This week I exceeded my limit for social outings that I can comfortably handle. By the time Thursday approached, I wanted nothing more than to hole up in my house until Monday and write, clean, read, cook – anything that wouldn’t involve making conversation with real live people. Then I got a phone call –a last minute invitation to dinner that I just couldn’t refuse. But something unexpected happened. I enjoyed myself. Socializing didn’t feel like work and by the time we left, I felt invigorated, and even went to my writing group after dropping my husband off at home. I inwardly acknowledged that I was making strides towards my goal of becoming more social.
But even so, by the time Friday afternoon came, I was feeling taxed by even my normal responsibilities. When I finally got home, I closed myself in the bathroom and cried, followed by a quick fix of chocolate and then – I sat down and visited some of my favorite blogs. I know, I know, this is a form of socializing. But it’s one that I actually enjoy, and it even soothed me to be around others who understand what it’s like to favor words on a page.
So, no, I haven’t given up on socializing, even the old-fashioned, face-to-face version. But I have learned that I need to take it slow. We all have our limits.
What limits have you done battle with lately?
I get over taxed around the holidays too. Sometimes it is just TOO MUCH! I just want to tell everyone to leave me alone and I need a day in bed to pig out on chocolate and watch chick flicks to recover. :)ReplyDelete
I have had this issue with getting past a certain word count in my books. It is a challenge for me. It's always when I decide to work on something else. But... I am pushing past it and it's working! Sometimes its hard, but I love seeing the progress.
I'm a lot like you. I enjoy hanging out with people but I also need lots and lots of private time. I think it's because we're introverts? Anyway, sounds like you need a break! But I'm glad you had fun at dinner anyway. :)ReplyDelete
It's not a good time of year for those of us who need a lot of time to ourselves...but it helps that we all know it and carve it out where and when we can. I lived a long time before I recognized this desire to be alone as a need--ReplyDelete
As for limits--I've discovered, sadly, that there is no limit to the amount of Halloween candy I can eat. I was hiding packets of M&Ms in my pockets for almost the whole day yesterday..
Limits, I'm at my limit of staying in the hospital! LOL (not really, I've had longer stints). Anyway, I definitely need time to myself, but I do like to make time to "get out there", if for nothing else then to keep my grasp on people and their differing personalities.ReplyDelete
I can relate to the social thing. I can handle only so much and then I tank. Good for you for getting out there and pushing yourself beyond your limits!ReplyDelete
I'm going to do NaNo this month, plus I just started the advanced novel writing course at ICL. I'm ready to get serious about writing (again)
Good luck with your goals!
Most days I feel I stretch myself. And those are the happier days.ReplyDelete
Maybe shy people are just folks who need less noise? Kudos for exceeding your comfort zone.
I don't do well around people at all. I say stupid things and babble, so I'm impressed that you're pushing through it.ReplyDelete
This is so true. Too much socializing can be just exhausting and overwhelming. Perhaps that's why we've embarked on such a solitary pursuit in writing?ReplyDelete
What a very thoughtful post. I love people, but prefer a meaningful conversation over chatting about nothing in many social settings. I love attending the symphony, the opera and theater, where I can feed my soul. I require a lot of quiet time because of an injury. So, being able to connect with so many like-minded people in the writing world has been a blessing.ReplyDelete
Ruth, I get overwhelmed by social outings, too. I need lots of private time or else I turn into someone I can't recognize. (Sometimes, even chatting in real-time on Facebook is exhausting for me. I love private messages so I can reply them at my determined pace.) Limits I've been battling with this past week: reading a typo my ebook converter made when they unembedded my (accurate) text from the illustrations, and reminding myself not to crumble as I typed an email requesting for a correction. (They did correct it ... so Yay.)ReplyDelete
And dreaming of someone very dear to me in the past.
I'm a card-carrying introvert (not an uncommon trait for writers) and get burned out really quickly. I have to pace myself socially and take long breaks when I'm feeling overwhelmed. (For me, that includes online networking.)ReplyDelete
Abby - Congrats on pushing through to reach that word count. Yay!ReplyDelete
Annalise - It's definitely because we're introverts! And yes, that dinner turned out to be a nice surprise.
Audrey - I think you're right, it's more than a desire, it's a need. BTW, I love the picture of you stashing M&M's. I was pretty shameless with the candy last night as well ;)
Katie - I hope you get to go home soon. Wishing you well!
Christy - Good luck with Nano & the ICL course!
Mirka - There are definitely two sides to this whole "stretching myself" thing. Most day's, I'd agree with you, it makes me happy.
Sarah - We are alike! I babble too - and then the memories of the stupid things I've said wake me in the middle of the night and I promise myself I'll never go out in public again.
Anne - Yes, but this solitary pursuit has this whole other side to it - the create a platform, put yourself out there side. I suppose, in theory, it's a good balance.
Patricia - It's good to hear from so many others, like yourself, who share my feelings!
Claudine - Argh! That typo must have been such a worry. I know how it is to fret about such things until they are worked out. Glad this glitch was resolved for you. Yay!
MG - Pacing is good. I need to work on that.
