Posted in Introvert Lounge

Stand Tall

I’m a woman.  As a young girl I was always encouraged to be “lady-like”.  I was told to sit with my knees together and if I were to cross my legs, I could only cross them at the ankle.  I was told to sit up straight and practice great posture.  My mother told me all of these things not to conform to some idea of what it meant to be feminine, but for my health.  She always said these things were lady-like and good for me.  She told me sitting up straight would train me to have good posture and that crossing my legs only at the ankle would ensure proper blood flow.  She also said these things showed everyone else that I cared about myself.  She was right.  In addition to these things being good for my health, they also put out a message.

My mother also taught me to let myself be heard, and not to cower in fear of what others may think.  This is a lesson that took a while to learn, but it wasn’t hard.  I realized I project a certain confidence that I often found lacking in myself.  I have been told that I “carry myself” well, or that I look like the type of woman who “don’t take no mess”.  I have taken my share of messes in the past.   It often puzzled me that people at first meeting found me intimidating.  It was not until I saw a video of myself walking to my car shot by a friend of mine.  I was standing talk, back straight, chest out and thought to myself “Who is that?”  I could not believe my eyes.  I could now see what everyone else was talking about.  I looked more confident than I was.  This video was a game-changer for me.  That day I decided I was going to be the woman I had trained my body to be.

I was never a push-over, but I wouldn’t say that I was the most assertive woman either.  It took a lot for me to step up and make myself heard. I knew that part of me needed some work so I used the antiquated term of being “lady-like” to my advantage.  I took a page from my mother’s book.  She described the confident posture and demeanor that I now possess as “lady-like” because, I feel that she subconsciously believed that to be a less threatening term for a woman.  What she was teaching me was to convey confidence in a non-threatening way.  I had to learn to be assertive.

Being assertive for an introvert has its challenges, but it also has its advantages.  As an introvert, I tend to sit back and observe.  We introverts make lots of mental notes in our heads and tend to not act on impulse, thus making our assertion more effective.   We can be calculating and often let all the dust clear before sweeping up the pieces and putting them in order.  I use the “lady-like” approach.  I wait my turn, smile, and never raise my voice.  This is not a sign of weakness, but of control.  I can maintain my composure while making myself heard and commanding respect.  I have been amazed at how well this works.  I believe once you lose control of your emotions, you being to crack the shell of your defense.  I was able to convey a confidence and even intimidation just in the way I walked.  It wasn’t because of anything I said.  It was because I was in control of my body.  I learned that I also had to get that same control over my emotions.

 

Posted in Write On Wednesday

Write on Wednesday #46 What is your book about?

broken-pencil

Like many writers, I plan on finishing a novel.  I have been working on one for a while.  I have had some articles and short stories published, but I have yet to have a published novel.  Many of my friends and acquaintances ask if I have written, or in the process of writing a book.  When I tell them  I am working on a novel, the next question is “What is it about?”

Years ago attended a writing workshop in my town and sat in a room filled with aspiring authors.  When it was time for us to ask questions, one of the attendees raised her hand an asked for tips on getting an agent.  Then she went on to tell what her book was about.  After about 5 solid minutes of awkward starts, backtracks, and confused faces, she ended with “I have a title.  It’s called Saturday Night at the Disco.” Even as I cringed along with everyone else as she bumbled through her attempt to describe her book, I wondered if I could do a better job.

Part of my current job is helping students succeed academically.  I help them with time management, study skills, critical thinking, etc.  I am often looking for various ways and techniques on how to improve study skills.  One method is the Feynman Technique. If you are not familiar with the Feynman Technique, it is essentially  explaining something in  language simple enough for a young child to understand and, by doing so, you too are gaining a better understanding of the subject.  After explaining this technique with several students I realized that this technique is a great way to fill plot holes and confusion in you own work.

If you want to be a published author and plan to go the traditional route of finding an agent, you will have to write a query letter.  You will have to be able to sell your book in a few sentences.  One way to do this is with the Feynman Technique.

 

iBourgie’s Guide to Writing your Query Letter Using the Feynman Technique

  1. Write down your tentative title.
  2. Write down the plot as if explaining it to an 8-year-old child
  3. Review what you have written (or if you have an 8-year-old handy, ask them to read it to see if they can follow it.  If they cant..
  4. Look for the confusing parts and clear them up.  This may be a great time to also look through your work to see if that confusion exists in it as well.
  5. Finally, make any adjustments using plain language

I really is that simple.  If it is too hard for you to apply this technique, you have a little more work to do.  Enjoy the journey!

Posted in Introvert Lounge

Introverts Are Born To Connect More Deeply With Others, Here’s Why

Learn more about introverts and why they are wonderful partners, and have a profound ability to connect deeply with others.

Source: Introverts Are Born To Connect More Deeply With Others, Here’s Why

Posted in Embracing Vulnerability Series

Artist Louise Bourgeois on How Solitude Enriches Creative Work – Brain Pickings

“You are born alone. You die alone. The value of the space in between is trust and love.”

Source: Artist Louise Bourgeois on How Solitude Enriches Creative Work – Brain Pickings