March was one of those months where my life was full of one disruption after another. No single event was very big, but as soon as I tried to relax, something else would come up. I ended up sick with a lingering cough that still hasn’t completely gone away. My mother, who is a saint, booked me for three nights at a cabin in a small mountain town. While I was there, in addition to soaking up the quiet like a sponge, I appropriately read a book entitled “Quiet” by Susan Cain. (If you are an introvert, especially if you are wondering how the heck to maintain any sort of professional life without losing yourself, I highly recommend it.)
The book contrasted the way extroverts and introverts get along in the world, and the ways that introverts are pressured to be more outgoing. Sometimes it is necessary to suck it up to get your message out there for the sake of serving your passions, but once that is done, you really do absolutely NEED to stop and recharge. I’ve been neglecting the recharge part, and my living room is very similar to the much maligned open office plan that she talked about in the book. All our family computers are together in an open space. I did this deliberately, otherwise we might never see each other. It also helps us keep one eye on what the kid is doing online. The downside is that I am open to distraction nearly all day every day.
The result has been near constant fatigue and brain fog. If my mind works best as a still pond, then what happens when people keep throwing rocks in it, even if they are small rocks? What happens when the wind blows? The image distorts and it takes awhile to clear again. My level of stress also influences how long it takes for the ripples to clear. Stress can keep the disruption going much longer than it should. I’ve often joked that kids give their parents ADD. I have noticed that the number of books I’ve read after having a child has gone down dramatically, because I get interrupted so often. I also joke about how…and there it goes, right then….how as soon as I put my headphones on people start talking to me. Right now the kid is doing math, so I’m required to be available to help. What this means is that I will need to take time all to myself later in the day. That time is a requirement, not a luxury, if I don’t want to be a grouchy half-functional zombie.
That sounds pretty simple. I just need an hour of two of down time. In theory, that doesn’t seem so hard, but those hours that are mine and mine alone mean I have to tell my family that no, I’m not available at that time. My family is my job. It can be hard to say no without feeling bad about it. No, I don’t want to watch TV right now. No, I don’t want to go out. No, I’m not going to run to the grocery right now. No, I’m not going to go over there to look at the funny video/cat picture/movie trailer on your screen right now. No, it’s not my turn to let the dog out, or to go find out what trouble the animals are getting in to in the kitchen. It doesn’t help that my father was also an introvert, who needed alone time, and that my mother resented him for it.
I need to do it anyway. There are no more mountain getaways lined up in the foreseeable future. I can’t afford it by myself. I need to make sure that I don’t get to the point of needing one again. There are things I’ve wanted to do, but I haven’t had the brainspace to do them. I want to read more books. I want to make things with clay. I want to get at least one blog post out a week. I want to follow my inspiration, which means that I have to give it room to grow without stifling it.
I know, this is a Kemetic blog, and this seems to have nothing to do with Kemeticism. You could file it under living in ma’at, finding a balance. Actually this same theme has been playing out in my relationship with Ra, so I will put that in part two of this post.