I usually enjoy myself after socializing, but afterwards I'm exhausted.ReplyDelete
I've never been good at small talk. Guess I'm better at forums where there is an opportunity to listen and then ask questions. At parties all my energy goes to keeping the crabcake off my blouse! Huge challenge.ReplyDelete
I can relate with many of the things that you shared. My limits? Same as yours - deciding how much of the world to let in.ReplyDelete
I need time to myself or I get irritable. I'm also cautious about who I spend my time with and how much time is involved. There's so much to do. Although I limit my social outings, I'm feeling less guilty about going on them.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your kind words on my post and I love the sociable bird photos. I always wonder about the little bird that sits about 100 yards from the rest of the flock. Yes, sometimes I feel like him too.ReplyDelete
I love being at home and I like the online socializing, too. But I also like to hang out with friends and family, and laughing together is the best thing in the world, but the drive gets to me, so I like to stay home!ReplyDelete
Yesterday was a battle playing catchup now that my computer is fixed. I was up till 1:30 a.m. trying to tie up loose ends before starting NaNoWriMo today (first time!) I got over 2,000 words written after getting a late start today, so today has been another battle. I think every day this month is going to be a battle with limits. It will be worth it when that next novel is drafted, right?
I'm glad you enjoyed your night out for dinner. Sometimes it really does help to be around others when everyone is having a good time.
It's all part of being an introvert - you can only handle so much interaction with other people before you need a breather and some alone time! I'm precisely the same way!ReplyDelete
I'm at my limit with things falling apart on me. This weekend was tough. No power, no water, broken fridge, broken toilet. Seriously, my house is falling apart for some reason. I did get my power and water back and we ordered a new toilet seat. Next up is calling the guy to fix our fridge--if it can be fixed. Oh and did I mention a deer rammed into the side of my husband's car so that's in being fixed all week?ReplyDelete
Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog.ReplyDelete
I heard a long time ago that there are two kinds of people, people who recharge their batteries by being out and about and people who recharge by being at home or being more solitary--I definitely was and still kind of am the latter. It's good to know I'm not alone :)
I'm not social at all (except online) and just the thought of going out to meet up with people sends me into a panic attack. I'm meeting up with a bunch of authors and book people this Sunday before a signing and my guts have been in a twist ever since I said I'd go. I WANT to go because I know once I get there I'll enjoy myself and it's not everyday I get this opportunity, but I'm still nervous cause I have to have a real life conversation.ReplyDelete
It's hard for me to leave my house. But I need to sometimes, or my view of everything gets skewed.ReplyDelete
I love those birds. In Orange County NY like most of the east coast, electric lines are laiden with snow and have caused some hundred and twenty thousand homes to be without power. It will be a long time before any bird will be sitting on our lines here.ReplyDelete
Hi, this is Munir over here at Focus. I have not conquered too much this past week, just hoping that no more trees fall as a result of untimely snow in October.
Jen - Thanks for stopping by!ReplyDelete
Lee - I'm a much better listener too.
Mohamed - Thanks for stopping by. So glad you found something here to relate to. It's nice to hear from so many people who share my struggles.
Medeia - Good point. When you know your social allowance is small, you must be selective who you spend it on.
Eve - Hi! Thanks for chiming in =)
Lynn - Good luck with NaNo. I hope every day is not such a struggle.
Trisha - another introvert - and all these years I thought I was in the minority.
Kelly - Ack! Sounds like a rough time. Hope things smooth out for you soon.
Kelley - I like the saying you shared. That's such a good way of putting it.
Candace - Oh, I know that kind of nervousness well. I hope the knot in your gut loosens and you're able to really enjoy yourself this weekend. Let us know how it turns out =)
Marcia - I have plenty of those days.
Munir - Sorry you're stuck in all that snow. Hope you stay safe and warm and that power will be restored soon to all those who lost it. Thanks for stopping by.
I pushed the limit of eating candy barsReplyDelete
I'm so impressed that you pushed your limits that far! I think it's valuable to sometimes get that reminder that we can go a little further than we think -- and just as important to then be gentle with yourself, and recognise that accomplishments like getting out so much aren't always easy.ReplyDelete
That makes me feel better to know that it's not just me who prefers to stay home. Mr A often accuses me of being anti-social. I'm not really. I do enjoy it when I actually get to a gathering but I always have to push myself to go. I doubt if anyone there would realise it though. We do become good at acting I suspect.ReplyDelete
Kim - Yumm! What kind?ReplyDelete
Amie - Thanks for those kind words. It's good to hear from so many others who understand.
Rosalind - My husband often accuses me of being anti-social too. Though I suspect I'm not as good an actress as you ;)
Stopped in again, and this time it's to tell you that I've left a blogger's award for you at the Write Game. Hope you like it.ReplyDelete
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I can relate to this so much since we also have been having a very social life for the past couple of weeks. But I invited a lady to lunch after Daily Mass and we had a great time together. I totally blew my writing time (and I'm on deadline) but then stayed up late to catch up. Totally worth it. VijayaReplyDelete
I completely understand how you feel! I used to be one of those people that loved being out and about and socializing, but not anymore (though I usually enjoy myself once I'm out and about). Too much socializing can be overwhelming, and yet I miss it (weird but true). I'm going to try to be more social next year. As a writer it's so easy to get isolated, especially with so many friends out there on the internet to talk with at all hours of the day and night. I don't want to lose my desire or ability to socialize in real life. It's a lot of fun, if I can get myself out of the house!ReplyDelete