Extroverts Are From Mercury; Introverts Are From Mars

introverts and extrovertsI don’t remember how long ago I was introduced to the words “introverted” and “extroverted”, but I do know, nothing shines a light on the massive differences between them more than working where a lot of people have unfettered access to me whenever they want for several hours a day straight. Lately, I have found myself physically exhausted by the time I get into my truck and go home.

My entire life, I have been surrounded by extroverted people. My sisters and brothers are all extroverted. My father certainly is, as well. My mother would bounce back and forth over the invisible line regularly, but looking back, this personality characteristic probably comes from her. I just cannot find any other relatives that seem to share this trait with me. Of my three children, Rebekkah is the only introverted one of the bunch. I suspect our need for “alone time” is what keeps us peaceably co-existing in the same house for years on end. We both understand, we have a daily limit of how much we can interact with another human being, and once that quota has been hit, we shut down like a rolling California blackout.

Back when my previous employer had us take the Myers-Briggs personality test, I scored heavily in the introverted area, and I was rewarded with a list of things I should look out for in myself. …Social anxiety disorders, agoraphobia, depression… All sorts of symptoms that include isolating as a primary clue something in my brain might be broken. Nice.

People who hover personality-wise in the middle of each category tend to be the most well-adjusted, mentally healthy people. That makes sense. balanceBalance is always a good thing. However, for people who have an extreme category, like I do, the wise thing to do is to try to work a little more balance into that area, if possible. For me, that area has always been introversion. I probably could live on an island for ten years with a dirty soccer ball for my only friend, and be quite content. Especially if I had a laptop and the internet.

I genuinely care about what I do for a living, and because my brain starts to become over-stimulated in the late afternoon, I become less productive. To combat this, I have been trying to come in to work very early in the morning so I will not have so much interaction with people while I get my work done. For the creative parts of my job, I tend to brainstorm at night. This system has been working pretty well….until I ventured out from my safety zone to include a few dates with a new man. Turns out, I have had a delicate balance going on, and it didn’t take much to throw everything off kilter.

Reality-Vs-How-It-Is-Supposed-To-BeIt has not worked out for this new guy and me, and the primary reason is I find myself unable to summon up enough energy to cultivate a new relationship in the evenings after work. By the time I walk in the front door, I’m often literally agitated by the simple act of talking, and anything else that needs to be discussed has to be brief, to-the-point, and important. Nor can I devote a lot of time to listening to someone talk either. Normally, it takes a few hours of being left to myself to gain back my equilibrium so I can function productively again. It has always been this way with me, and those who have known me the best understand this is just how I am, and don’t take my withdrawing personally.

Let’s call my latest boyfriend Jacob. Unlike Simon, Jacob and I just met. I guess it is saying something that I am able to project an image of myself that appears so normal, when really, with matters of the heart, I am not your stereotypical female. I have always shied away from commitment. I am not usually nostalgic or romantic. Add that to a sturdy set of trust-issues and an introverted personality, and you have one hard girl to get to know.

My divorce might have caused me to become a little more cynical about “happily ever after” love affairs, but I have never bought into “all we need is love”, either. I had a long, happy marriage, but it took a lot of work to keep it that way. All the love in the world had not been able to save my marriage when my husband no longer worked at keeping it alive with me.

Jacob is handsome, intelligent, and he seems genuinely hurt by what, on the surface, seems to be my general lack of interest in spending any time with him. I have tried to explain the real root of my need to be alone so often in the evenings, but I can tell he thinks I might be trying to placate him. I never tell people a bunch of nonsense crap just to spare their feelings. For me, the most respectful way to communicate to someone else is to be truthful, albeit in a tactful way, and without coming off as accusing if possible.

Another complication I find myself dealing with is Jacob’s assumption that because of all the pain and sorrow my crumbled marriage caused me, my behavior is merely a self-defense from having my heart broken again, and as such, can be overcome with a little patience and kindness on his part. While I always appreciate patience and kindness, you aren’t going to transform me back to normal by literally drowning me in your “understanding”.  This is my normal. You are just drowning me.

