find your sweet spot

We've had a few mellow days lately. Oh how I like that.

There's just something about staring out the window at the black and white bird sitting on the fence.

I mentioned in a recent post that I've been experiencing mental and emotional exhaustion, most likely due to an overstimulating environment without built-in opportunities for alone time, quiet and refreshment. I'm not one to wallow, so I've been working hard to solve one problem at a time and create a plan for the day that caters more to my temperament and needs.

Yes, I'm an introvert. But I haven't always felt SO introverted. Motherhood pushes me to the extremes of my personality. I feel overwhelmed so much more easily. My reserves are never deep enough for times of BIG STRESS.

The first step I've taken is to move in the direction of awareness -- teaching myself more about introversion and attempting to educate those close to me. Next, I've made a list of personal strengths -- to remind myself that there are good things about my temperament!!

Here's a sampling:
introverts are keen observers, deep thinkers, self-reflective, intense concentration, persistent, creative, focused on the meaning of events, good listeners, frugal with their words, responsible

attended a class, taught by an introverted mom and blogger. It was informative, but the best part was being surrounded by people who share so many things in common. They understood! Things that would seem so quirky to others were just normal to those in attendance.

Here are two things from her presentation that stuck out to me:
introverts prefer to devote their social energy to close friends and family. 
their loneliness comes from a lack of one-on-one emotional and intellectual interactions.

"Once you understand introversion and extroversion as preferences for certain levels of stimulation, you can begin consciously trying to situate yourself in environments favorable to your own personality -- neither overstimulating nor understimulating, neither boring nor anxiety-making. You can organize your life in terms of what personality psychologists call "optimal levels of arousal" and what I call "sweet spots," and by doing so feel more energetic and alive than before."
Quiet by Susan Cain 

I'm learning how to: {so important}      
defend my boundaries and help others to understand that it isn't rejection    
be willing to explain my quiet

"Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you're supposed to. Stay home on New Year's Eve if that's what makes you happy. Skip the committee meeting. Cross the street to avoid making aimless chitchat with random acquaintances. Read. Cook. Run. Write a story. 
Whoever you are, bear in mind that appearance is not reality. Some people act like extroverts, but the effort costs them in energy, authenticity, and even physical health. Others seem aloof or self-contained, but their inner landscapes are rich and full of drama. So the next time you see a person with a composed face and a soft voice, remember that inside her mind she might be solving an equation, composing a sonnet, designing a hat. She might, that is, be deploying the powers of quiet."
Quiet by Susan Cain 

I am doing my best to "deploy the powers of quiet" and find my "sweet spot"!
I am creating more time in my schedule for home time. 
I am teaching the kiddos to be more independent when we're home {morning jobs, things to do list, a help-yourself-at-the-designated-time snack shelf}. 
I am politely declining from certain social events.
I am resting more. 
I am taking early morning walks alone. 
I am building better boundaries. 

It's all part of my reboot plan -- reprogramming my daily life in order to feel more alive and passionate than ever before.
More info on the physiological side of things coming in a future post. :)

gratitude list: 
happy yells and screams from next door {I'm trying to embrace it!!} 
soaking garbanzoes and their pop pop pops
college friends visiting
Buzz's up and down eyebrow thing
kids on my back while I [try to] do pushups
hearing my favorite bird on a morning walk
bunnies by the trail
Buzz's slow motion dance moves
wind chimes!!
listening to the play "pooh and piglet"
the perfumed air and blossom petals all over the road
him hopping on one foot so he won't get the floor dirty ;)
father son run

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