7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 91)


— 1 —

I’m at Yaya‘s house this week. And luckily we have one of these here:


It is a device whose sole function is to play a loud, 30-second clip of The Chicken Dance. Some people might ask, “When would you ever use that?” To which Yaya would counter: “When wouldn’t you use it?” She finds this thing to be indispensable: backtalking kids, aggressive telemarketers, lulls in polite conversation — there are few problems that can’t be solved by having The Chicken Dance available at the push of a button.

— 2 —

I was all excited about participating in Dorian Speed’s Domestic Church photo contest this week (though I don’t know why, since I’d have to Photoshop in an arrow pointing to the San Damiano Cross hidden behind all the clutter on our fireplace mantle) but, again, I’m at Yaya’s. Don’t get me wrong: she is a very prayerful woman and does have a “domestic church” in a certain sense…I’m just not sure that the pictures I could take around here are what Dorian is looking for. Though CPS might find them quite interesting. Anyway, you should go enter her contest so that I can be inspired.

UPDATE: I just saw that she extended the deadline to Monday, August 9, so maybe I’ll make it after all.

— 3 —

I wish there were a homeschooling group for introverts. That part-time private school we were considering isn’t going to work out for this year, so it looks like we’re going to give traditional homeschooling a shot. I’m looking into a bunch of co-ops, and they all look great, but it seems like most of them are geared toward extroverts: i.e. for every hour of classes and socialization the kids get, I’d need to spend about an hour and a half of my own time volunteering, participating in committees, teaching, etc. I do love the idea of meeting other homeschooling families and getting together with them, and I would want to be involved in some way…but I’m just not sure I can keep up with the sheer amount of “extrovert” time required from a lot of these things. Although I could be totally wrong: I haven’t actually done any of this yet, so maybe I have a completely incorrect impression.

— 4 —

Maybe we need to start Introvert Awareness Week, where the introverted among us educate our extroverted friends about our quirks (e.g. that being introverted doesn’t mean you don’t like people; doing social things can be great fun for us, it’s just exhausting). Maybe we could include a You Might be an Introvert If campaign:

You might be an Introvert If
  • You see a solitary confinement cell on a prison documentary and think that some people have all the luck.
  • When bad weather hits your city and leaves you housebound, your routine doesn’t change that much.
  • You wish there were a patron saint of getting voicemail when you call people.
  • You have ever snuck into your house the back way because your neighbors were doing something festive in their front yard and you were afraid they’d invite you if they saw you.
  • You get put on bedrest and it takes everyone a few days to notice that anything is different. (This actually happened to me. Although I guess that could be laziness more than introversion.)

Who’s with me?

— 5 —

Speaking of introvert quirks, my husband was reminiscing about one of his favorite “Jen moments” the other day: Before we got married we did a wedding shower up in Dallas to celebrate with my parents’ friends. When people first arrived a group gathered in the living room, and, mistaking myself for an extrovert (this NEVER WORKS OUT — see #4 here), I thought I’d introduce everyone.

I was immediately overwhelmed by the task. I struggled to come up with everyone’s names. The man next to my dad was an important colleague of my mom’s whose name I should have known, and I was panicking to try to think of it. I ended up getting a total brain overload when I got to my dad, stalling to think of that next man’s name. The result was that I pointed to my dad and said, “And this is…umm…” My dad waited for a moment, then finally had to say, “I’m her father.” Everyone laughed, in a we’re-worried-about-Jen’s-mental-health sort of way.

— 6 —

I heard about this Project Mom Casting thing over at Heather of the EO‘s place, where some group is inviting bloggers to compete to have their lives considered for a reality TV show. I have to admit, I sat back smugly as I looked at the entries. I mean, there were some great ones. I think that Heather, for example, would be a wonderful candidate. But. I couldn’t help but think that all these women should thank their lucky stars that I’m not interested. Because I’d have this one in the bag. I wouldn’t mess around with a video or a blog post. I’d just send them an email with Yaya’s phone number, and say, “Call this number. It’s my mother-in-law. She visits us often. I’ll be available for shooting around November. See you then.”

— 7 —

This is not an ad, but I just have to say: I love Panera Bread (which is where I am as I type this). I’m a regular fixture at one of their Houston locations when we’re visiting Yaya — she’s kind enough to let me get plenty of time to head over here with my laptop and write. They have delicious salads, yummy drinks, great atmosphere, and free wi-fi. What more could you ask for in a restaurant?

