I'm ok, you're ok

Thursday, January 19, 2012

big fat bee dans les garden - by the other sweet Bee my, nearly 7 year old, friend

On this day I pledge to me
to be the person I can be.
I will do my best to stretch my mind
& help out others by being kind.
Outdoors I will play safe and sound
& pick up any garbage I have found.
I will solve my problems by talking them through
& try to be thoughtful in all I do.
Our school will be happy and safe every day
if we listen to our hearts when we think, do and say.

Cyrus Eaton Elementary School Creed
recited each morning after singing O' Canada - so sweet, so great

I'm OK, you're OK
round peg ... square hole ... sigh

Hi ! I'm Susan Black and I'm an Introvert

Wednesday afternoons I volunteer at the elementary school doing art (& some crafts) with kids in grades 1-6. 2 hours. The first hour 6 children in grades 1-3 and the second hour 6 kids grades 4-6. They are all sweet, interesting little people who have a particular passion for art.

I dread it. Each week I begin dreading it around Sunday afternoon. It happens on Wednesdays. In fact just thinking about it now I feel the Dread bubbling around in my belly. What the blank ? How can you dread children Susan ? I ask myself over & over (with furrowed brow). When I'm actually there interacting with them, getting supplies ready or cleaning up after I'm not in that dread state ... but it's not thrilling me either. As much as I wish I could say I love it ! that I find it tres stimulating & rewarding - I don't. I feel like a fish out of water. I feel like a baby bird away from the nest. I feel like an introvert. Hey ! Wait a minute ... that's OK !

I was telling a friend of mine recently about this art with kids volunteering that I was up to, then mentioned how much I've been dreading it ... how it feels like I'm getting ready (every freakin' week) to go on stage - a stage my rational mind knows & reminds me is filled with an audience of keen, appreciative, even mildly adoring small people who love art) - doesn't matter. I dread it. I don't like it. It makes me uncomfortable. My friend asked then why are you doing it ? Hullo !! Now that's a good question ? I know this much I'm not going to stop doing it. I am committed. I feel happy to be helping out. I am however gonna lighten UP !! interrogating myself & beating myself up about dreading it. Wondering if you too are an introvert ? take this quiz.

Reading about Susan Cain's new book Quiet (not yet available at our library) got me thinking about all of this. I'm realizing, finally, this is the year to accept & embrace my introverted self.
halle-freakin-lujah !!

I'm an introvert ... I love being by myself,
love being outdoors, love taking a long walk with my dogs
and looking at the trees, flowers, the sky.

Audrey Hepburn

my bee ;-)


  1. Commend you for doing it and understand the dread but you yell Nah Nah at the dread each week you finish. You are stronger than you know.

  2. Ya know Shammy ... that's the thing - I don't at all feel "weak" unless I begin to try & make myself feel bad about my social ineptness. I know I am incredibly strong ... I feel, so often, that I just don't fit in.

    But hey ... that's OK

    finally !


  3. Yeah - that's the problem with being an introvert. The other roughly 90% of the world that isn't always treats you like there's something wrong with you when you just want them to go the hell away and leave you alone for awhile!

    It took me forever to convince my significant other that there's nothing wrong with me - that I'm not mad at her/sulking/huffy/whatever - I just want to be by myself for awhile.

    My friend Lynne (a fellow introvert) pointed out something interesting that she found in one of her books (The Introvert Advantage): namely, that everyone needs to "recharge their batteries" once in a while. Extroverts get their recharge from being around other people; whereas that kind of interaction tends to drain introverts, who NEED energy just to deal with other people. We recharge by being by ourselves, and need to get over feeling guilty about that.

    Good luck with the kids next week, and may I suggest that you book some (sans Prince, sans everyone else) afterward to recharge those batteries.

    Bonne chance! xo n

  4. I just took the quiz and rated 100% introvert. No surprise there. I can relate to the energy draining and especially to the dread. Save me a seat in the club! ;)

  5. Thanks for the link to the quiz--a high score for me on that one--and the book--now on my reading list. I recommend The Introvert Advantage, it helped me come to terms with that "not fitting in", uncomfortable feeling.

  6. xoxo - you guys !!
    a big fat Merci !!

    it's so nice preachin' to "our" choir - all who read this blog will likely score high - betcha ;-)

    & great advice n. actually I've scheduled my weekly "play date" with Bee directly after art at school. She meets me at school & helps me clean up & then we walk to my house & hang out for an hour or 2. yesterday we spent some time drawing & then played a few rip snortin' rounds of hang man - a perfect antidote for my time on stage.
    xo s

    just ordered "the introvert advantage from les library

  7. At least you tried doing it. Teaching was on one of your many lists. Now you can cross it off and give yourself a big pat on the back for stretching a little.

    And to Anonymous "n"...I never would have had you down as an introvert (mr annual barn party and social convener to the max). You can't tell what's on the inside by looking at the outside.

  8. hey mlouest ! & I am going to continue, at least until the end of this school year. Yesterday was only my 3rd session & it does get easier. Meeting my own little person/friend Bee after school definitely was a smart move - totally gives me something to look forward to - some 1 on 1 time with a 7 year old ;-)

    Had 2 crazed art zombies attacking me in my first group (grades 1-3) yesterday that I had to continually shoot at while painting with the other 3 participants - now that was FUN !

  9. hey sweet mlou!

    "You can't tell what's on the inside by looking at the outside."

    truer words never spoken, my dear. and just because one is an introvert, that doesn't necessarily make one anti-social. sometimes, yes; but not always!

    a big new year hey to you n' his lauchness - n

  10. I'm not introverted, and I still find volunteering with children daunting. Just as a point of reference, hehe

    The little stinkers do have a way of making it fun once you get into it though.

  11. I scored 100% on the quiz--no surprise! I'm an introvert, but I'm quite content with it. I arrived at that place once I realized it was others (mostly extroverts) that just didn't get it.
    All of my sisters are the same way and when we start to get a little touchy with each other, we know it's time for all of us to have some solitude.
    The challenge is not letting others run you down and just letting yourself be yourself.

  12. I love this post and the way you describe your feelings. I completely understand because I often find myself feeling the same way.

  13. Well I took the quiz - yup an introvert - knew that a long time - dread gatherings and parties - won't even go - what the heck do I say - no small talk for me. My one accomplishment this week - went to a rug hooking guild meeting - only took me a year to get the nerve up and then waffled on it half an hour before leaving - once there I am ok.
    Susan I have known you now for how long -- hmmm can it be 40 years - yikes - I always thought of you as a very strong individual. I can remember you going here there and everywhere and maybe you were uncomfortable with it - but you did it. I would never have been able to pick up and go like you did! So you know you are an introvert - revel in it - there is nothing wrong with it. Doesn't mean you are weak just that you have chosen a different life style. I am an introvert and happy with who I am. I need my quiet time...

  14. thanks Joni - I sometimes look back at all the things I've done, places I've gone & often all by myself - I think who the hell was that girl ?? my alter ego M. Invincible (she's always there hangin' around in the shadows) xoxo Susan & gang

    I think it's 30 + years for sure

  15. married 35 and knew Peter in 72 (40 years - yikes).. met you guys sometime the next couple of years I think at Mom Flo's. it's amazing how time flies. Loved going to Mom Flo's - her house was such a treasury of older stuff - maybe that is where I got my love of antiques!Miss her...especially at Christmas time. Did many a craft with her :) Remember those gold angels...

  16. Well, another introvert here, no surprize. I treasure solitude.
    I love the school song, we would all do well to sing that every morning before setting out on our day!! Dee


Hey ! We LOVE comments here at 29 Black Street.
Thanks for stopping by.