When you look up the word “introvert” in the Urban Dictionary you find the following line:
An introvert prefers to spend time alone in order to recharge their inner being.
All my life, I’ve never considered myself an introvert. If you ask anyone who knows me they probably wouldn’t consider me one either. I’m very social and I love to talk (probably too much). I love to host, I love to plan parties, and I love to travel. I can’t pinpoint when it happened, but I think it was around the time when my oldest son Kendrick was about 11 months old that I started feeling like I needed more time for me.
In college and university, I was never one to have many down days. I had multiple promotions jobs, did gymnastics, socialized with friends, and went to the bar. Sick days were brutal as I’d get so incredibly bored at home (of course this was way before Netflix was a thing). Even as I got older and started my full time career, I still worked part time at two other places until about six years ago. Then when I quit, I found myself feeling like I was missing something (and the extra cash) so wanting to save up for more travelling I joined Stella & Dot. I guess you could say I liked being busy.
Even now, there is rarely a day where I stay home with the kids during the week. My preschooler is a busy bee who doesn’t nap anymore (except for rare occasions where happen to be driving after a long day) and my busy infant is constantly crawling or cruising around furniture, so we get out of the house at least once a day so we don’t all go stir crazy.
Maybe I’ve Always Been One and Didn’t Know It
I’ve done a little bit of travelling on my own and truth be told, I love it. My first trip on my own was just over 10 years ago when I headed to Seattle for a weekend. I was down in the dumps after a tough break up and still had flight benefits at my old job at the airport, so I planned a little trip to get away from it all. It was awesome! I love being able to wake up when I want, and deciding what I want to do on the fly. Life can be so organized and planned that it’s nice to do something different. I’d explore all day, then pick up food and head back to my hotel before dark and chill out and watch TV. No alarms to set, no expectations, and no concrete plans – it was heaven!
This also might be why I enjoy running so much! Although I don’t mind running with a friend every once and awhile, I mostly enjoy running on my own. I love outdoor running and I hate running on the treadmill. I love exploring my neighbourhood, running in downtown Edmonton, and running races in other cities!
A few months ago I headed to Vancouver for the weekend to run the 2018 Seawheeze Half Marathon. I started reading a book (for the first time in I can’t even remember how long), did some stretching and yoga with a couple hundred other runners. After the race I took a bath, and relaxed in my room watching football. It was glorious!
Love My Alone Time
When I was pregnant with my second son Easton, I found the combination of working full time, being a Mom, being pregnant and trying to fit in a social life was very exhausting. I was feeling very overwhelmed. I am fortunate that my office has a giant lunch room with sunlights and lots of bright, welcoming, white space. Before my second maternity leave I’d spend some of my free lunch hours cozying myself up in one of the booths with my laptop, day-timer, and a ton of coloured pens and markers, doodling, planning, budgeting and making lists. I enjoyed the solitude and the quiet time as well as catching up on the day’s current events with the good ol’ fashioned news on in the background.
When Daddy takes the kids out for a few hours so I can have some “Me Time“, sometimes I just end up sitting on the couch and watching Netflix. I enjoy the peace and quiet of an empty house during the day. I’m not sure what is about solitude, or why it’s been so important for me in the last couple years, but I feel I really need it to recharge once and awhile.
On occasion, I find being more introverted also leads to sometimes being a little anti-social. Sometimes I turn down activities with friends that maybe I wouldn’t have done before kids. I certainly don’t mean to be rude or offensive – I love spending time with my friends and I love hosting them! But sometimes I’d just prefer to be alone.
Sometimes You Need to be a Little Selfish
In the last couple years I’ve become very aware of my mental health. I don’t just want alone time “just because”, I NEED it. I need it to be a better Mom, a better wife, a better friend, a better coworker, and overall a better person. Honestly, a few hours here and there makes a huge difference.
Do you feel this way? What do you do during your alone time?
Would love to hear your thoughts.