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Comments

  1. Genny says

    I love Panera too! Love the half salad, half sandwich lunch. So delicious!

    And I had to laugh at your Chicken Dance mention. My husband and I just celebrated our 15 year wedding anniversary and watched our wedding and reception video… at which we ended the night by dancing the Chicken Dance, captured in full by our videographer. We cracked up. Love it!

  2. Kristen @ St Monica's Bridge says

    Totally with you on the homeschooling for introverts and introvert awareness. I am completely overwhelmed in new social situations and people usually think I'm standoffish, but I really can't deal if I don't know anyone ahead of time. And I totally get why there are requirements in the co-ops, but at the same time, it would be nice to find one with some time requirements but not as many as what you describe.

  3. Holly Rutchik says

    we're on the same page today my friend! I have not yet been called to homeschooling as my kids are still too young, but I worry I really couldn't do it. I would worry about my children never having any friends. Sometimes I don't leave my house for days. I am such an introvert the thoguht of HAVING to go out makes me sick. Don't get me wrong, I', not a shut in, I just can't plan for my mood. I don't know if I could be "on" that many hours in a week in the co-op situation you brought up. Also, my idea of going out is – you've got it – to Panera by myself!

  4. It Feels Like Chaos says

    The Chicken Dance and the "You Might be and Introvert" totally had me rolling — thanks for the laughs!

  5. Dorian Speed says

    Thanks so much, Jen, for the link! I can't wait to see everyone's photos! Please visit the photo pool on Flickr to see some examples of photos people have submitted. And remember: quantity, not quality.

    Re: introversion and homeschool involvement. Off the record – I don't even think it's an introvert thing. I'm pretty extroverted and I can't stand most committees. I prefer to work alone or to pick my co-workers. I hope you find a solution that works for you. I wish we lived closer and could open up a Homeschool Mother's Morning Out program, staffed by other people.

  6. Carrien says

    Homeschooling for introverts goes like this… stay home, teach your kids stuff… take them places on days when no one else will be there, like the beach on a Tuesday morning.. go back home… do more stuff together… etc.

    I've literally had entire consecutive weeks where I never left the house except for church and the Friday visit to the in-laws.
    (Husband was picking up groceries on the way home from work then, and I had weekly delivery service set up for other stuff.)

    I've never joined a co-op because I too find all that I'm expected to do exhausting. I'm busy teaching my kids! I've done it that way for 4 years now.

    Though I'm lucky because a lot of the women I know are almost finished homeschooling, so I have a community of people to help me already.

    You'll make it. πŸ™‚ Also, if you haven't already read it, I recommend For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer McCauley. Excellent reading about how to teach, how learning happens. etc. and a good intro to Charlotte Mason.

  7. The Home Room Teacher says

    Hi Jen! I believe I'm a first-time commenter, though I don't know for sure. I may have commented once or twice in the past. About the homeschooling groups- just grit your teeth and hang in there! My husband is in the Air Force, so we have to start all over with the awkwardness in getting to know new people each time we move. I wish I could just crawl under a table, squeeze my eyes shut, clutch my knees and rock back and forth!

    The more you go, the easier it gets though, really. The very first group we belonged to I ended up in tears and wanting to quit because no one ever talked to me! I would have given up had it not been for my daughter's obsessive desire to attend every homeschool function to see her new BFF's. So I tried to find a way to get connected: volunteering to help plan the Valentine's Day party, be a judge at the science fair, lead a field trip, anything that required people to talk to me and get to know me and vice versa.

    It usually takes less than a school year to feel at home and make connections with people (esp. other lonely introverts who are equally uncomfortable yet desperate for connections), so I just know whenever I start over in a new place that it will be painfully awkward for a while. Good luck to you! I'm sure you'll be just fine!

  8. Jean M. Heimann says

    Where can I buy one of those Chicken Dance devices? I need one desperately! I'm serious. Would you please ask Yaya and get back with me?
    Thanks!

    BTW, I love Panera Bread, too. A great place to visit with friends or to go out on your own.

  9. Sarah Reinhard says

    Ah, linky is not working. And here I am, having written my post in the thick of the drama that just unfolded.

