so what if I have spots?

Hi. *deep exhale and smile*

It's a beautiful day today. The last few weeks have been awfully hard. What I've done feels akin to a butterfly's spring transformation. Except the butterfly doesn't have to do the hard work of gaining self-awareness and becoming comfortable in his own skin. Maybe? You think butterflies are a bit weirded out at first by their new wings?

Ya, it's not a super good analogy. Oh well. :) Basically -- I'm starting to be more OK with who I am. More on that later. 

A friend once told me that by the age of thirty we usually have ourselves more or less figured out. And we've forgiven our parents for all their perceived mistakes in raising us and are coming to a closer relationship with them. I would agree. I feel it happening. And with a couple months to spare {I'll be thirty in May}!

More about this introverted thing:
I've long considered human strengths to be things like charisma, amazing conversational skills, a great sense of humor, confident body language, the ability to drive and talk sensibly at the same time. Having lots of friends. Smiling a lot. Being popular.

That quiet girl sitting by the window in the college cafeteria? She needs an intervention, a friend set-up perhaps? A date?

I grew up not wanting to be introverted like my mom {love you mama} because I wanted to be all the things mentioned above. Extroverted. FUN!

But a leopard cannot change its spots. Nope.

And even though I feigned extroversion {did I fool anybody?} in college, I had plenty of alone time built into my schedule with things like studying and exercise. Parenting does not have built-in alone time! Quite the contrary.

So -- I'm having to address that. I am not allowed to keep over-extending myself! Not to please others. Not to try to change myself. There will be no removing of spots. Doctor's orders. Because it's affecting my health.

Mamas everywhere?? You need to be yourselves, k? You are beautiful just the way you are. I seem really serious sometimes and don't really like casual chit-chat, but I'm a great listener and can sympathize way better than some. We all have unique strengths. We just need to see them as such. 

It's hard. I'll be the first to admit that I feel misunderstood much of the time.

Extroverted mothers need great amounts of social time -- friends to talk to, parties to attend. Being stuck at home with napping babies is really hard for them!

Introverted mothers need time alone to process their thoughts and decompress. Being out with all the neighbor kids and their parents provides too much stimulation for the already mentally-exhausted mom.

I'm so excited about tonight's class -- Lindsay from The Kubly Girl will be presenting and it's all about introverts. Yay. So I might have some more interesting things to share. :)
And a few words about gratitude: 
For awhile there {after reading Ann Voskamp's book}, I was counting my gifts semi-religiously...trying to get into a good habit of awareness and gratefulness. I really believe in the power of gratitude, of reaching deep down to see the beauty of the small things even in the midst of great trial.

I've been so empty lately -- so drained of energy, optimism, pleasure, love and joy. It takes more than just a blessing count, I realize that. I'm analyzing hormone and nutrient levels in my body and dealing with the environmental stresses as well. But there IS power in mindfully thinking about what is good. God is good. Life is good. It's hard to see the good in the middle of depression, but looking for it does help. 

And so...the gratitude list, the thousands of gifts? It's back. :)

gratitude list:
a daddy bedtime story using FB chat
how proud he is of his book "the mystery of the dot" 
friends who share their rocket launchers
warmer sunnier days
simple crusty bread that is so good with soup
his tight tight body when I tickle him, so muscley
letting myself be introverted!! 
a couple hours in the sunshine, just my boys and me
the yummiest vegan garlic alfredo sauce ever, on beet onion pasta. WOW. {way more flavor than cheese}
taking time to write this post

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