I have been blogging openly about my life for three years now, and without fail, there is always some guy who goes mining in the archives for understandsomething they can use to hurry up the process of sweeping me off my feet and into their bed. It never works. There are no shortcuts to trusting someone for me, and the more I feel pressured, the further I withdraw. It is no hardship for me to be alone and for a relationship to work if I am in it, my partner probably should be the same way.

I am becoming more and more convinced, only a man truly confident within himself would be able to enjoy a relationship with a person like me. I might never find that kind of man, but that’s where being so introverted is a blessing. I simply don’t need a man to be happy.

~ Bird

For a clear, simple understanding of the introvert and extrovert’s differences, I liked this article – Are Introverted Brains Really Different Compared To Extroverted Ones?

Spoiler Alert: Yes. Yes, they are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because I’m Bored Out of My Mind

When I’m really bored, I change my Facebook cover image.

dark_texts_vodka_tears_funny_p_1920x1200_wallpaperhi.com

When I’m really super bored, I change my profile image, too.

me12.png

I’ve been goofing around with this for hours now.

What did I do to uselessly kill time before Al Gore invented the internet? I seriously don’t remember!!

I downloaded about 4 million pretty FREE wallpapers, so I’m going to post a few on here…..because I’m bored!!

Wolf-And-Bird-Wallpaper-Free-Background-Desktop-Images-541278 1507 images (3) amazing-desktop-bird-cage-free images free_digital_art_big_shark_wallpaper

me8.png me5 BeFunky_null_2.png

 

What I Learned From One Ugly Dog

Fred 2Because I didn’t have to chase after a pack of unruly dogs and reassert my dominance, as pathetic as it were, I had a chance to reflect on a very unexpected lesson I learned from one of the stray dogs in particular. The little bearer of lessons in wisdom was Fred, the mange-ridden, homely, gremlin-like black dog that wandered for months up and down our street.

Fred showed up sometime in the summer. I watched him chased away from several of the houses on my street, and as much as I hated to admit it, I could understand my neighbor’s reluctance to have old Fred hanging around. He was covered in mange, and barely had any hair left on his skinny frame. Instead of soft fur, he bore large open wounds that oozed blood and pus from different angry spots. Wherever this poor animal went, he was escorted unceremoniously by fat, demanding flies buzzing noisily around the sores. His large, soft brown eyes practically screamed for someone to have some mercy on him. Every evening we put food out for the stray dogs and cats that roam the poverty-stricken neighborhood, but Fred’s misery was well beyond an empty stomach. I had to do something about this suffering animal; I have no talent for turning a blind eye to this sort of thing.

Rebekkah and I are squeamish about pretty much anything a person could be squeamish about. We aren’t fond of blood, and pus just makes us puke. Plus, we know absolutely nothing about dog diseases, but we were pretty sure mange was contagious. Flies are the minions of satan himself, and just the sound of that belligerent buzzing grosses me right out. Having one actually land on me is beyond horrifying.

But all these things considered, Fred’s plight could not be ignored.

Buying industrial-strength rubber gloves, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal dog shampoo, and an arsenal of well-researched home remedies for mange, we scooped up the sick animal, put him in our bathtub, and began cleaning his wounds, treating the infections, and administering the mange-ridding home formula we hoped would work. We’d chosen the least expensive home remedy that seemed to have some consistently positive reviews on-line. Lastly, we shot up some prayers for Fred.

Once bathed, Fred looked and smelled considerably better, and we decided to go one step further and let him sleep in our garage at night. This was partly for his health, but part of it was that our careful, though obviously very painful, ministrations had earned us this dog’s undying love and loyalty, and he ceased to wander aimlessly day in and day out through the street. Instead, he took up residence in our yards, both back and front, joyfully greeting me as I pulled up from work, and guarding our porch from the suspicious postal workers that kept sniffing around day after day.

