Tag Archives: introversion

Pandemic travel

Exhausting. That’s how it felt to travel during the ongoing pandemic. Oh sure, there was the altitude. There was blinding light without hat or sunglasses. One evening, there was waiting (and waiting) for friends from Denver to arrive in Boulder. But mostly we were stressed by how much time we spent around loads of PEOPLE.

I wonder how other introverts are finding society these days? Remember: Introverts are people who find being around other people draining. Ever since hearing that definition some years back, I’ve viewed my generalized reluctance to socialize through a more forgiving lens.

How has a sustained period of COVID isolation impacted the innate tendency to renew the self through long periods of being alone?

Luckily, we got out and about: hiking behind NCAR, hiking in two parks in Longmont, a day in Nederland, followed by time on Boulder Creek. And it was so, so nice to spend time with our younger son.

Rental car wipers not great!

The yard surrounding our Airbnb was cluttered. There was no view. The place couldn’t, therefore, provide the renewing rest that a place situated in beauty can.

Nevertheless, and here’s where the contrast between appearances and experience gets highlighted, it was one of the friendliest, best provisioned, and most comfortable Airbnb’s we’ve ever stayed in. Peet’s coffee! Shampoo! Couches comfortable to sit on! Circulating air and an ice maker! These are not little things, trust me.

The trip ended with the longest line for security that I have ever seen. It took TWENTY MINUTES of walking to reach its end (and that was with three large serpentine sections). I could not believe it. No one could. K, who was TSA pre-check, after a long interval texted me, “Have you been arrested?” Ha ha.

Isn’t it nice to arrive home after being away? Picking up a wildly happy Finn was simply the best!

PS. Sorry to have dropped the ball on so many comments to last two posts. I went back this morning to maybe pick up the threads but it just seemed so long ago. Please forgive!

the Irish goodbye

The Irish goodbye is a thing, you know. I’d done it, more or less, my entire life before finding that out.

What is the Irish goodbye? It’s the swift, some would say ungracious, nonverbal exit from company — often well before a social event’s natural end point.

My husband sometimes accommodates me. Last night, all I had to say was, “time to go” and in a matter of minutes, we were donning our coats and inhaling the bracing December air.

When you consider how much we would’ve had to interrupt our hosts in order to say ‘goodnight’ and ‘thank you’ — it’s not THAT ungracious a maneuver. I sent a beautiful picture and note by email this morning, along with a dinner invite for January. I’m not a monster!

You have to understand — this internal, possibly genetically-imparted pressure has absolutely nothing to do with the society involved. Last night’s party, for instance, was filled with folks I don’t get to see much anymore. People I really, really like. Interesting people.

Plus, there was a long dining table sagging with a glorious array of home-cooked dishes. You don’t always get that at gatherings.

No, it’s my disposition — some weird mix of ADD, impatience, and thorough-going introversion (recall the touchstones of an introvert — energized by solitude, drained by company).

And, just so you know, sometimes I accommodate my husband, generally when visiting his family. My in-law’s style of goodbye is the polar opposite of the Irish goodbye. Picture long, drawn out exchanges, often on the driveway with coats on and motors running. Future plans are outlined, routes home discussed. Entire conversations rise and fall, then rise and fall again. There are hugs and more hugs. I married into such a kind and considerate family!

Where am I during that second round of hugs, you ask? Often sitting in the car preparing to deal with my husband’s abject failure to abide by a generous, pre-arranged limit.

Fortunately, there is humor and self-acceptance in all of this. That’s the really, really good news.