    Well, the link is here. Hope you get a chuckle. Probably worth hitting the Chicken Dance button over (but please do it quietly…I must get to sleep!).

  10. Sarah Reinhard says

    Never mind me. If I had just waited a few minutes (the time it took to read more than just your first take), I would have been fine. It's working now.

    Sorry!

  11. Andi, On Call RN says

    omg, I laughed so hard a this post! Being an introvert often means that 90% of the time I am misunderstood. So frustrating… but thank goodness for those of us who "get it" and can laugh in the meantime. Also I realized recently it's why I love being an ICU nurse. Having a patient that is intubated and sedated = very minimial talking and interaction which is so much more manageable for someone as introverted as I am. Thanks for the great laugh!

  12. Claire says

    Oh Jen, I am so with you on the introvert list. I am guilty of every item on that list. I too would have a difficult time with committing to spending that much "extrovert" time with others. Although, I must say that I would do better with the longer days of spring and summer, than I would with the shorter days of winter.

    But, I do not have children to take care of after I spend extroverted time away from home. As soon as I get home, I get recovery time.

    I have a difficult time at work because the company I work for is huge, and we interact with many people daily. Sometimes, I'm crawling the walls and looking for a peaceful corner by 11:00am.

    I used to think that there was something very wrong with me. I was a relief to find out that although I can be "odd", there is a real reason for some of my behavior. LOL!!!

  13. GrandmaK says

    I had such a wonderful time as I wandered through your quick 7!! Have a grand day! Cathy

  14. Linda Wightman says

    There IS a homeschooling support group for introverts: it's called the Internet.

    Our homeschooling days were almost before there was an Internet — anyone here old enough to remember the GEnie Education Round Table (early form of forum), with its homeschooling subsection? Or the political fallout from HR6? Those were the days. Or maybe not. What's available online NOW is totally awesome and amazing. We just made up the curriculum as we went along. Then again, that part was an introvert's paradise, too.

    You don't need social groups to homeschool. Kids can get all the "socialization" experience they need (and more) through church, sports, music lessons, groups such as Scouts and Indian Guides/Princesses (I think the latter has a new name now; it's through the YMCA), none of which require the kind of introvert-terrorizing interactions you fear. Trust me — I meet all the introvert requirements and more.

    One of the great things about homeschooling is that you and your kids don't have to have to buy into the modern keep-them-busy-all-the-time treadmill.

    Back in our days we ALMOST joined a local homeschooling support group. Well, technically we did join — we paid our $10 dues. But we never participated in a single activity beyond the initial meeting, where we learned that females would be required to wear dresses on field trips. My daughters and I immediately and simultaneously decided that no field trip could possibly be worth the price. We got along just fine without adding one more social group (and set of meetings) to our already full schedule.

    My daughter and my sister-in-law are both introverts, and both are currently doing a fantastic job of homeschooling their children. They join groups they feel comfortable with (mostly short-term classes, with a defined beginning and end) and skip the ones they don't.

    You can do it! Just don't let someone else define what's best for your family — if you wanted to do that, you wouldn't be homeschooling. πŸ™‚

  15. Kathleen@so much to say, so little time says

    Panera still goes by its original name, "St. Louis Bread Company," in St. Louis, and did here too until about three years ago (we're 2 hrs. from STL). We're very proud of our home-grown national phenomenon!

  16. Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith says

    I enjoy social activites at our church, but I do need quiet time to recharge my batteries. In that way, I guess I am classified as an introvert too.

    I also need some quiet time in the afternoons, some time to think and reflect. Praise the Lord, my youngest still takes naps!

  17. Dawn says

    I am so with you on all of introvert stuff! In fact, I said just a couple of weeks ago that I still think the hermit life sounds great and I believe I could really enjoy that peaceful, prayerful lifestyle. Especially on those mornings when going to work just sounds like pure torture. I am truly exhausted by Friday nights but others (extroverts) can't understand why. I just need the finances to be able to quit my job and still be able to eat and pay my house payment on my tiny little home which would be a perfect hermitage. Any advice on finding hermit financing, anyone? : )

  18. Jaimie says

    I'm a regular visitor of Panera Bread at a Houston location myself. Now I'm totally gonna be on the look-out for you. Unless you're nowhere near Northwest Houston.

