I only realised this morning that I didn’t publish yesterday’s post. I do apologise. I wrote it and everything, then I got into the office and eighteen different things happened and I clean forgot to publish it. So today you get two posts – yippee!! However, it is timely in a way, because I finished yesterday’s post by saying that when I haven’t had enough down time I go a little bit mad, and yesterday’s failure to post is a very good example of that (oh, the power of the subconscious mind!).
Because I have that skinned, overloaded, stretched feeling at the moment. For various reasons the last ten days or so have been stupidly busy with almost no down time, and the result is that the brain is very slightly ceasing to function. Partly it’s physical tiredness, but it’s also the fact that I haven’t been able to ….. what? And here it’s difficult because it can be very very hard to explain to non-introverts just what it is that’s important about this thing that I’m calling “down time”.
Part of that difficulty is that it’s hard even for introverts to explain to themselves what it is. Last year I had a series of long conversations with my therapist while I tried to work it out and to define why sometimes I really needed to be on my own, even if it meant turning down the opportunity to spend time with much-loved friends or attend otherwise desirable social events. (When I first typed that sentence I typed “undesirable social events” – proof, if any were needed, of a) the power of the subconscious and b) the fact that just at present I really, really do need some non-social time……).
In my conversation with my therapist, the best I could come up with to explain the importance to me of “down time” was to describe it as time to defrag. As computers, if you don’t clean them up and delete unnecessary crud, eventually start to run slowly and start hanging, so with me. If I don’t get down time, eventually my brain starts to run slowly and get buggy. The other problem was explaining why, for me, this doesn’t happen at night when I’m asleep, and why it isn’t the same as physical tiredness. I can get as much sleep as I need, but if I don’t get down time on my own, I still start to feel overwhelmed. Physical recovery isn’t the same as emotional and mental recovery.
I really struggle to explain this, especially to extroverts. Extroverts find it hugely difficult to understand why I would sometimes rather stay home and watch Location, Location, Location on my own than go to the pub with a bunch of friends. And I really struggled to understand it myself, until one day on Facebook I saw this rather wonderful cartoon. And Bing!!!! There it was – the explanation. Extroverts get their energy from being with other people and find being alone draining, introverts get their energy from being alone and find being with other people draining. It was The Answer! Now I understand!
PS. I just nearly left a bag with a pair of irreplaceable and rather expensive shoes in it on the tube. If a kind lady hadn’t run after me it would now be en route to High Barnet while I head to Temple. Yep, definitely time for a defrag……