Wednesday, July 10, 2013

on the important things

It's another grey Wednesday morning, the kind of morning made for introspection, and such. Right now I'm thinking about the important things. The things, the moments, that really matter. And apparently it's not tea time.

I am a girl who, true to introverted form, needs my space. My quiet time to be alone and read, write, stare aimlessly at the ceiling, be. It's essential to my well-being and overall sanity, but I wonder if I have placed this alone time as too high a priority.

I'm not one of those people who needs coaxing to take a load off, take time for herself. That has never been a problem for me. I schedule "time to myself" like I would a dentist appointment or trip to the grocery store. I need it that much.

But lately, life has happened. I am working full time for the first time in my life and, boy, if that isn't a wake up call. Welcome to the real world, where I don't get to crawl into sweats at 3PM and read on the porch all afternoon. Thankful as I am for this job, I hate being in rush mode at all times, racing through the week until Friday finally comes.

And just when I am ready to wipe off my makeup and plant my yoga pants-butt on the couch, something happens on my sacred Friday. Weekend house guests come. Friends want to do dinner. There's a meeting at church. And before I know it, Sunday night is here and I have barely written  a word, barely had time with God, barely slowed down. Part of me wants to get just a little bitter. Do people not understand that I work all week? That I need a break? That things are getting just a little too extroverted around here?

Never mind that it was only two short months ago that I was sitting home all alone, getting quite corpulent on books and tortilla chips, wondering aloud why I didn't have any friends. Any real purpose. Well here it is, sister. Here are your friends and purpose and job and activities and then some.

I give a sleepy smile as I write these words and shake my head. How interesting, that life is not actually all about me and what I want.

Maybe, (huh.) maybe life is about other people.

Not that it's wrong to need time away, even for just an hour, to refocus and think. I will never not need that. We all need that. But I'm realizing that once I push my whiny self aside, I can find real Joy in early morning conversations with friends over coffee and homemade raspberry bread. In having an intelligent conversation with my husband instead of saying, "Mm, not now, I just need to be alone, thanks." In being surrounded by other women, laughing so hard because it's way past my bedtime, and there's mascara streaming down my face and I'm basically a train wreck, but in the best way.

Of course I will continue to carve out time to pray, to breathe. I can't do those other things well without it. But I'm choosing to make people more important than myself, to push all those "But what about me?" thoughts aside to become intentional about investing in others. It's uncomfortable and foreign at first, but at the end of the day, gosh, it feels good.



  1. This is beautiful. Thanks for sharing...I resonated in so many ways! love KAtie

  2. I am just like you Heather. I have to have "me" time. Sure, everyone says they do, but most people don't actually make it a priority like we do.

    I gave up nursing school and a career to be a nanny. I work 3 12 hour shifts a week watching a sweet little boy. I make really good money but the reason why I gave up being someone of high career status was because I can't physically and mentally take it. I am the type of person who just HAS to have a low-key job, even if it is for less $ and prestige. Being happy and stree/anxiety free is something I HAVE to have in my life. And I didn't know that when I was in college. I thought I had to have a top career and make I get older I want more me time, more time to enjoy life and I care less about pleasing others.

    I think it is important for you to set boundaries with your family and friends to give yourself plenty of downtime. :)


  3. This is really great!

    I'm kind of on the opposite end of this spectrum and trying to figure out that it's ok to say, "Sorry, I need a night to recoup." I tend to be a bit of a work-o-haulic/can't say no to friends kind of person.

    I'm a recovering people-pleaser. :)

    The older I am getting though, the more I'm realizing that those times alone are needed and just as much as necessary as time with people.


  4. I love this. It's not easy being in ministry, and sometimes it's exhausting, but it's so good to regain some perspective about having a purpose and a wonderful, meaning-driven life.
    So glad to have found your blog through the influence network!!! :) Looking forward to reading more!

  5. I'm the same way. I love spending time alone and need it in that way many people need the opposite. I crave time to just sit and think and read. I'm getting a ton of that this summer and its a joy really, but I need to work on being less selfish in this regard as well. Sometimes E comes home and I barely pay attention, or I whine when we have to leave the house haha. Thanks for making me think!

  6. I forget what time zone you're in. Maybe some morning we can schedule a chat, non pressured, and filled with calm conversation.

  7. I'm introverted too and have run into the same problem with now having a full time job. I don't get the time to myself that I crave. Thanks for this beautiful reminder that it's not all about "me time". I can serve Christ so much fuller if I'm actually with people. The time to myself is important but it shouldn't be first!

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  9. Well said and thought provoking! I think a balance is always best, having some time alone and also relishing our friends' company. To be alone for unselfish reasons and with others for unselfish reasons. I tend to need plenty of time in solitude for my creative pursuits, and am learning to be more kind about interruptions. :)

  10. Been there. Know how you feel. I'm not an introvert, but value my alone time. I think it's really beautiful how God answers are prayers (like your desire for more buddies) with things like a full-time job and house guests. My guess is that your co-workers are grateful to have you around. I think as Christians, sometimes we are just called to witness with our work or basic life. It is so not about us. Finding that balance is hard, you're doing it very gracefully!

  11. I relate to this so much! I'm an introvert too and LOVE my alone time. I also just recently started working full time and man it has been a wake up call for me as well. It's been quite an adjustment but I'm learning to flow with it!


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