  19. Nicole says

    I'm a fairly new reader and haven't been able to find your reasons for wanting to home school and not send your kids to parochial school. Just curious @ your thoughts. Thanks!

  20. Gina says

    Oh my gosh, I am SO with you on the introvertedness. And I would have done the exact same thing you did at the shower.

  21. Stephanie says

    I just wanted to say that I love hearing stories about Ya-Ya. She reminds me so much of my own grandmother. Your kids will tell stories about their Ya-Ya for the rest of their lives.

  22. el-e-e says

    You have the best Quick Takes. πŸ™‚ Lately my daughter has been fascinated by an iPhone video I have of The Chicken Dance. I probably need that button.

    and YES on the Introverts! I have definitely driven the long way to avoid seeing my neighbors having fun out in their yards. HA! Laughed out loud on that one.

  23. KimP says

    I'm with you! My introvertism really came out when I was on a CHRP retreat this past winter, and I've been meaning to ask you how you handled yours. I was so exhausted afterwards, I had to take Monday off from work!

  24. Margaret Mary says

    I belong to a large homeschool co-op and there are a few jobs that are perfect for introverts. We publish a member directory and registration materials (which are written by one person on her own time), we have someone who prepared materials for a group spelling bee (lists, rules, etc., again at home by one person), and we had someone who prepared an art challenge this year (chose the works kids would study, compiled pictures, etc.).

  25. Laura says

    Jen, great post, as always. I'm not an introvert, but I have to agree about the coops. I'm not one for meetings and it always seemed that I got "stuck" working in the nursery watching everyone's toddlers while they were out teaching (which, unfortunately is not my idea of a good time!).

    We've been homeschooling for 13 years and have tried many different things. We have found unit studies as a great and fun way to learn things, especially in the younger grades! If you ever want more info, let me know because I am big advocate of unit studies and am currently writing Catholic unit studies to help mothers who wouldn't know where to start!

    God Bless.

  26. Michelle says

    #3 – I hear you on volunteering. Our kids are in Catholic school. But it takes tons of volunteer hours to make it work out. I think when schooling your children – homeschool, traditional school, part-time both…it just takes a lot of parental unit time. Good luck!

  27. Marilyn says

    I am so with you on being an introvert! I had to laugh because your list was so "me". As a homeschooling mom, we didn't join any co-op the first year and the kids were fine. We joined field trips of other homeshcooling friends or we went on our own to museums, shrines, parks, etc. We had a great time! The following year however, we found a small group that was just the right size. I pray that you and your family will find the right fit. The kids and I enjoy the occasional social interaction! That's what I love about homeschooling. You can definitely tailor it to your needs.

  28. Stephanie Y. says

    I totally pray for it to go to voicemail…

    Panera is great. I love their iced caramel lattes. Ok, now I really really want one.

    I think you could also show the producers the picture of the scorpion in your ultra-clean toilet. There really would be no contest then.

  29. Mary says

    Mmm, Panera. I used to go every Thursday morning when we lived in NJ. Then we moved to a town without one. I should have vetted this town a little better!

    I think I'm somewhere on the middle of the intro-extro-vert scale. I don't mind being alone, I even enjoy it, but I sure do love spending time with people I like. I get my energy from socializing. What do you make of that?

  30. Lacey says

    Love the introverted list and comments, I identified with every single one! lol Especially the one about the Patron Saint of Voicemails.

  31. Colin Kerr says

    I have a feeling that tendency to blog is another symptom of the introvert! It appears to be extroversion, but it really is not.

    Additional signs:

    – preference for emailing over any other form of communication

    – you go for walks early in the morning or just as it's getting dark

    – you show up just before an event starts so as to avoid chit-chat

    – you bring a book everywhere you go, just in case conversation threatens

    – you find the most unoccupied place at the theatre, restaurant, in church, at the ballgame, etc. even if it means a terrible seat

    – if you were under 20 you would always have an ipod in your hand

    – you have contemplated pretending to be talking to someone on your cell phone so as to avoid talking to someone

  32. Torey says

    "Yaya would counter: "When wouldn't you use it?" I can really relate to that from my own experience.

  33. Anonymous says

    You are NOT an introvert if you can successfully write a blog that entertains, informs, inspires and connects with so many friends and strangers every week!

