I'm huddled up quietly in my bed by myself tonight. And I could not be more content. The past few days have dropped into the below freezing temperatures, heralding in our first snowfall of the year. The heat has been on, hot chocolate has been made and my feet are forever wrapped in the fuzziest of socks. Right here, right now? I am blissfully happy at the promise of winter. (Remind me, please, of this moment come February, no?)
I know I have written on this before, but each year I find myself increasingly more like my father. For better or for worse, depending, I suppose, on who you ask. And in this year, I am most certainly the most Paul I have ever been.
You see, this onset of winter, it's not only the coziness of a blanket and socks and hot chocolate that I look forward to. It's the quiet. The peace. The "Sorry, I don't much feel like coming out because it is beyond freezing outside." The space to think and dream and plan.
I've been quiet here on the blog for some months now and I believe part of that is rooted in my recent transition to a new position at work, a position that requires much more social interaction and many less solo projects. These changes, while ultimately good, are stretching and pushing me beyond my normal comforts. And when I return home, I want to disconnect. And mostly not blog.
This is the Paul in me. The part of me that craves the quiet freedom of working alone. Of following your own rhythms of work. Of allowing yourself to focus on one project until it is done. And it's the part of me that lately feels overstimulated and drained.
Tonight I felt myself reaching my limits, of having pushed myself beyond the "this is character building" and into "this is just not me." And I crawled into bed and remembered that at one point way back when, I had this blog that I wrote in for moments such as these. In this blog, I'd type out my thoughts and follow each one until it's very end. Sharing some and guarding others just for me. I'd tell Adrian I just needed a little time and I'd go in another room, though never too far away. Sometimes he'd check in on me but mostly he'd wait until my thoughts appeared there on the blog the next day. And he'd read them and come home ready to talk about them with me. After we'd both had a chance to think. He's a good one, that Adrian.
A few years back some friends and I used to partake in this beautifully balanced activity we called Collective Solitude. Together, armed with laptops, books, journals and iPods, we'd find a corner in a coffee shop. Each would write or read or listen to music, but always within a whisper of one another. Should inspiration strike or the need for feedback or just human connection, there we were. But the majority of time, we sat in silence, each following our own thought paths. In the end, we'd often share where we had gone and what thoughts we'd come across on the way.
I think I need more of that.
So tell me, introverted friends, how do you stay balanced? How do you follow your thought paths while allowing for interruptions because they often must happen? How do you stay fundamentally you? And how do you? Yes, just how do you?
Until then, I'll be lost in some project. I'm sure.