Have you ever taken one of those in-depth personality type tests? In college, I took the Meyer-Briggs personality inventory. I don't remember exactly what I scored, but I remember being really surprised at one of the results--I was an introvert.
Now, remember, I talk to (sometimes AT) people for a living. Before I started teaching, I worked in marketing/sales/customer service, did training workshops to sometimes hundreds of people, and in college I was an RA and assistant resident director, managing communities of 50-500 people. I'd been active in student government, I spoke up in class, I could talk to strangers in airports. If anything was sure, I thought I would be squarely on the extroverted end of the E-I spectrum.
I'll never forget what the facilitator said. She said that introverts are not necessarily shy or antisocial, and extroverts are not necessarily gregarious party-people. The difference between E and I is where you get your energy. Extroverts get it from being with others; introverts get it from being alone. And again and again I've found this to be true. I love to be with people, and I have energy when I'm with them, but to truly, deeply recharge I must spend time alone.
So after a week of not-aloneness, I was at my wit's end yesterday. I've been carrying almost all of the parenting time since my husband has been recovering from being ill and extremely busy at school. 200,000 games of Sorry and Peekaboo later, I was exhibiting all the signs of post-exhausted-mom-disorder--snappishness, cynicism, and a general air of malaise. So Saturday afternoon M sent me off for some alone time.
(It's nice to be married to someone who knows you better than you know yourself.)
I visited a lovely LYS called the Wool Station. I burned up the rest of my fun money for the month--or should I say ALL my fun money for the month--on a ball of Trekking XXL and two Addi Turbos 24" size 1. I walked across the street to my favorite bookstore in the whole world, Village Books, and bought a book and a magazine and sat with a soy latte and swatched for socks.
Two hours later, my spirits were high (though it could have been the caffeine) and I was me again.