What transpired over the next few weeks can only be described as amazing. With only two treatments, that fur-handicapped, sickly little animal transformed into a rather adorable black dog with very expressive eyes. His hair grew back in soft and thick. He seemed to find a little of his dignity with each fresh patch of fur. We watched his sad, haunted eyes take on another expression…. love.

During the time he was practically dying in front of our eyes, and straight through our efforts to nurse him back to health, Fred had no name. We called him the black dog, or the little sick guy, but we failed to bestow an actual identity on him. I’m sure there are all sorts of Freudian reasons, but looking back, I imagine it was a way to protect ourselves from getting too attached to this disaster-area of a little life. When I finally decided he needed a name, the least amount of time and effort was spent on it. We pulled Fred from the air… a homely name for a homely dog. He loved it, and seemed to  answer to it within minutes.

When the snow hit, Fred’s garage was noticeably uncomfortable. The other dogs lived like queens, enjoying heat, beds to sleep in, and a crowd of friends always ready to play with each other. I was once again, shamed a little by the obvious difference in the way I treated the “beautiful” dogs, including Sheba who was also a stray, but had long ago been allowed to join the inside dogs, and the “ugly” dog. My conscience was merciless about Fred, and with the snow came the end of Fred’s separate-but-equal status at my home. He was furnished with a collar of his own, and he joined the indoor dogs as an equal member of the family.

In the couple of months Fred lived with me, he taught me about being grateful. He showed me how very little it costs to bring a little hope into someone else’s war-torn life, and how so many of God’s creations need to be loved like they need water and food. Fred’s big, open eyes reminded me daily how much he completely trusted me with his life. While thoughts of shallow motivations plagued me concerning Fred, they never occurred to him at all. I find myself humbled by Fred’s pure heart.

I found a home for Fred, but of the three families that took dogs, I’m not as convinced about Fred’s adopted owners. They weren’t unkind or creepy in any way. They just weren’t very vocal at all. I hope God will bless Fred on his new journey. He deserves all the happiness in the world.

Please say a little prayer for Fred…

~ Bird

 

Thinning Out the Pack

I’m telling you. My life is steadily getting better!!

I found homes for two more dogs!!

Fred:

Fred 2

 

and Sheba, who is being picked up tomorrow:

daisy

 

I only have Sparrow to find a home for, and without the mass hysteria of an entire pack of dogs, she isn’t a problem.

sparrow red 2

 

Thank you, Lord!!!

~ Bird

Merry Christmas to Me!!!

pashaIt’s amazing how my life seems so much lighter and more peaceful with one or two simple changes.

First up, my truck. As you all know, the truck my dad gave me has been experiencing some problems. First the fuel pump, then the water pump. Then the transmission. The transmission alone cost $1495, and there just was no way I was going to be able to scrape that up anytime soon.

I’ve been using a friend’s truck, but now that it is winter, he really needed it back. He was using his motorcycle. My ex broke up with his latest girlfriend, and moved to house about a mile away from me. He was happy to give me rides to and from work, but that has been its own stress mess. Awkward. I need to not be relying on exes for anything.

After a particularly upsetting evening with my ex, I decided to go to my boss and just ask for some help. I hate asking for help. I really do. But I hate trying to secure rides to and from work even more, so I bit the bullet, and threw myself on his mercy. And he totally helped me out!! I have my truck back, and with it, my sense of independence!! Thank you, Jesus!!

Second thing, the dogs. Let’s face it. The dog thing was getting completely out of hand. I finally decided that while I’d love to build an ark and save all gmc jimmuthe animals, the problem is way too big for me to fix. I decided to take back my home, do my best to find homes for these dogs, but set a cut-off date where I take them to the pound. Monday is that day.

Within an hour of posting Sparrow and Pasha on the internet, Pasha was adopted by the best couple I’ve met yet. They took their time, let Pasha get used to them a little. They had a lovely collar and leash, the same expensive all organic dog food I am breaking my ass to buy these dogs each week, and realistic expectations for a seven month dog who has never been with anyone but us. I wanted them to adopt me. :-)

I know these things aren’t huge, but  in my world, they really make a difference. I’m so blessed tonight!!

~ Bird