The Extroverted Introvert
In my professional life, I feel like I do a good job at managing my time. However in my personal life, I struggle with time. I’d call myself an extroverted introvert; I enjoy being social and I want to do a lot and be involved in a lot….but if I don’t have time to myself on a regular basis I crash and burn. I used to go through a cycle: I would get excited and make a ton of plans, but then I’d have too much on my calendar, not really enjoy my plans because I was craving time for myself, and then I’d start canceling on people. Ugh.I'd call myself an extroverted introvert. Click To Tweet
I’m aware of this negative cycle now and can manage it better, but it is still an internal struggle. I want to make a lot of plans but I have to be sure to leave pockets in my schedule for myself. (This can be really hard for people to understand, so I also struggle with caving in to pressure to make plans. I tend to be very protective of my time.)
Because of this conflicting personality I often find myself rushing through things to get to the next thing, or the next block of time where I can relax at home. I have a hard time being present.
I had no idea how bad it was until this past week! The first few weeks of unemployment were busy: interviews, pet sitting, house projects, getting things in order without a job, catching up with people…but the past few weeks have been a lot less hectic. I’m still actively looking for work, but I’ve crossed so much off of my to do list that now I have a ton of free time.
A Wake Up Call
I realized I was still rushing through everything. It hit me when I learned about an opportunity for a blogging workshop and I almost automatically dismissed it without even looking at the calendar thinking, “I don’t have time.”
This week, the only firm things on my calendar are lunch with a friend and a job interview. Even with all the time I’m spending looking for jobs, this is a lot more free time than I’m used to having. It hit me and I realized, “Now is the time.”
Now is the time.
I have time now! All those times I’ve said or thought, “I don’t have time,” I DO have time and that time is right now!
I likely will never have another summer with weeks (possibly months) of free time until I retire.I likely will never have another summer with weeks (possibly months) of free time until I retire. Click To Tweet
This is not to say that I immediately want to fill up my calendar with random plans, because I don’t. But I do want to use this time to do those things that I am so quick to dismiss, the things that don’t always make the cut when I have a full calendar and limited weekends. I have weekdays off now, so I don’t need to protect my weekends so much.
Put It On The List
The things that don’t usually make the list? They’re on it now. Here are just a few of the things that I have done or have scheduled that I almost dismissed because I immediately thought I didn’t have time:
- Two 5ks in the same week
- Taken a mindfulness course (which I think may be behind this revelation!)
- A blogging workshop
- A (free) budgeting workshop
- Taking my pup to a pet carnival/fundraiser at our vet that was for the shelter one of my cats came from.
- Helping plan a reunion for the soldiers I served in Iraq with
- An online course to work on some aspects of my personality
The thing is, some of these things do cost money, but nothing unreasonable. One 5k is part of a charity for a soldier that I served with who is an ovarian cancer survivor and I look at the blogging workshop as an investment. I’m still being careful with my spending, trust me.
The Little Things
When I realized how quick I’ve been to say that I don’t have time, it was like clouds cleared and my eyes opened. I realized just how often I do this with different things in my life. So many things, little things, constantly rushing and not being present. It was slightly disturbing to me. Some of the things I realized I don’t take the time to do:
- Find my way somewhere without my gps
- Drive with my moon roof open
- Enjoy songs I haven’t heard in a while instead of skipping to find a song I want.
- Work on my computer or read a book outside instead of in the house.
Funny that most of these things occur in my car, and yet none of them drastically impact how quickly I will reach my destination. It’s a mental thing, I’m always rushing in my head instead of just slowing down, being present, and enjoying the moment.
My life became like a giant to do list, even plans with friends became about crossing things off the list and moving on to the next thing on the calendar. I don’t want life to be like that! Although I do need time to relax by myself, it is disturbing to me how quickly I am to dismiss things because I feel like I don’t have time. It’s such a habit, I don’t event realize I’m doing it.
It’s still a knee jerk reaction for me to rush through things, but I’m getting better at being present. This time off has almost forced me into it. I’ve found myself sitting around like, “Well now what should I do?” I don’t think I’ve experienced that feeling since I was a child. I can’t explain how light and free it feels to just enjoy moments.
It’s a little sad that it’s so difficult for me to just be. But I’m glad this has opened my eyes up to how bad it’s gotten so that I can work on being present.
“The trouble is, you think you have time.”
I don’t know where this picture originated from but I have seen it going around the internet for a few years now. It has long been a favorite of mine. I live by the word “embrace” and have had some experiences in life that are a strong reminder that a long life is a gift we may not all receive. While I have applied this logic in the larger sense, I realized I’m not applying it to the little things. I’m not being present.
Take the time to be present. Be IN the moment. You do have time, it won’t take any longer, you’re already there anyway, whether driving, or plans on your calendar. You’re there, so really be there.Take the time to be present. Be IN the moment. Click To Tweet