Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Introvert Heaven, or, Read this book!

I finally made it into a book! the whole book, in fact, is about me. I am the star of every page!

I'm reading Quiet: the power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. If you're an introvert, know an introvert, live with an introvert, can't figure out introverts, or are driven crazy by introverts, read this book! If you're part of the working world that promotes extroversion as the ideal, read this book!

I already knew I'm an INFP and an Enneagram type 9 (peacemaker; conflict avoidant). But Cain's book highlights many everyday ways in which I express my basic introversion.  I can read forever, losing all track of time; I feel I best express myself when I write; I like to work alone, and I hate having to supervise anyone else; and I don't do my best work on teams.

And there's the vacation thing, a constant source of stress in my house. I could write a whole book about this myself.

Vacation for my husband means sightseeing. We're going to get up early and ardently pursue every possible sight. He has a bucket list of places to see before he dies, and by God, we're going to get there. We've been to England, Wales, France, and Italy; next up are Germany, Scandinavia, Greece. Maybe Africa and India. We will take them by storm. I will return home as exhausted as a limp dish-rag.

I enjoy travel, don't get me wrong, but I don't enjoy boot camp.  My perfect vacation? Plant me next to a body of water (doesn't matter which one), preferably off the beaten path. Take care of my basic needs: food, hot water, an inside toilet and shower. A church (any church, any religious community at all) for the weekends would be nice.  Dogs should be encouraged. And don't forget the suitcase full of books, candles, and a blank journal; those are the real necessities.

My poor husband doesn't understand me (oh boy, does that sound like a soap-opera line). So we'll take some vacations his way (when there's enough "fundage" to pay for them); and I'll go on the odd retreat here and there. In fact, I'm going on a silent retreat with the Order of Julian of Norwich in a couple of weeks, at a lovely retreat center run by the Redemptorists on Lake Oconomowoc (try saying that five times fast) in Wisconsin.

There, I can be my introverted best self, with 4 Daily Offices each day, silent communal meals, long walks on the grounds, walking the labyrinth, and reading by the lake. It's Introvert Heaven!

So read the book. You might find yourself in it, just as I did!


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