  34. Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble says

    Jen, that introvert part could have been written by ME! I have know we were similar in that area for a while, but wow, it helps to be understood. I even wrote an entire blog post about being an introvert (the quest to be understood).

    http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2010/06/on-being-introvert-quest-to-be.html

    It's hard to live in a world of extroverts who sort of "run the place" since they are "out there" and we are home, ha ha!!!

  35. Stephanie Y. says

    Colin's we're spot on! I've not only contemplated this but actually have done it…you have contemplated pretending to be talking to someone on your cell phone so as to avoid talking to someone

  36. Tres Angelas says

    True story: my friend's late father once introduced his wife of many years by saying, "This is, uh, uh, what's-her-name."

    The poor man never lived it down.

    In his defense, he never called her by her given name (Wilma), and it just sort of slipped his mind.

  37. Barb says

    Ahh, being introverted – you nailed it on the head for me. We have six weeks before the kids go back to school and dare I say it, I'm actually looking forward to it. Now, I have five kids, four of them six and under. The noise really really gets to me. And the interruptions. Yes, I know that my kids need me but as an introvert, I do spend time in my head, especially when writing, and it's hard to shift into Mommy mode sometimes.

    I hear you about the homeschool coops. It is hard to find a coop that requires a minimal amount of service. Yes, I do want to help, but with little guys around, I can't always help.

    However, I've found as I've gotten older that I do need more adult contact. I'm always conscious about making it positive contact in small doses otherwise I will spend several hours recovering.

  38. Owner of Homeschool Faith and Family Life Website says

    Perhaps YOU would consider doing a "reality blog video show" so that we can get to know Ya-Ya in a bit more of a personal way, LOL…I'd surely tune in as I know a baJILLion others would too!

    As for co-op…have you thought of hosting one yourself at home? That's how I got out of having to extend myself outside that comfort zone for all of those meetings, lessons, volunteer requirements, etc…I feel much more comfy in my own home…families join us here for classes…every mom teaches a class or plays with Littles in the nursery…and we gather for lunch and play time after lessons are over. It's GREAT! It's FREE! It's ADAPTABLE! I highly recommend it!
    We choose one of two options each year: 1) meeting each Friday for 6 weeks in a given month OR 2) meeting once per month for 6 months

  39. Melanie B says

    A few years ago my husband was given a birthday card that played The Chicken Dance. It wandered about our apartment for a long time and was a favorite of our then two year-old. Eventually it got thrown out with the trash. Somehow. Such a sad, sad day.

    I am so with you on the introvert thing. Maybe we can come up with a cute blog button. I don't do sidebar buttons because it means I have to make my husband do work (he does all my blog maintenance because I don't use software like Blogger that does it all for me) but I think I'd bug him for that one.

  40. Amanda M. says

    I am a fellow patron saint of getting voicemail when I call someone. LOVE that you are in league with me. πŸ™‚

  41. Kris @ WUHS and Eclipsed says

    I tend to kind of teeter right in the middle of that imaginary line where the introvert exist on one end and the extroverts on the other, but I'm totally with you on that "voice mail when you call people" thing. That's why I love email communications.

    Oh, and Panera Bread? Seriously, what more could you ask for.

  42. abroadermark says

    I got 50% off my most recent thrift store purchase just for doing the chicken dance at the front counter. A little stuffed Elmo played while I danced. What a GREAT DEAL, huh?!! πŸ˜€

  43. Sally Thomas says

    If you ever find that patron saint of voicemail, let me know. Why do I love the internet? Because it's not the telephone.

    And you really don't have to go the co-op route. We have done it, and I've been everywhere from totally on the fringes to teaching a weekly high-school English class. Frankly, I found that in most ways, the fringe was the place to be. We got to know a few families who were a good fit, socially, for our family — kids similar ages/interests, parents people we liked — and essentially did things with those families.

    One year, for example, we did history and science with two other families, rotating homes and teaching responsibilities (if it was at my house, I came up with a lesson and taught it), and that was perfect, because the other moms were my friends and on the same page in most ways.

    It was a lot of fun, though in all honesty, the learning my kids have retained the most has been from things we did/they did on our/their own, not from group experiences. Group stuff is fun, but a group setting not necessarily the best way for a given child to learn. So if you didn't do a co-op, you would not be disprivileging your children academically, and as young as (I think) they are, you're not going to be hurting them socially, either. If you've got people to have playdates with or meet at the park, that's golden.

    In the beginning of our homeschooling, we did go to lots of park days, skating days, bowling days, etc, but didn't get involved in a group for a long time. Where we live now, there really isn't much of an organized homeschool group, but we found some families who go to daily Mass, and they're pretty much our social life, which is fine. After a period where we were constantly on the go, with co-ops, kids in plays, and so on, it was an indescribable relief to wake up in a new town and homeschool, like, at home.

    And I am in total agreement with the poster who said that blogging is like fake extroversion. That's exactly what it is. It's extroversion for shy people. That's why I love it.

  44. Phyllis says

    Don't feel bad about #5. I once introduced my mother to someone as my mother-in-law. She had to correct me and it was VERY embarrassing!

  45. Mrs. Bubbles says

    Loved, loved, loved all of these takes. πŸ™‚ I am definitely an introvert (I received an "incomplete" for social skills in Kindergarten :)) and could live off of Panera. Love the Yaya stories. πŸ™‚ Blessings to your family!

  46. Bekah says

    I will pretend to be an extrovert long enough to add to "You might be an introvert, if:"

    -you are only comfortable commenting on blogs with few commenters, even if you read everything the author writes.

  47. Lana says

    #4: I am with you! I thought that sneaking in the back to avoid being invited was normal…now I know, I guess.

    #5 is pretty awesome, too. wasn't your husband afraid you'd forget his name eventually? πŸ™‚

  48. Martha says

    Oh, the homeschool co-op. I have heard rumors there used to be one in Dallas where you did not have to be on committees, teach, etc. Maybe you can find one of those mythical creatures. Other than that, a homeschool support group (rather than co-op) should be all you need at this age. It's not like you need to have speech, debate, choir, sports teams at age 5 – and if you want them, the Y or church would probably be an easier option.

  49. Anonymous says

    I am in full support of your Introvert Education Outreach Program! πŸ™‚ It has always completely mentally exhausted me to have to focus on conversation with any one person for more than say….15 minutes. I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels a little "off" because of it.

    Jen G

  50. Judy says

    I swear we are twins separated at birth! I'm a convert, tall, love Panera, extreme introvert, scared of bugs (well, at least we have some things in common!!) My husband and I are so introverted that we border on anti-social!! Nobody believes us – but people exhaust us!

  51. Ashley says

    Oh Jen! #5 had me laughing so hard – I've had my fair share of similarly awkward moments though I consider myself an extrovert.

    I'm so grateful for your blog! You are such an inspiration! Thanks.

  52. Amy says

    I share your love of Panera & included two of my own Panera references in my list. πŸ™‚

    And I'm becoming more and more introverted as I get older. Being around people just wears me out. I can't wait for my quiet time at the end of each day.

  53. Anonymous says

    I am an introvert, too. Both my daughters went through a co-op preschool (5 years altogether) and I do not regret a minute of it! I gained friends, parenting skills and fond memories along the way. It could also prove to be a reliable resource on child development, home classrom management – and other mothers' battle stories to hearten you πŸ™‚

  54. Elizabeth@GoodnessAdded says

    I kind of want a chicken dance button too. My boys would think it was fantastic!

  55. Monica says

    Fellow introvert here, so I'm am 100% with you. Those bullet points had me chuckling and recognizing myself.

    And I am beginning homeschooling this year, and exhausted by the social requirements it will make of me. But excited about the adventure we are about to go on as a family.

  56. Anonymous says

    Regarding #3 – we have a large (100+ families) homeschool group up here and belonging meant my daughter could participate in swimming lessons, gymnastics, ballet (pretty well anything someone within the group negotiated with the pool, gym or studio for) all at reduced rates. As an introvert, I signed her into one activity at a time, so only one hour a week HAD to be with other people! The Catholic homeschoolers within the larger group used to meet for a weekly Rosary. The children were quite young (chew-the-beads, wear-it-as-a-necklace young). The group met only to pray – no socializing afterwards, so it was great!

    The other thing I did was to offer classes in my home for what I was good at and something totally doable for you, Jen. I ran a "Writers' Club" on different occasions. (Homeschoolers are paranoid about being able to teach their children to write.) Most times was for the children of friends and was mostly for free (enough to cover photocopying costs for our newsletters). Once or twice, I gave in to pressure to run it for "outsiders" (non-Catholics in that larger group)and it was okay, but away from my living room, so way more stress. (If you're interested in what/how, e-mail me and I'll give you my outline.)

    Don't feel like you have to provide opportunities for your children to "socialize" with their age peers. They needn't learn how to be children. You aren't raising them to be children anyway, you're raising them to be responsible adults.

    Most importantly, enjoy this vocation!
    Linda

    btw – I'm with you on number 4!

  57. Bears2Cross says

    You might be an introvert if. . .you've been reading someone's blog for a year or so and never been forward enough to comment!! πŸ™‚ Seriously, Jen, I love it here and never miss a post. Will let you know when I find the patron saint of voice mail!

  58. Melanie says

    As a fellow introvert, I completely understand. Glad to hear you are getting some time to yourself for writing during your visit at Yaya's house. When I have signed up for bringing breakfast to a bible study or some other morning event and I inevitably run out of time to do what I had originally planned, Panera is always my fallback and it is always a hit!

  59. Erika says

    This is my first time here (clicked over from Sorta Crunchy), and all I have to say is Yes, yes, YES … to #4!

    How misunderstood we often are …. and completely exhausted from those times when we have to masquerade as an extrovert just so that we don't step on toes or hurt others' feelings (yes, I'm a "pleaser" too, ugh!)

    …and, oh, how I need that chicken dance button!

    Thanks for the post. I loved it!

  60. La gallina says

    Jen. Come down and homeschool on South Padre. You and I could be great friends who never call each other and have a really hard time managing to ever get together.

    I am such a total introvert too. Extroverts have no sympathy for the enormous amount of energy required to socialize. Not to mention all the preparation required — feeding, diapering, nursing, gathering snacks, getting dinner started, washing up breakfast dishes, soothing tantrums, refereeing fights etc. etc.

    I discovered I was an introvert a few years ago when I read the following:
    If your batteries are charged up after socializing, you are an extrovert.
    If your batteries are worn out after socializing, you are an introvert.

    p.s. Excited that you are writing for Envoy!

  61. Chris says

    Glad to hear there are high-functioning introverts out there. In fact, I was under the impression that blogs were maintained by extroverts, people who were willing to "live their lives out loud." But your blog is awesome, and inspires me to write more.
    And you explained why I blank out in crowds and can't make introductions. Forgotten an important person's name in front of them? Done that!

  62. Marian says

    You don't HAVE to be in a co-op to homeschool! There are plenty of other means for your kids to socialize that are more informal and less stressful (i.e. playdates whenever you want to schedule them, one-time or short-term homeschool classes at museums and such vs. EVERY week, at 10 am sharp, with your obligations to the group met regardless of what's going on in your life)

  63. Carla says

    I sure needed your introvert awareness tips. My son, youngest of 4 children fits the description….I can stop worrying about him now. Being an extrovert I'm baffled by the idea of hiding from the possibility of being invited to an impromptu gathering and can't imagine not leaving the house every day. God is good!

  64. Christina says

    It was one of the most comforting things to learn that I was an introvert (recharge by being alone, drained after being social). I recommend doing a Myers-Briggs test for you and your kids – just knowing whether they are introverts or extroverts can give you tons of info.

    Once I knew that I could plan accordingly and was able to be social more and have more fun with social activities. I now don't force myself to be social to appear normal and instead just avoid people for a while to recharge. Once recharged I'm able to go out and enjoy being social for a little bit.

    Today in fact I'm doing an anti-social day to recoup from an intense conference/weekend trip.

    Oh, and I totally pray for voicemail. I have to prep myself for speaking to a person. Sometimes if I'm expecting a person and get voicemail I'll hang up in panic. (and occasionally vice versa) :p

  65. MemeGRL says

    Please add me to your email list for immediate notification for the saint of straight-to-voicemail.

  66. Liesl says

    I completely understand the introvert post because I am one too! People think I'm just really anti-social sometimes but that's not it… I also make phone calls when I am 90% sure that the person I am calling will not be able to answer, and therefore I can leave a voicemail. It's just so much easier to me. I have a couple of friends who understand my aversion to the phone and whenever we talk they are quick and to the point on the phone, whether it's in a voicemail or to me on the phone. I feel like they should write a how-to-understand-introverts book.

  67. Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin says

    I'm going to guess that "good service" is part of the "great atmosphere" whole.

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